Science.gov

Sample records for acquisition quality assessment

  1. Learning the manifold of quality ultrasound acquisition.

    PubMed

    El-Zehiry, Noha; Yan, Michelle; Good, Sara; Fang, Tong; Zhou, S Kevin; Grady, Leo

    2013-01-01

    Ultrasound acquisition is a challenging task that requires simultaneous adjustment of several acquisition parameters (the depth, the focus, the frequency and its operation mode). If the acquisition parameters are not properly chosen, the resulting image will have a poor quality and will degrade the patient diagnosis and treatment workflow. Several hardware-based systems for autotuning the acquisition parameters have been previously proposed, but these solutions were largely abandoned because they failed to properly account for tissue inhomogeneity and other patient-specific characteristics. Consequently, in routine practice the clinician either uses population-based parameter presets or manually adjusts the acquisition parameters for each patient during the scan. In this paper, we revisit the problem of autotuning the acquisition parameters by taking a completely novel approach and producing a solution based on image analytics. Our solution is inspired by the autofocus capability of conventional digital cameras, but is significantly more challenging because the number of acquisition parameters is large and the determination of "good quality" images is more difficult to assess. Surprisingly, we show that the set of acquisition parameters which produce images that are favored by clinicians comprise a 1D manifold, allowing for a real-time optimization to maximize image quality. We demonstrate our method for acquisition parameter autotuning on several live patients, showing that our system can start with a poor initial set of parameters and automatically optimize the parameters to produce high quality images.

  2. Learning the manifold of quality ultrasound acquisition.

    PubMed

    El-Zehiry, Noha; Yan, Michelle; Good, Sara; Fang, Tong; Zhou, S Kevin; Grady, Leo

    2013-01-01

    Ultrasound acquisition is a challenging task that requires simultaneous adjustment of several acquisition parameters (the depth, the focus, the frequency and its operation mode). If the acquisition parameters are not properly chosen, the resulting image will have a poor quality and will degrade the patient diagnosis and treatment workflow. Several hardware-based systems for autotuning the acquisition parameters have been previously proposed, but these solutions were largely abandoned because they failed to properly account for tissue inhomogeneity and other patient-specific characteristics. Consequently, in routine practice the clinician either uses population-based parameter presets or manually adjusts the acquisition parameters for each patient during the scan. In this paper, we revisit the problem of autotuning the acquisition parameters by taking a completely novel approach and producing a solution based on image analytics. Our solution is inspired by the autofocus capability of conventional digital cameras, but is significantly more challenging because the number of acquisition parameters is large and the determination of "good quality" images is more difficult to assess. Surprisingly, we show that the set of acquisition parameters which produce images that are favored by clinicians comprise a 1D manifold, allowing for a real-time optimization to maximize image quality. We demonstrate our method for acquisition parameter autotuning on several live patients, showing that our system can start with a poor initial set of parameters and automatically optimize the parameters to produce high quality images. PMID:24505657

  3. Dosimetric and image quality assessment of different acquisition protocols of a novel 64-slice CT scanner

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vite, Cristina; Mangini, Monica; Strocchi, Sabina; Novario, Raffaele; Tanzi, Fabio; Carrafiello, Gianpaolo; Conte, Leopoldo; Fugazzola, Carlo

    2006-03-01

    Dose and image quality assessment in computed tomography (CT) are almost affected by the vast variety of CT scanners (axial CT, spiral CT, low-multislice CT (2-16), high-multislice CT (32-64)) and imaging protocols in use. Very poor information is at the moment available on 64 slices CT scanners. Aim of this work is to assess image quality related to patient dose indexes and to investigate the achievable dose reduction for a commercially available 64 slices CT scanner. CT dose indexes (weighted computed tomography dose index, CTDI w and Dose Length Product, DLP) were measured with a standard CT phantom for the main protocols in use (head, chest, abdomen and pelvis) and compared with the values displayed by the scanner itself. The differences were always below 7%. All the indexes were below the Diagnostic Reference Levels defined by the European Council Directive 97/42. Effective doses were measured for each protocol with thermoluminescent dosimeters inserted in an anthropomorphic Alderson Rando phantom and compared with the same values computed by the ImPACT CT Patient Dosimetry Calculator software code and corrected by a factor taking in account the number of slices (from 16 to 64). The differences were always below 25%. The effective doses range from 1.5 mSv (head) to 21.8 mSv (abdomen). The dose reduction system of the scanner was assessed comparing the effective dose measured for a standard phantom-man (a cylinder phantom, 32 cm in diameter) to the mean dose evaluated on 46 patients. The standard phantom was considered as no dose reduction reference. The dose reduction factor range from 16% to 78% (mean of 46%) for all protocols, from 29% to 78% (mean of 55%) for chest protocol, from 16% to 76% (mean of 42%) for abdomen protocol. The possibility of a further dose reduction was investigated measuring image quality (spatial resolution, contrast and noise) as a function of CTDI w. This curve shows a quite flat trend decreasing the dose approximately to 90% and a

  4. Sleep quality influences subsequent motor skill acquisition.

    PubMed

    Appleman, Erica R; Albouy, Genevieve; Doyon, Julien; Cronin-Golomb, Alice; King, Bradley R

    2016-06-01

    While the influence of sleep on motor memory consolidation has been extensively investigated, its relation to initial skill acquisition is less well understood. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the influence of sleep quality and quantity on subsequent motor skill acquisition in young adults without sleep disorders. Fifty-five healthy adults (mean age = 23.8 years; 34 women) wore actigraph wristbands for 4 nights, which provided data on sleep patterns before the experiment, and then returned to the laboratory to engage in a motor sequence learning task (explicit 5-item finger sequence tapping task). Indicators of sleep quality and quantity were then regressed on a measure of motor skill acquisition (Gains Within Training, GWT). Wake After Sleep Onset (WASO; i.e., the total amount of time the participants spent awake after falling asleep) was significantly and negatively related to GWT. This effect was not because of general arousal level, which was measured immediately before the motor task. Conversely, there was no relationship between GWT and sleep duration or self-reported sleep quality. These results indicate that sleep quality, as assessed by WASO and objectively measured with actigraphy before the motor task, significantly impacts motor skill acquisition in young healthy adults without sleep disorders. (PsycINFO Database Record

  5. Defining and Assessing Quality.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fincher, Cameron, Ed.

    The seven papers in this monograph focus on defining and assessing quality. The paper are: (1) "Reflections on Design Ideals" (E. Grady Bogue), which addresses some "governing ideals" of collegiate quality; (2) "Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Investment and Quality in Higher Education" (Sven Groennings), which sees the competitive quality of…

  6. [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

  7. 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.

  8. Image Acquisition and Quality in Digital Radiography.

    PubMed

    Alexander, Shannon

    2016-09-01

    Medical imaging has undergone dramatic changes and technological breakthroughs since the introduction of digital radiography. This article presents information on the development of digital radiography and types of digital radiography systems. Aspects of image quality and radiation exposure control are highlighted as well. In addition, the article includes related workplace changes and medicolegal considerations in the digital radiography environment. PMID:27601691

  9. [Quality assessment in anesthesia].

    PubMed

    Kupperwasser, B

    1996-01-01

    Quality assessment (assurance/improvement) is the set of methods used to measure and improve the delivered care and the department's performance against pre-established criteria or standards. The four stages of the self-maintained quality assessment cycle are: problem identification, problem analysis, problem correction and evaluation of corrective actions. Quality assessment is a measurable entity for which it is necessary to define and calibrate measurement parameters (indicators) from available data gathered from the hospital anaesthesia environment. Problem identification comes from the accumulation of indicators. There are four types of quality indicators: structure, process, outcome and sentinel indicators. The latter signal a quality defect, are independent of outcomes, are easier to analyse by statistical methods and closely related to processes and main targets of quality improvement. The three types of methods to analyse the problems (indicators) are: peer review, quantitative methods and risks management techniques. Peer review is performed by qualified anaesthesiologists. To improve its validity, the review process should be explicited and conclusions based on standards of practice and literature references. The quantitative methods are statistical analyses applied to the collected data and presented in a graphic format (histogram, Pareto diagram, control charts). The risks management techniques include: a) critical incident analysis establishing an objective relationship between a 'critical' event and the associated human behaviours; b) system accident analysis, based on the fact that accidents continue to occur despite safety systems and sophisticated technologies, checks of all the process components leading to the impredictable outcome and not just the human factors; c) cause-effect diagrams facilitate the problem analysis in reducing its causes to four fundamental components (persons, regulations, equipment, process). Definition and implementation

  10. Diazepam and learning: assessment of acquisition deficits.

    PubMed

    Hinrichs, J V; Mewaldt, S P; Ghoneim, M M; Berie, J L

    1982-07-01

    Subjects treated with diazepam (0.3 mg/kg) showed significant reductions in performance on multiple-trial free recall, paired-associate learning, and serial learning tasks compared to placebo control subjects. The free recall task showed the largest drug effect with diazepam subjects failing in six acquisition trials to attain the level of performance achieved by placebo subjects on the first trial. Serial position curves in the serial learning task were changed by the diazepam treatment from their usual skewed form to symmetrical functions. Results indicate that diazepam exerts its greatest memory influence on the acquisition of new information.

  11. High Quality Acquisition of Surface Electromyography - Conditioning Circuit Design

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shobaki, Mohammed M.; Malik, Noreha Abdul; Khan, Sheroz; Nurashikin, Anis; Haider, Samnan; Larbani, Sofiane; Arshad, Atika; Tasnim, Rumana

    2013-12-01

    The acquisition of Surface Electromyography (SEMG) signals is used for many applications including the diagnosis of neuromuscular diseases, and prosthesis control. The diagnostic quality of the SEMG signal is highly dependent on the conditioning circuit of the SEMG acquisition system. This paper presents the design of an SEMG conditioning circuit that can guarantee to collect high quality signal with high SNR such that it is immune to environmental noise. The conditioning circuit consists of four stages; consisting of an instrumentation amplifier that is used with a gain of around 250; 4th order band pass filter in the 20-500Hz frequency range as the two initial stages. The third stage is an amplifier with adjustable gain using a variable resistance; the gain could be changed from 1000 to 50000. In the final stage the signal is translated to meet the input requirements of data acquisition device or the ADC. Acquisition of accurate signals allows it to be analyzed for extracting the required characteristic features for medical and clinical applications. According to the experimental results, the value of SNR for collected signal is 52.4 dB which is higher than the commercial system, the power spectrum density (PSD) graph is also presented and it shows that the filter has eliminated the noise below 20 Hz.

  12. 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,…

  13. 48 CFR 46.404 - Government contract quality assurance for acquisitions at or below the simplified acquisition...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 48 Federal Acquisition Regulations System 1 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Government contract... ASSURANCE Government Contract Quality Assurance 46.404 Government contract quality assurance for... Government contract quality assurance to be required for contracts at or below the simplified...

  14. 48 CFR 46.404 - Government contract quality assurance for acquisitions at or below the simplified acquisition...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 48 Federal Acquisition Regulations System 1 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Government contract... ASSURANCE Government Contract Quality Assurance 46.404 Government contract quality assurance for... Government contract quality assurance to be required for contracts at or below the simplified...

  15. 48 CFR 246.404 - Government contract quality assurance for acquisitions at or below the simplified acquisition...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 48 Federal Acquisition Regulations System 3 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Government contract... DEFENSE CONTRACT MANAGEMENT QUALITY ASSURANCE Government Contract Quality Assurance 246.404 Government... require Government contract quality assurance at source for contracts or delivery orders valued at...

  16. 48 CFR 246.404 - Government contract quality assurance for acquisitions at or below the simplified acquisition...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 48 Federal Acquisition Regulations System 3 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Government contract... DEFENSE CONTRACT MANAGEMENT QUALITY ASSURANCE Government Contract Quality Assurance 246.404 Government... require Government contract quality assurance at source for contracts or delivery orders valued at...

  17. 48 CFR 246.404 - Government contract quality assurance for acquisitions at or below the simplified acquisition...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 48 Federal Acquisition Regulations System 3 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Government contract... DEFENSE CONTRACT MANAGEMENT QUALITY ASSURANCE Government Contract Quality Assurance 246.404 Government... require Government contract quality assurance at source for contracts or delivery orders valued at...

  18. 48 CFR 246.404 - Government contract quality assurance for acquisitions at or below the simplified acquisition...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 48 Federal Acquisition Regulations System 3 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Government contract... DEFENSE CONTRACT MANAGEMENT QUALITY ASSURANCE Government Contract Quality Assurance 246.404 Government... require Government contract quality assurance at source for contracts or delivery orders valued at...

  19. 48 CFR 46.404 - Government contract quality assurance for acquisitions at or below the simplified acquisition...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 48 Federal Acquisition Regulations System 1 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Government contract... ASSURANCE Government Contract Quality Assurance 46.404 Government contract quality assurance for... Government contract quality assurance to be required for contracts at or below the simplified...

  20. 48 CFR 246.404 - Government contract quality assurance for acquisitions at or below the simplified acquisition...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 48 Federal Acquisition Regulations System 3 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Government contract... DEFENSE CONTRACT MANAGEMENT QUALITY ASSURANCE Government Contract Quality Assurance 246.404 Government... require Government contract quality assurance at source for contracts or delivery orders valued at...

  1. 48 CFR 46.404 - Government contract quality assurance for acquisitions at or below the simplified acquisition...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 48 Federal Acquisition Regulations System 1 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Government contract... ASSURANCE Government Contract Quality Assurance 46.404 Government contract quality assurance for... Government contract quality assurance to be required for contracts at or below the simplified...

  2. 48 CFR 46.404 - Government contract quality assurance for acquisitions at or below the simplified acquisition...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 48 Federal Acquisition Regulations System 1 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Government contract... ASSURANCE Government Contract Quality Assurance 46.404 Government contract quality assurance for... Government contract quality assurance to be required for contracts at or below the simplified...

  3. The Southeast Stream Quality Assessment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Van Metre, Peter C.; Journey, Celeste A.

    2014-01-01

    In 2014, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Water-Quality Assessment Program (NAWQA) is assessing stream quality across the Piedmont and southern Appalachian Mountains in the southeastern United States. The goal of the Southeast Stream Quality Assessment (SESQA) is to characterize multiple water-quality factors that are stressors to aquatic life—contaminants, nutrients, sediment, and streamflow alteration—and the relation of these stressors to ecological conditions in streams throughout the region. Findings will provide communities and policymakers with information on which human and environmental factors are the most critical in controlling stream quality and, thus, provide insights about possible approaches to protect or improve stream quality. The SESQA study will be the second regional study by the NAWQA program, and it will be of similar design and scope as the Midwest Stream Quality Assessment conducted in 2013 (Van Metre and others, 2012).

  4. Solar Radiation Empirical Quality Assessment

    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.

  5. 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.

  6. Quality Assessment in Action.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hawk, Thomas R.

    In 1985, an ad hoc committee was appointed to conduct a comprehensive examination of the educational effectiveness of the Community College of Philadelphia (CCP). The principles governing the assessment emphasized students' educational goals; cognitive and non-cognitive outcomes; differences among subgroups within the student population;…

  7. 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

  8. The Northeast Stream Quality Assessment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Van Metre, Peter C.; Riva-Murray, Karen; Coles, James F.

    2016-04-22

    In 2016, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) is assessing stream quality in the northeastern United States. The goal of the Northeast Stream Quality Assessment (NESQA) is to assess the quality of streams in the region by characterizing multiple water-quality factors that are stressors to aquatic life and evaluating the relation between these stressors and biological communities. The focus of NESQA in 2016 will be on the effects of urbanization and agriculture on stream quality in all or parts of eight states: Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont.Findings will provide the public and policymakers with information about the most critical factors affecting stream quality, thus providing insights about possible approaches to protect the health of streams in the region. The NESQA study will be the fourth regional study conducted as part of NAWQA and will be of similar design and scope to the first three, in the Midwest in 2013, the Southeast in 2014, and the Pacific Northwest in 2015 (http://txpub.usgs.gov/RSQA/).

  9. An infant-based assessment of early lexicon acquisition.

    PubMed

    Friend, Margaret; Keplinger, Melanie

    2003-05-01

    The majority of research on the acquisition of spoken language has focused on language production, due to difficulties in the assessment of comprehension. A primary limitation to comprehension assessment is maintaining the interest and attention of younger infants. We have developed an assessment procedure that addresses the need for an extensive performance-based measure of comprehension in the 2nd year of life. In the interest of developing an engaging approach that takes into account infants' limited attention capabilities, we designed an assessment based on touchscreen technology. This approach builds upon prior research by combining standardization and complexity with an engaging infant-friendly interface. Data suggest that the touchscreen procedure is effective in eliciting and maintaining infant attention and will yield more extensive and reliable estimates of early comprehension than do other procedures. The software to implement the assessment is available free of charge for academic purposes.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. The Midwest Stream Quality Assessment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    ,

    2012-01-01

    In 2013, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Water-Quality Assessment Program (NAWQA) and USGS Columbia Environmental Research Center (CERC) will be collaborating with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) National Rivers and Streams Assessment (NRSA) to assess stream quality across the Midwestern United States. The sites selected for this study are a subset of the larger NRSA, implemented by the EPA, States and Tribes to sample flowing waters across the United States (http://water.epa.gov/type/rsl/monitoring/riverssurvey/index.cfm). The goals are to characterize water-quality stressors—contaminants, nutrients, and sediment—and ecological conditions in streams throughout the Midwest and to determine the relative effects of these stressors on aquatic organisms in the streams. Findings will contribute useful information for communities and policymakers by identifying which human and environmental factors are the most critical in controlling stream quality. This collaborative study enhances information provided to the public and policymakers and minimizes costs by leveraging and sharing data gathered under existing programs. In the spring and early summer, NAWQA will sample streams weekly for contaminants, nutrients, and sediment. During the same time period, CERC will test sediment and water samples for toxicity, deploy time-integrating samplers, and measure reproductive effects and biomarkers of contaminant exposure in fish or amphibians. NRSA will sample sites once during the summer to assess ecological and habitat conditions in the streams by collecting data on algal, macroinvertebrate, and fish communities and collecting detailed physical-habitat measurements. Study-team members from all three programs will work in collaboration with USGS Water Science Centers and State agencies on study design, execution of sampling and analysis, and reporting.

  15. 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

  16. Cost modeling as a technology assessment tool for radiology department capital equipment acquisitions.

    PubMed

    Marion, J L; Vanden Brink, J A

    1996-06-01

    Changes reshaping the healthcare delivery system impact capital equipment acquisition decisions within radiology departments. During an era of rapid technological advancement, acquisition decisions often favor new imaging technology with an emphasis on volume and revenue increases. With a slowdown or plateau in new imaging technology and significant changes in the healthcare delivery structure, greater emphasis is now being given to productivity and quality improvement investments. Such investments are aimed at reducing labor and material operating costs through capital investment in electronic alternatives, such as the digital viewing and storage of diagnostic images in lieu of film. This shift in emphasis presents a dilemma for radiology departments because it is often more difficult to show a quality and productivity improvement justification. One approach is to use a formal ¿technology assessment¿ (TA) process wherein a manager considers changes in processes, labor, equipment, space, and consumables, and then assesses that impact on cost, utilization, quality of care, and other factors. A cost model is a useful tool in this process. A review of a number of real world experiences demonstrates the benefits of more timely and informed capital equipment investment decisions. While the direct savings may not entirely offset such investments, TA analysis also evaluates in tangible benefits that may not be quantifiable in economic terms. Both tangible cost savings and intangible benefits need to be weighed against the net investment in a new technology.

  17. 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.

  18. Monitoring of HTS compound library quality via a high-resolution image acquisition and processing instrument.

    PubMed

    Baillargeon, Pierre; Scampavia, Louis; Einsteder, Ross; Hodder, Peter

    2011-06-01

    This report presents the high-resolution image acquisition and processing instrument for compound management applications (HIAPI-CM). The HIAPI-CM combines imaging spectroscopy and machine-vision analysis to perform rapid assessment of high-throughput screening (HTS) compound library quality. It has been customized to detect and classify typical artifacts found in HTS compound library microtiter plates (MTPs). These artifacts include (1) insufficient volume of liquid compound sample, (2) compound precipitation, and (3) colored compounds that interfere with HTS assay detection format readout. The HIAPI-CM is also configured to automatically query and compare its analysis results to data stored in a LIMS or corporate database, aiding in the detection of compound registration errors. To demonstrate its capabilities, several compound plates (n=5760 wells total) containing different artifacts were measured via automated HIAPI-CM analysis, and results compared with those obtained by manual (visual) inspection. In all cases, the instrument demonstrated high fidelity (99.8% empty wells; 100.1% filled wells; 94.4% for partially filled wells; 94.0% for wells containing colored compounds), and in the case of precipitate detection, the HIAPI-CM results significantly exceeded the fidelity of visual observations (220.0%). As described, the HIAPI-CM allows for noninvasive, nondestructive MTP assessment with a diagnostic throughput of about 1min per plate, reducing analytical expenses and improving the quality and stewardship of HTS compound libraries.

  19. Automatic Assessment of Acquisition and Transmission Losses in Indian Remote Sensing Satellite Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roy, D.; Purna Kumari, B.; Manju Sarma, M.; Aparna, N.; Gopal Krishna, B.

    2016-06-01

    The quality of Remote Sensing data is an important parameter that defines the extent of its usability in various applications. The data from Remote Sensing satellites is received as raw data frames at the ground station. This data may be corrupted with data losses due to interferences during data transmission, data acquisition and sensor anomalies. Thus it is important to assess the quality of the raw data before product generation for early anomaly detection, faster corrective actions and product rejection minimization. Manual screening of raw images is a time consuming process and not very accurate. In this paper, an automated process for identification and quantification of losses in raw data like pixel drop out, line loss and data loss due to sensor anomalies is discussed. Quality assessment of raw scenes based on these losses is also explained. This process is introduced in the data pre-processing stage and gives crucial data quality information to users at the time of browsing data for product ordering. It has also improved the product generation workflow by enabling faster and more accurate quality estimation.

  20. ACQUISITION OF REPRESENTATIVE GROUND WATER QUALITY SAMPLES FOR METALS

    EPA Science Inventory

    R.S. Kerr Environmental Research Laboratory (RSKERL) personnel have evaluated sampling procedures for the collection of representative, accurate, and reproducible ground water quality samples for metals for the past four years. Intensive sampling research at three different field...

  1. 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.

  2. Assess the Critical Period Hypothesis in Second Language Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Du, Lihong

    2010-01-01

    The Critical Period Hypothesis aims to investigate the reason for significant difference between first language acquisition and second language acquisition. Over the past few decades, researchers carried out a series of studies to test the validity of the hypothesis. Although there were certain limitations in these studies, most of their results…

  3. Influence of data acquisition environment on accuracy of acoustic voice quality measurements.

    PubMed

    Deliyski, Dimitar D; Evans, Maegan K; Shaw, Heather S

    2005-06-01

    Accuracy of acoustic voice analysis is influenced by the quality of recording. Lately, articles have suggested that soundcards perform equivalently to specialized professional-grade data acquisition (DA) systems. The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of DA environment (DA system and microphone) on acoustic voice quality measurement (VQM) while balancing for gender, age, intersubject and intrasubject variability, and analysis software. More specifically, the relative performance of different hardware environments and the relationship between their technical characteristics and VQM performance was investigated. The discretization error and the effective dynamic range of the different DA environments were measured. We used 3 software systems to record and measure separately 2000 acoustic samples of sustained phonation for fundamental frequency, jitter, and shimmer. Analyses of variance (ANOVA) were performed with these parameters as the dependent variables. The results of the study suggested that professional-grade DA hardware is strongly recommended to provide accurate and valid voice assessment. The fundamental frequency measurement differences across DA environments were highly correlated to the discretization error (r=1.00), whereas jitter and shimmer were highly correlated to the effective dynamic range of the DA environments (r=-0.68 and r=-0.86, respectively).

  4. 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…

  5. 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

  6. 77 FR 20317 - Acquisition, Protection, and Disclosure of Quality Improvement Organization Information

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-04-04

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services 42 CFR Part 480 Acquisition, Protection, and Disclosure of Quality Improvement Organization Information CFR Correction In Title 42 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Parts 430 to 481, revised...

  7. Effect of temporal acquisition parameters on image quality of strain time constant elastography.

    PubMed

    Nair, Sanjay; Varghese, Joshua; Chaudhry, Anuj; Righetti, Raffaella

    2015-04-01

    Ultrasound methods to image the time constant (TC) of elastographic tissue parameters have been recently developed. Elastographic TC images from creep or stress relaxation tests have been shown to provide information on the viscoelastic and poroelastic behavior of tissues. However, the effect of temporal ultrasonic acquisition parameters and input noise on the image quality of the resultant strain TC elastograms has not been fully investigated yet. Understanding such effects could have important implications for clinical applications of these novel techniques. This work reports a simulation study aimed at investigating the effects of varying windows of observation, acquisition frame rate, and strain signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) on the image quality of elastographic TC estimates. A pilot experimental study was used to corroborate the simulation results in specific testing conditions. The results of this work suggest that the total acquisition time necessary for accurate strain TC estimates has a linear dependence to the underlying strain TC (as estimated from the theoretical strain-vs.-time curve). The results also indicate that it might be possible to make accurate estimates of the elastographic TC (within 10% error) using windows of observation as small as 20% of the underlying TC, provided sufficiently fast acquisition rates (>100 Hz for typical acquisition depths). The limited experimental data reported in this study statistically confirm the simulation trends, proving that the proposed model can be used as upper bound guidance for the correct execution of the experiments.

  8. Hypertext Glosses for Foreign Language Reading Comprehension and Vocabulary Acquisition: Effects of Assessment Methods

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chen, I-Jung

    2016-01-01

    This study compared how three different gloss modes affected college students' L2 reading comprehension and vocabulary acquisition. The study also compared how results on comprehension and vocabulary acquisition may differ depending on the four assessment methods used. A between-subjects design was employed with three groups of Mandarin-speaking…

  9. Assessing the Quality of Teachers' Teaching Practices

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chen, Weiyun; Mason, Stephen; Staniszewski, Christina; Upton, Ashley; Valley, Megan

    2012-01-01

    This study assessed the extent to which nine elementary physical education teachers implemented the quality of teaching practices. Thirty physical education lessons taught by the nine teachers to their students in grades K-5 were videotaped. Four investigators coded the taped lessons using the Assessing Quality Teaching Rubric (AQTR) designed and…

  10. 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…

  11. SERI QC Solar Data Quality Assessment Software

    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

  12. Automated quality assessment in three-dimensional breast ultrasound images.

    PubMed

    Schwaab, Julia; Diez, Yago; Oliver, Arnau; Martí, Robert; van Zelst, Jan; Gubern-Mérida, Albert; Mourri, Ahmed Bensouda; Gregori, Johannes; Günther, Matthias

    2016-04-01

    Automated three-dimensional breast ultrasound (ABUS) is a valuable adjunct to x-ray mammography for breast cancer screening of women with dense breasts. High image quality is essential for proper diagnostics and computer-aided detection. We propose an automated image quality assessment system for ABUS images that detects artifacts at the time of acquisition. Therefore, we study three aspects that can corrupt ABUS images: the nipple position relative to the rest of the breast, the shadow caused by the nipple, and the shape of the breast contour on the image. Image processing and machine learning algorithms are combined to detect these artifacts based on 368 clinical ABUS images that have been rated manually by two experienced clinicians. At a specificity of 0.99, 55% of the images that were rated as low quality are detected by the proposed algorithms. The areas under the ROC curves of the single classifiers are 0.99 for the nipple position, 0.84 for the nipple shadow, and 0.89 for the breast contour shape. The proposed algorithms work fast and reliably, which makes them adequate for online evaluation of image quality during acquisition. The presented concept may be extended to further image modalities and quality aspects. PMID:27158633

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Tools to assess tissue quality.

    PubMed

    Neumeister, Veronique M

    2014-03-01

    Biospecimen science has recognized the importance of tissue quality for accurate molecular and biomarker analysis and efforts are made to standardize tissue procurement, processing and storage conditions of tissue samples. At the same time the field has emphasized the lack of standardization of processes between different laboratories, the variability inherent in the analytical phase and the lack of control over the pre-analytical phase of tissue processing. The problem extends back into tissue samples in biorepositories, which are often decades old and where documentation about tissue processing might not be available. This review highlights pre-analytical variations in tissue handling, processing, fixation and storage and emphasizes the effects of these variables on nucleic acids and proteins in harvested tissue. Finally current tools for quality control regarding molecular or biomarker analysis are summarized and discussed.

  16. Assessing quality in Earth Science Education

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rollinson, Hugh

    1999-05-01

    Quality is an elusive concept — hard to define, but you recognise it when you come across it. This paper reviews the meaning of quality as applied in Higher Education and shows that there are, of necessity, a number of workable definitions of quality in Higher Education. The assessment of quality in Earth Science Higher Education in England during 1994-1995 is described. A number of general features of quality in Earth Sciences Education are drawn from this case study and the future direction of quality assurance is mapped. Three principles drawn from the definitions of quality and from the English teaching quality assessment exercise are applied to Earth Science Education in Africa. It is argued that different definitions of quality will apply in different societal contexts in Africa and that these may be used to shape the relevance of Geoscience Education. Increasing mobility of labour means that comparability of academic standards between African countries within a region is desirable and should be worked for. Finally, research in the UK shows that teaching quality is not necessarily dependent upon the size or research potential of a department, indicating that Africa can deliver high quality Earth Science Education.

  17. 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…

  18. Quality Assessment for a University Curriculum.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hjalmered, Jan-Olof; Lumsden, Kenth

    1994-01-01

    In 1992, a national quality assessment report covering courses in all the Swedish schools of mechanical engineering was presented. This article comments on the general ideas and specific proposals presented, and offers an analysis of the consequences. Presents overall considerations regarding quality issues, the philosophy behind the new…

  19. An Approach towards Software Quality Assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Srivastava, Praveen Ranjan; Kumar, Krishan

    Software engineer needs to determine the real purpose of the software, which is a prime point to keep in mind: The customer’s needs come first, and they include particular levels of quality, not just functionality. Thus, the software engineer has a responsibility to elicit quality requirements that may not even be explicit at the outset and to discuss their importance and the difficulty of attaining them. All processes associated with software quality (e.g. building, checking, improving quality) will be designed with these in mind and carry costs based on the design. Therefore, it is important to have in mind some of the possible attributes of quality. We start by identifying the metrics and measurement approaches that can be used to assess the quality of software product. Most of them can be measured subjectively because there is no solid statistics regarding them. Here, in this paper we propose an approach to measure the software quality statistically.

  20. An assessment of Landsat data acquisition history on identification and area estimation of corn and soybeans

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hixson, M. M.; Bauer, M. E.; Scholz, D. K.

    1980-01-01

    During the past decade, numerous studies have demonstrated the potential of satellite remote sensing for providing accurate and timely crop area information. This study assessed the impact of Landsat data acquisition history on classification and area estimation accuracy of corn and soybeans. Multitemporally registered Landsat MSS data from four acquisitions during the 1978 growing season were used in classification of eight sample segments in the U.S. Corn Belt. The results illustrate the importance of selecting Landsat acquisitions based on spectral differences in crops at certain growth stages.

  1. The Quality Assessment Index (QAI) for measuring nursing home quality.

    PubMed Central

    Gustafson, D H; Sainfort, F C; Van Konigsveld, R; Zimmerman, D R

    1990-01-01

    There have been few detailed evaluations of measures of quality of care in nursing homes. This is unfortunate because it has meant that much research on factors affecting nursing home quality has used measures of questionable reliability and validity. Moreover, some measures currently in use have been developed using methodologies not based on solid conceptual grounds, offering little reason to expect them to have much internal or external validity. In this article we suggest characteristics that should be present in measures of nursing home quality, propose a methodology for the development of such measures, propose a specific nursing home quality measure (the Quality Assessment Index or QAI), and report the results of several tests of its validity and reliability. PMID:2184147

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Water quality assessment at Omerli Dam using remote sensing techniques.

    PubMed

    Alparslan, Erhan; Aydöner, Cihangir; Tufekci, Vildan; Tüfekci, Hüseyin

    2007-12-01

    Water quality at Omerli Dam, which is a vital potable water resource of Istanbul City, Turkey was assessed using the first four bands of Landsat 7-ETM satellite data, acquired in May 2001 and water quality parameters, such as chlorophyll-a, suspended solid matter, secchi disk and total phosphate measured at several measurement stations at Omerli Dam during satellite image acquisition time and archived at the Marine Pollution and Ecotoxicology laboratory of the Marmara Research Center, where this study was carried out. Establishing a relationship between this data, and the pixel reflectance values in the satellite image, chlorophyll-a, suspended solid matter, secchi disk and total phosphate maps were produced for the Omerli Dam.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. An assessment of Landsat data acquisition history on identification and area estimation of corn and soybeans

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hixson, M. M.; Bauer, M. E.; Scholz, Donna K.

    1982-01-01

    In the past decade, numerous studies have demonstrated the potential of satellite remote sensing for providing accurate timely crop area information. This study assessed the impact of Landsat data acquisition history on classification and area estimation accuracy of corn and soybeans in the U.S. Corn Belt. The results illustrate the importance of selecting Landsat acquisitions based on spectral differences in crops at certain development stages. Although early season information can provide estimates of total corn and soybean areas, acquisitions from about emergence and after tasseling of the corn seem to provide a minimal set for accurate identification of corn and soybeans in the U.S. Corn Belt. Additional acquisitions provide only marginally greater separability for corn and soybeans.

  9. Smartphone-based Data Acquisition for Landslide Susceptibility Assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Son, J.; Lee, S.; Oh, M.; Yun, D. E.; Park, H. D.; Kim, S.

    2015-12-01

    The objective of this paper is to suggest a smartphone application for collecting geological data in the assessment process of landslide susceptibility. Spatial and geological information collection is the most crucial part in risk assessment while the evaluation of large area is often conducted using geographic information system (GIS). GIS-based landslide susceptibility assessment requires large database to ensure the reliability of analyses. The digitalized collection tool can help its users obtaining precise measurements and reducing time for the data collection process. In this study, the mobile application which measures structural information from inbuilt sensors and accepts various data types had been developed. It can collect the triggering factors that promote or inhibit the hazard occurrence in the training domain areas. The database includes various spatial information such as slope, aspect, joint set and their coordinates, as well as hazard inventory. Collected geospatial datasets with smartphone application can be applied to a series of geospatial processes regarding the assessment of the landslide susceptibility.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Software quality assessment for health care systems.

    PubMed

    Braccini, G; Fabbrini, F; Fusani, M

    1997-01-01

    The problem of defining a quality model to be used in the evaluation of the software components of a Health Care System (HCS) is addressed. The model, based on the ISO/IEC 9126 standard, has been interpreted to fit the requirements of some classes of applications representative of Health Care Systems, on the basis of the experience gained both in the field of medical Informatics and assessment of software products. The values resulting from weighing the quality characteristics according to their criticality outline a set of quality profiles that can be used both for evaluation and certification.

  13. Assessing the quality of nursing work life.

    PubMed

    Brooks, Beth A; Storfjell, Judy; Omoike, Osei; Ohlson, Susan; Stemler, Irene; Shaver, Joan; Brown, Amy

    2007-01-01

    Traditionally, nursing has measured job satisfaction by focusing on employees' likes and dislikes. However, job satisfaction is an unsatisfactory construct to assess either the jobs themselves or employees' feelings about work sinceas much as 30% of the variance explained in job satisfaction surveys is a function of personality, something employers can do little to change. Based on socio-technical systems theory, quality of nursing work life (QNWL) assessments focus on identifying opportunities for nurses to improve their work and work environment while achieving the organization's goals. Moreover, some evidence suggests that improvements in work life are needed to improve productivity. Therefore, assessing QNWL reveals areas for improvement where the needs of both the employees and the organization converge. The purpose of this article was to assess the QNWL of staff nurses using Brooks' Quality of Nursing Work Life Survey. PMID:17413509

  14. 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.

  15. Whole left ventricular functional assessment from two minutes free breathing multi-slice CINE acquisition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Usman, M.; Atkinson, D.; Heathfield, E.; Greil, G.; Schaeffter, T.; Prieto, C.

    2015-04-01

    Two major challenges in cardiovascular MRI are long scan times due to slow MR acquisition and motion artefacts due to respiratory motion. Recently, a Motion Corrected-Compressed Sensing (MC-CS) technique has been proposed for free breathing 2D dynamic cardiac MRI that addresses these challenges by simultaneously accelerating MR acquisition and correcting for any arbitrary motion in a compressed sensing reconstruction. In this work, the MC-CS framework is combined with parallel imaging for further acceleration, and is termed Motion Corrected Sparse SENSE (MC-SS). Validation of the MC-SS framework is demonstrated in eight volunteers and three patients for left ventricular functional assessment and results are compared with the breath-hold acquisitions as reference. A non-significant difference (P > 0.05) was observed in the volumetric functional measurements (end diastolic volume, end systolic volume, ejection fraction) and myocardial border sharpness values obtained with the proposed and gold standard methods. The proposed method achieves whole heart multi-slice coverage in 2 min under free breathing acquisition eliminating the time needed between breath-holds for instructions and recovery. This results in two-fold speed up of the total acquisition time in comparison to the breath-hold acquisition.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Terrestrial Method for Airborne Lidar Quality Control and Assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alsubaie, N. M.; Badawy, H. M.; Elhabiby, M. M.; El-Sheimy, N.

    2014-11-01

    Most of LiDAR systems do not provide the end user with the calibration and acquisition procedures that can use to validate the quality of the data acquired by the airborne system. Therefore, this system needs data Quality Control (QC) and assessment procedures to verify the accuracy of the laser footprints and mainly at building edges. This research paper introduces an efficient method for validating the quality of the airborne LiDAR point clouds data using terrestrial laser scanning data integrated with edge detection techniques. This method will be based on detecting the edge of buildings from these two independent systems. Hence, the building edges are extracted from the airborne data using an algorithm that is based on the standard deviation of neighbour point's height from certain threshold with respect to centre points using radius threshold. The algorithm is adaptive to different point densities. The approach is combined with another innovative edge detection technique from terrestrial laser scanning point clouds that is based on the height and point density constraints. Finally, statistical analysis and assessment will be applied to compare these two systems in term of edge detection extraction precision, which will be a priori step for 3D city modelling generated from heterogeneous LiDAR systems

  19. Criterion-Related Validity of Measuring Sight-Word Acquisition with Curriculum-Based Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burns, Matthew K.; Mosack, Jill L.

    2005-01-01

    Curriculum-Based Assessment for Instructional Design (CBA-ID) provides data used to ensure an appropriately challenging learning task. One aspect of appropriate challenge measured by CBA-ID, called the acquisition rate (AR), involves the amount of new information a student could acquire and retain during initial learning. Previous research…

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Surface water quality assessment by environmetric methods.

    PubMed

    Boyacioglu, Hülya; Boyacioglu, Hayal

    2007-08-01

    This environmetric study deals with the interpretation of river water monitoring data from the basin of the Buyuk Menderes River and its tributaries in Turkey. Eleven variables were measured to estimate water quality at 17 sampling sites. Factor analysis was applied to explain the correlations between the observations in terms of underlying factors. Results revealed that, water quality was strongly affected from agricultural uses. Cluster analysis was used to classify stations with similar properties and results distinguished three groups of stations. Water quality at downstream of the river was quite different from the other part. It is recommended to involve the environmetric data treatment as a substantial procedure in assessment of water quality data.

  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. 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

  5. External Quality Assessment Schemes in Latin America.

    PubMed

    Migliarino, Gabriel Alejandro

    2015-11-01

    As professionals of the clinical laboratory we must generate clinically useful results, products and services for the patients' health care. Laboratories must participate in one or more proficiency testing (PT) or external quality assessment (EQA) programs as part of routine quality assurance. Nevertheless participating per se is not enough. There are critical factors to take into consideration when selecting a PT or EQA providers. In most cases the survey's providers offer assigned values obtained from consensus of results provided by the participants for comparison, it is critical to evaluate consistency of the comparison group before interpretation and decision-making. PMID:27683496

  6. External Quality Assessment Schemes in Latin America

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    As professionals of the clinical laboratory we must generate clinically useful results, products and services for the patients’ health care. Laboratories must participate in one or more proficiency testing (PT) or external quality assessment (EQA) programs as part of routine quality assurance. Nevertheless participating per se is not enough. There are critical factors to take into consideration when selecting a PT or EQA providers. In most cases the survey’s providers offer assigned values obtained from consensus of results provided by the participants for comparison, it is critical to evaluate consistency of the comparison group before interpretation and decision-making.

  7. Effects of a Vocabulary Acquisition and Assessment System on Students' Performance in a Blended Learning Class for English Subject

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jia, Jiyou; Chen, Yuhao; Ding, Zhuhui; Ruan, Meixian

    2012-01-01

    Vocabulary acquisition and assessment are regarded as the key basis for the instruction of English as a second language. However, it is time-consuming, fallible and repetitive for the school teachers and parents to assess the proficiency of the students' vocabulary acquisition. We customized the open source course management system Moodle to build…

  8. Visual pattern degradation based image quality assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Jinjian; Li, Leida; Shi, Guangming; Lin, Weisi; Wan, Wenfei

    2015-08-01

    In this paper, we introduce a visual pattern degradation based full-reference (FR) image quality assessment (IQA) method. Researches on visual recognition indicate that the human visual system (HVS) is highly adaptive to extract visual structures for scene understanding. Existing structure degradation based IQA methods mainly take local luminance contrast to represent structure, and measure quality as degradation on luminance contrast. In this paper, we suggest that structure includes not only luminance contrast but also orientation information. Therefore, we analyze the orientation characteristic for structure description. Inspired by the orientation selectivity mechanism in the primary visual cortex, we introduce a novel visual pattern to represent the structure of a local region. Then, the quality is measured as the degradations on both luminance contrast and visual pattern. Experimental results on Five benchmark databases demonstrate that the proposed visual pattern can effectively represent visual structure and the proposed IQA method performs better than the existing IQA metrics.

  9. 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.

  10. Assessing Acquisition of and Preference for Mand Topographies During Functional Communication Training.

    PubMed

    Torelli, Jessica N; Lambert, Joseph M; Da Fonte, M Alexandra; Denham, Katherine N; Jedrzynski, Thomas M; Houchins-Juarez, Nealetta J

    2016-06-01

    We assessed acquisition and preference for various mand topographies in the presence of establishing operations that, historically, evoked the aggression of a child with autism. First, we implemented functional communication training (FCT) and reinforced picture exchange, iPad®, or GoTalk® activations in a multi-element format (noting differences in aggression and/or mand independence across conditions). Then, we conducted a concurrent-operant mand preference assessment. Finally, we presented assessment results to the subject's mother and asked her to indicate her own preference. Parent and subject preferences were aligned and we completed therapy using the iPad®. PMID:27606246

  11. 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

  12. Multibeam Advisory Committee (MAC) - Three Years of Working Towards the Consistent Acquisition of High Quality Multibeam Echosounder Data Across the US Academic Fleet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, P. D.; Beaudoin, J. D.; Ferrini, V. L.

    2014-12-01

    In 2010 the National Science Foundation (NSF) held a meeting to address the variability in quality of multibeam echosounder (MBES) data for ships of the US Academic Fleet. The participants of this meeting identified that there was a strong need to coordinate operational efforts for multibeam data acquisition across all vessels of the fleet. To address this need, the University of New Hampshire's Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping joined with Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in submitting a proposal to NSF to form the Multibeam Advisory Committee (MAC), which was funded in the fall of 2011. The MAC through the last three years has assembled a team of experts who have been called upon to respond to questions about MBES data acquisition and data quality, conduct shipboard assessments of MBES systems, create documentation supporting best practices for multibeam acquisition and data workflow, and to develop tools to support both data acquisition and quality assessment. Tools and techniques developed through the MAC include: SVP Editor - a graphical display and editing program for SVP, CTD, XBT, and XSV data. This program integrates directly with multibeam acquisition software to both receive navigation and depth information, used during the processing of the sound velocity data, and also has the ability to send edited and processed cast directly to the sounder. MBES Accuracy and Swath Performance Tools - tools which can assess both the accuracy of MBES bathymetric data as compared to a reference surface grid and to examine swath width performance of MBES systems as a function of depth. Remote Patch Test Support - the MAC provides patch test site selection, detailed execution plans, and tools to support the transmittal of a downsized raw MBES data files from ships over satellite in order to determine the angular offset values (pitch, heading, and roll) for MBES systems with no MAC personnel on board. Built In Self Test (BIST) Evaluation Tools - tools which can plot and

  13. 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.

  14. 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,…

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Health Hazard Assessment and Toxicity Clearances in the Army Acquisition Process

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Macko, Joseph A., Jr.

    2000-01-01

    The United States Army Materiel Command, Army Acquisition Pollution Prevention Support Office (AAPPSO) is responsible for creating and managing the U.S. Army Wide Acquisition Pollution Prevention Program. They have established Integrated Process Teams (IPTs) within each of the Major Subordinate Commands of the Army Materiel Command. AAPPSO provides centralized integration, coordination, and oversight of the Army Acquisition Pollution Prevention Program (AAPPP) , and the IPTs provide the decentralized execution of the AAPPSO program. AAPPSO issues policy and guidance, provides resources and prioritizes P2 efforts. It is the policy of the (AAPPP) to require United States Army Surgeon General approval of all materials or substances that will be used as an alternative to existing hazardous materials, toxic materials and substances, and ozone-depleting substances. The Army has a formal process established to address this effort. Army Regulation 40-10 requires a Health Hazard Assessment (HHA) during the Acquisition milestones of a new Army system. Army Regulation 40-5 addresses the Toxicity Clearance (TC) process to evaluate new chemicals and materials prior to acceptance as an alternative. U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine is the Army's matrixed medical health organization that performs the HHA and TC mission.

  18. Quality Assessment - Example of Digital Products of Fundamental Geographic Information of China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guoqing, D.; Ping, X.

    2013-05-01

    Digital products of fundamental geographic information are the main components of Digital China Geo-spatial Framework (DCGSF for short). More and more mass data were produced and distributed to various users by different agencies and organizations with continuous implementation of fundamental surveying and mapping activities and various specified projects within national Administration of Surveying, Mapping & Geoinformation. Therefore, what about the description and quality assessment used for these products will directly effect the acquisition, delivery, share, and application of data. A quality model, by which quality is assessed through 3 levels of classification of quality elements, quality subelements, and check items, was built in this paper based on ISO 19113 and ISO 19114 so that to make the quality of digital products of fundamental geographic information to be assessed reasonably, and to make the quality assessment tools to be operable in practice. Quality assessment methods respectively for each of quality elements, quality subelements, and check items are presented. Fundamental data of Digital Line Graphs, Digital Elevation Models, Digital Orthophoto Maps, and Digital Raster Maps at the scale of 1:50,000 in DCGSF were used as examples to determine the quality of 9 quality elements, 24 quality subelements, and 68 check items considering the contents and the requirements of various users for these data, as well as the practical experiences in quality assessment. 300 DLGs selected from national key projects of surveying and mapping engineering were used for testing to validate the operability of the results mentioned in this paper. Random sampling is used, when sampling, for each layer, which is layered based on production unit and level of difficulty. Quality checking and quality assessment, and statistical analysis was done for samples in terms of item product and lot products respectively. The results from this test indicated that quality model and

  19. Institutional Quality Assessment of Higher Education: Dimensions, Criteria and Indicators

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Savickiene, Izabela; Pukelis, Kestutis

    2004-01-01

    The article discusses dimensions and criteria, which are used to assess the quality of higher education in different countries. The paper presents dimensions and criteria that could be appropriate for assessment of the quality of higher education at Lithuanian universities. Quality dimensions, assessment criteria and indicators are defined and…

  20. [Quality assessment of continuing medical education].

    PubMed

    Lipp, M

    1996-04-01

    Medical performance is subject to quality control. Continuous advanced training (CAT) and continuous medical education (CME) are essential, and quality must be checked and assured: structure (contents, organizational form, framework, term, demands on teachers), process (term of the CAT, interaction between teachers and participants) and results (satisfaction and acceptance, increased knowledge, influence on medical treatment, improvement of the success rate of medical treatment. In emergency medicine one must differentiate between the necessity for CAT (e.g., certified proof required for working as an emergency physician) and a desire for CME (the individual task of the physician). The diversity of forms of CAT/CME reflects the different individual requirements. Using the new German guidelines to obtain qualification as an emergency physician, "Fachkundenachweises Rettungsdienst" offers measures for quality assessment and assurance can be obtained. STRUCTURE QUALITY: The recommendations for obtaining the "Fachkundenachweis Rettungsdienst" which have been valid until now date from the year 1983 and were set fourth explained very differently in the individual countries medical boards. This led to problems in the comparability of the essential CAT. The quality of the structure has now been improved by establishing new minimum requirements for clinical activity, specification of particular knowledge, number of supervised calls for the emergency car as well as participation in interdisciplinary CAT courses, dealing with general and special aspects of emergency medicine. The aim of these measures is not the (senseless) regimentation of CAT training measures, but the qualified transfer of specific medical knowledge and treatment guidelines. PROCESS QUALITY: On qualifying, hardly any physician has any didactic and/or rhetorical education; the physician must make a personal effort to obtain a qualification of this kind. Conventional and commonly practised forms of learning

  1. Blind image quality assessment via deep learning.

    PubMed

    Hou, Weilong; Gao, Xinbo; Tao, Dacheng; Li, Xuelong

    2015-06-01

    This paper investigates how to blindly evaluate the visual quality of an image by learning rules from linguistic descriptions. Extensive psychological evidence shows that humans prefer to conduct evaluations qualitatively rather than numerically. The qualitative evaluations are then converted into the numerical scores to fairly benchmark objective image quality assessment (IQA) metrics. Recently, lots of learning-based IQA models are proposed by analyzing the mapping from the images to numerical ratings. However, the learnt mapping can hardly be accurate enough because some information has been lost in such an irreversible conversion from the linguistic descriptions to numerical scores. In this paper, we propose a blind IQA model, which learns qualitative evaluations directly and outputs numerical scores for general utilization and fair comparison. Images are represented by natural scene statistics features. A discriminative deep model is trained to classify the features into five grades, corresponding to five explicit mental concepts, i.e., excellent, good, fair, poor, and bad. A newly designed quality pooling is then applied to convert the qualitative labels into scores. The classification framework is not only much more natural than the regression-based models, but also robust to the small sample size problem. Thorough experiments are conducted on popular databases to verify the model's effectiveness, efficiency, and robustness. PMID:25122842

  2. Blind image quality assessment via deep learning.

    PubMed

    Hou, Weilong; Gao, Xinbo; Tao, Dacheng; Li, Xuelong

    2015-06-01

    This paper investigates how to blindly evaluate the visual quality of an image by learning rules from linguistic descriptions. Extensive psychological evidence shows that humans prefer to conduct evaluations qualitatively rather than numerically. The qualitative evaluations are then converted into the numerical scores to fairly benchmark objective image quality assessment (IQA) metrics. Recently, lots of learning-based IQA models are proposed by analyzing the mapping from the images to numerical ratings. However, the learnt mapping can hardly be accurate enough because some information has been lost in such an irreversible conversion from the linguistic descriptions to numerical scores. In this paper, we propose a blind IQA model, which learns qualitative evaluations directly and outputs numerical scores for general utilization and fair comparison. Images are represented by natural scene statistics features. A discriminative deep model is trained to classify the features into five grades, corresponding to five explicit mental concepts, i.e., excellent, good, fair, poor, and bad. A newly designed quality pooling is then applied to convert the qualitative labels into scores. The classification framework is not only much more natural than the regression-based models, but also robust to the small sample size problem. Thorough experiments are conducted on popular databases to verify the model's effectiveness, efficiency, and robustness.

  3. Monitoring Basic Skills Acquisition through Rapid Learning Assessments: A Case Study from Peru

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Abadzi, Helen; Crouch, Luis; Echegaray, Marcela; Pasco, Consuelo; Sampe, Jessyca

    2005-01-01

    This article presents a reading assessment pilot test that took place in the context of a process of analysis and dialogue aimed at contributing to the analysis of school quality in Peru, as part of a World Bank sector assessment. Peruvian first and second graders at the bottom half of the income distribution were asked to read a brief passage…

  4. A Conceptual Methodology for Assessing Acquisition Requirements Robustness against Technology Uncertainties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chou, Shuo-Ju

    2011-12-01

    In recent years the United States has shifted from a threat-based acquisition policy that developed systems for countering specific threats to a capabilities-based strategy that emphasizes the acquisition of systems that provide critical national defense capabilities. This shift in policy, in theory, allows for the creation of an "optimal force" that is robust against current and future threats regardless of the tactics and scenario involved. In broad terms, robustness can be defined as the insensitivity of an outcome to "noise" or non-controlled variables. Within this context, the outcome is the successful achievement of defense strategies and the noise variables are tactics and scenarios that will be associated with current and future enemies. Unfortunately, a lack of system capability, budget, and schedule robustness against technology performance and development uncertainties has led to major setbacks in recent acquisition programs. This lack of robustness stems from the fact that immature technologies have uncertainties in their expected performance, development cost, and schedule that cause to variations in system effectiveness and program development budget and schedule requirements. Unfortunately, the Technology Readiness Assessment process currently used by acquisition program managers and decision-makers to measure technology uncertainty during critical program decision junctions does not adequately capture the impact of technology performance and development uncertainty on program capability and development metrics. The Technology Readiness Level metric employed by the TRA to describe program technology elements uncertainties can only provide a qualitative and non-descript estimation of the technology uncertainties. In order to assess program robustness, specifically requirements robustness, against technology performance and development uncertainties, a new process is needed. This process should provide acquisition program managers and decision

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Indoor air quality issues related to the acquisition of conservation in commercial buildings

    SciTech Connect

    Baechler, M.C.; Hadley, D.L.; Marseille, T.J.

    1990-09-01

    The quality of indoor air in commercial buildings is dependent on the complex interaction between sources of indoor pollutants, environmental factors within buildings such as temperature and humidity, the removal of air pollutants by air-cleaning devices, and the removal and dilution of pollutants from outside air. To the extent that energy conservation measures (ECMs) may affect a number of these factors, the relationship between ECMs and indoor air quality is difficult to predict. Energy conservation measures may affect pollutant levels in other ways. Conservation measures, such as caulking and insulation, may introduce sources of indoor pollutants. Measures that reduce mechanical ventilation may allow pollutants to build up inside structures. Finally, heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems may provide surface areas for the growth of biogenic agents, or may encourage the dissemination of pollutants throughout a building. Information about indoor air quality and ventilation in both new and existing commercial buildings is summarized in this report. Sick building syndrome and specific pollutants are discussed, as are broader issues such as ventilation, general mitigation techniques, and the interaction between energy conservation activities and indoor air quality. Pacific Northwest Laboratory (PNL) prepared this review to aid the Bonneville Power Administration (Bonneville) in its assessment of potential environmental effects resulting from conservation activities in commercial buildings. 76 refs., 2 figs., 19 tabs.

  8. Quality vs. Quantity: Acquisition of Coping Skills Following Computerized Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Substance Use Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Kiluk, Brian D.; Nich, Charla; Babuscio, Theresa; Carroll, Kathleen M.

    2010-01-01

    Aims To evaluate the changes over time in quality and quantity of coping skills acquired following cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and examine potential mediating effects on substance use outcomes. Design A randomized controlled trial (RCT) evaluating the effectiveness of a computerized version of CBT (CBT4CBT) as an adjunct to standard outpatient treatment over an 8-week period. Setting Data were collected from individuals seeking treatment for substance dependence in an outpatient community setting. Participants Fifty-two substance abusing individuals (50% African American), with an average age of 42 years, and a majority reporting cocaine as their primary drug of choice. Measurements Participants’ responses to behavioral role-plays of situations associated with high risk for drug and alcohol use were audio-taped and independently rated to assess their coping responses. Findings There were statistically significant increases in mean ratings of the quality of participants’ coping responses for those assigned to CBT4CBT compared to treatment as usual, and these differences remained significant three months after treatment completion. Moreover, quality of coping responses mediated the effect of treatment on participants’ duration of abstinence during the follow-up period. Conclusions These findings suggest that assignment to the computerized CBT program improved participants’ coping skills, as measured by independent ratings of a role playing task. It is also the first study to test and support quality of coping skills acquired as a mediator of the effect of CBT for substance use. PMID:20854334

  9. Surgical quality assessment. A simplified approach.

    PubMed

    DeLong, D L

    1991-10-01

    The current approach to QA primarily involves taking action when problems are discovered and designing a documentation system that records the deliverance of quality care. Involving the entire staff helps eliminate problems before they occur. By keeping abreast of current problems and soliciting input from staff members, the QA at our hospital has improved dramatically. The cross-referencing of JCAHO and AORN standards on the assessment form and the single-sheet reporting form expedite the evaluation process and simplify record keeping. The bulletin board increases staff members' understanding of QA and boosts morale and participation. A sound and effective QA program does not require reorganizing an entire department, nor should it invoke negative connotations. Developing an effective QA program merely requires rethinking current processes. The program must meet the department's specific needs, and although many departments concentrate on documentation, auditing charts does not give a complete picture of the quality of care delivered. The QA committee must employ a variety of data collection methods on multiple indicators to ensure an accurate representation of the care delivered, and they must not overlook any issues that directly affect patient outcomes. PMID:1952907

  10. 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

    2016-06-20

    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.

  11. The Development of Quality Assurance and Visualization for Safety Assessment System

    SciTech Connect

    Lak Kim, C.; Yo Yun, B.; Lee, K.J.; Moon Park, S.; Wan Park, J.; Ho Choi, S.

    2007-07-01

    Site Information and Total Environmental data management System (SITES) is an integrated program for overall data acquisition, environmental monitoring, and safety analysis. SITES is composed of three main modules such as site database system, safety assessment system and environmental monitoring system named SECURE, SAINT and SUDAL, respectively. SAINT abbreviated for Safety Assessment Integration system is the integrated interface for the radioactive waste safety assessment codes in the SITES. SAINT is developed for the application and analysis of data from SECURE and for the systematic management of the resulted data from the safety assessment. The Quality Assurance module in SAINT is implemented to enhance the reliability of safety assessment results. The visualization in SAINT is purposed of reliability, comprehension of safety assessment results and user's convenience which can easily recognize the assessment results using the geographic information. (authors)

  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. 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)...

  14. 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

  15. Primary calibrations of radionuclide solutions and sources for the EML quality assessment program

    SciTech Connect

    Fisenne, I.M.

    1993-12-31

    The quality assurance procedures established for the operation of the U.S. Department of Energy`s Environmental Measurements Laboratory (DOE-EML`s) Quality Assessment Program (QAP) are essentially the same as those that are in effect for any EML program involving radiometric measurements. All these programs have at their core the use of radionuclide standards for their instrument calibration. This paper focuses on EML`s approach to the acquisition, calibration and application of a wide range of radionuclide sources that are required to meet its programmatic needs.

  16. Teaching Quality Improvement in Graduate Medical Education: An Experiential and Team-Based Approach to the Acquisition of Quality Improvement Competencies

    PubMed Central

    Schultz, Karen; Scott, Abigail; Pollock, Emily; Kotecha, Jyoti; Martin, Danyal

    2015-01-01

    Problem An emerging priority in medical education is the need to facilitate learners’ acquisition of quality improvement (QI) competencies. Accreditation bodies in both Canada and the United States have included QI and patient safety in their core competencies. Approach In 2010, the Department of Family Medicine at Queen’s University designed a graduate medical education curriculum to engage residents in a clinical QI program that would meet accreditation requirements. Monthly didactic sessions were combined with an experiential, team-based QI project that aligned with existing clinic priorities. The curriculum spans the first year of residency and is divided into three stages: (1) Engaging, (2) Understanding, and (3) Improving and translating. In Stage 1, teams of residents select a clinical QI topic, engage stakeholders, and collect baseline data related to their topic. In Stage 2, they focus on understanding their problem, interpreting their results, and applying QI tools. In Stage 3, they develop change ideas, translate their knowledge, and prepare to hand over their project. Outcomes This QI curriculum aided residents in effectively acquiring QI competencies and allowed them to experience real-world challenges, such as securing project buy-in, negotiating with peers, and developing solutions to problems. Unlike in many QI programs, residents learned how to improve quality rather than about QI; thus, they formed the necessary foundation to carry out QI work in the future. Next Steps The curriculum will be evaluated using a knowledge assessment and satisfaction tool and postproject resident interviews. Facilitators will focus more on improving faculty develop ment in QI. PMID:26200583

  17. 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.

  18. Assessing Neurocognition via Gamified Experimental Logic: A Novel Approach to Simultaneous Acquisition of Multiple ERPs

    PubMed Central

    Nair, Ajay K.; Sasidharan, Arun; John, John P.; Mehrotra, Seema; Kutty, Bindu M.

    2016-01-01

    The present study describes the development of a neurocognitive paradigm: “Assessing Neurocognition via Gamified Experimental Logic” (ANGEL), for performing the parametric evaluation of multiple neurocognitive functions simultaneously. ANGEL employs an audiovisual sensory motor design for the acquisition of multiple event related potentials (ERPs)—the C1, P50, MMN, N1, N170, P2, N2pc, LRP, P300, and ERN. The ANGEL paradigm allows assessment of 10 neurocognitive variables over the course of three “game” levels of increasing complexity ranging from simple passive observation to complex discrimination and response in the presence of multiple distractors. The paradigm allows assessment of several levels of rapid decision making: speeded up response vs. response-inhibition; responses to easy vs. difficult tasks; responses based on gestalt perception of clear vs. ambiguous stimuli; and finally, responses with set shifting during challenging tasks. The paradigm has been tested using 18 healthy participants from both sexes and the possibilities of varied data analyses have been presented in this paper. The ANGEL approach provides an ecologically valid assessment (as compared to existing tools) that quickly yields a very rich dataset and helps to assess multiple ERPs that can be studied extensively to assess cognitive functions in health and disease conditions. PMID:26858586

  19. 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... Nonwaived Testing Analytic Systems § 493.1289 Standard: Analytic systems quality assessment. (a) The..., assess, and when indicated, correct problems identified in the analytic systems specified in §§...

  20. Assessment of sleep quality in powernapping.

    PubMed

    Takhtsabzy, Bashaer K; Thomsen, Carsten E

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to assess the Sleep Quality (SQ) in powernapping. The contributed factors for SQ assessment are time of Sleep Onset (SO), Sleep Length (SL), Sleep Depth (SD), and detection of sleep events (K-complex (KC) and Sleep Spindle (SS)). Data from daytime nap for 10 subjects, 2 days each, including EEG and ECG were recorded. The SD and sleep events were analyzed by applying spectral analysis. The SO time was detected by a combination of signal spectral analysis, Slow Rolling Eye Movement (SREM) detection, Heart Rate Variability (HRV) analysis and EEG segmentation using both Autocorrelation Function (ACF), and Crosscorrelation Function (CCF) methods. The EEG derivation FP1-FP2 filtered in a narrow band and used as an alternative to EOG for SREM detection. The ACF and CCF segmentation methods were also applied for detection of sleep events. The ACF method detects segment boundaries based on single channel analysis, while the CCF includes spatial variation from multiple EEG derivation. The results indicate that SREM detection using EEG is possible and can be used as input together with power spectral analysis to enhance SO detection. Both segmentation methods could detect SO as a segment boundary. Additionally they were able to contribute to detection of KC and SS events. The CCF method was more sensitive to spatial EEG changes and the exact segment boundaries varied slightly between the two methods. The HRV analysis revealed, that low and very low frequency variations in the heart rate was highly correlated with the EEG changes during both SO and variations in SD. Analyzing the relationship between the sleep events and SD showed a negative correlation between the Delta and Sigma activity. Analyzing the subjective measurement (SM) showed that there were a positive correlation between the SL and rated SQ. This preliminary study showed that the factors contributing to the overall SQ during powernapping can be assessed markedly better using a fusion

  1. 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.

  2. Microbial quality assessment of household greywater.

    PubMed

    O'Toole, Joanne; Sinclair, Martha; Malawaraarachchi, Manori; Hamilton, Andrew; Barker, S Fiona; Leder, Karin

    2012-09-01

    A monitoring program was undertaken to assess the microbial quality of greywater collected from 93 typical households in Melbourne, Australia. A total of 185 samples, comprising 75 washing machine wash, 74 washing machine rinse and 36 bathroom samples were analysed for the faecal indicator Escherichia coli. Of these, 104 were also analysed for genetic markers of pathogenic E coli and 111 for norovirus (genogroups GI and GII), enterovirus and rotavirus using RT-PCR. Enteric viruses were detected in 20 out of the 111 (18%) samples comprising 16 washing machine wash water and 4 bathroom samples. Eight (7%) samples were positive for enterovirus, twelve (11%) for norovirus genogroup GI, one (1%) for norovirus genogroup GII and another (1%) for rotavirus. Two washing machine samples contained more than one virus. Typical pathogenic E. coli were detected in 3 out of 104 (3%) samples and atypical enteropathogenic E. coli in 11 (11%) of samples. Levels of indicator E. coli were highly variable and the presence of E. coli was not associated with the presence of human enteric viruses in greywater. There was also little correlation between reported gastrointestinal illness in households and detection of pathogens in greywater.

  3. Self-Assessment of Japanese as a Second Language: The Role of Experiences in the Naturalistic Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Suzuki, Yuichi

    2015-01-01

    Self-assessment has been used to assess second language proficiency; however, as sources of measurement errors vary, they may threaten the validity and reliability of the tools. The present paper investigated the role of experiences in using Japanese as a second language in the naturalistic acquisition context on the accuracy of the…

  4. Surface-water-quality assessment of the Yakima River basin, Washington; project description

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McKenzie, S.W.; Rinella, J.F.

    1987-01-01

    In April 1986, the U.S. Geological Survey began the National Water Quality Assessment program to: (1) provide a nationally consistent description of the current status of water quality, (2) define water quality trends that have occurred over recent decades, and (3) relate past and present water quality conditions to relevant natural features, the history of land and water use, and land management and waste management practices. At present (1987), The National Water Quality Assessment program is in a pilot studies phase, in which assessment concepts and approaches are being tested and modified to prepare for possible full implementation of the program. Seven pilot projects (four surface water projects and three groundwater projects) have been started. The Yakima River basin in Washington is one of the pilot surface water project areas. The Yakima River basin drains in area of 6,155 sq mi and contains about 1,900 river mi of perennial streams. Major land use activities include growing and harvesting timber, dryland pasture grazing, intense farming and irrigated agriculture, and urbanization. Water quality issues that result from these land uses include potentially large concentrations of suspended sediment, bacteria, nutrients, pesticides, and trace elements that may affect water used for human consumption, fish propagation and passage, contact recreation, livestock watering, and irrigation. Data will be collected in a nine year cycle. The first three years of the cycle will be a period of concentrated data acquisition and interpretation. For the next six years, sample collection will be done at a much lower level of intensity to document the occurrence of any gross changes in water quality. This nine year cycle would then be repeated. Three types of sampling activities will be used for data acquisition: fixed location station sampling, synoptic sampling, and intensive reach studies. (Lantz-PTT)

  5. 77 FR 67366 - Federal Acquisition Regulation; Information Collection; Quality Assurance Requirements

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-11-09

    ... Regulation; Information Collection; Quality Assurance Requirements AGENCY: Department of Defense (DOD... information collection requirement concerning quality assurance requirements. Public comments are particularly... and methodology; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be...

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. Capturing the Magic: Assessing the Quality of Youth Mentoring Relationships

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Deutsch, Nancy L.; Spencer, Renee

    2009-01-01

    Mentoring programs pose some special challenges for quality assessment because they operate at two levels: that of the dyadic relationship and that of the program. Fully assessing the quality of youth mentoring relationships requires understanding the characteristics and processes of individual relationships, which are the point of service for…

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. Assessing the Quality of a Student-Generated Question Repository

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bates, Simon P.; Galloway, Ross K.; Riise, Jonathan; Homer, Danny

    2014-01-01

    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…

  15. Assessing quality of care for African Americans with hypertension.

    PubMed

    Peters, Rosalind M; Benkert, Ramona; Dinardo, Ellen; Templin, Thomas

    2007-01-01

    African Americans bear a disproportionate burden of hypertension. A causal-modeling design, using Donabedian's Quality Framework, tested hypothesized relationships among structure, process, and outcome variables to assess quality of care provided to this population. Structural assessment revealed that administrative and staff organization affected patients' trust in their provider and satisfaction with their care. Interpersonal process factors of racism, cultural mistrust, and trust in providers had a significant effect on satisfaction, and perceived racism had a negative effect on blood pressure (BP). Poorer quality in technical processes of care was associated with higher BP. Findings support the utility of Donabedian's framework for assessing quality of care in a disease-specific population.

  16. Repeated acquisition and performance chamber for mice: a paradigm for assessment of spatial learning and memory.

    PubMed

    Brooks, A I; Cory-Slechta, D A; Murg, S L; Federoff, H J

    2000-11-01

    Molecular genetic manipulation of the mouse offers the possibility of elucidating the function of individual gene products in neural systems underlying learning and memory. Many extant learning paradigms for mice rely on negative reinforcement, involve simple problems that are relatively rapidly acquired and thus preclude time-course assessment, and may impose the need to undertake additional experiments to determine the extent to which noncognitive behaviors influence the measures of learning. To overcome such limitations, a multiple schedule of repeated acquisition and performance was behaviorally engineered to assess learning vs rote performance within-behavioral test session and within-subject utilizing an apparatus modified from the rat (the repeated acquisition and performance chamber; RAPC). The multiple schedule required mice to learn a new sequence of door openings leading to saccharin availability in the learning component during each session, while the sequence of door openings for the performance component remained constant across sessions. The learning and performance components alternated over the course of each test session, with different auditory stimuli signaling which component was currently in effect. To validate this paradigm, learning vs performance was evaluated in two inbred strains of mice: C57BL/6J and 129/SvJ. The hippocampal dependence of this measure was examined in lesioned C57BL/6J mice. Both strains exhibited longer latencies and higher errors in the learning compared to the performance component and evidenced declines in both measures across the trials of each session, consistent with an acquisition phenomenon. These same measures showed little or no evidence of change in the performance component. Whereas three trials per session were utilized with C57BL/65 mice in each component, behavior of 129/SvJ mice could only be sustained for two trials per component per session, demonstrating differences in testing capabilities between

  17. Repeated acquisition and performance chamber for mice: a paradigm for assessment of spatial learning and memory.

    PubMed

    Brooks, A I; Cory-Slechta, D A; Murg, S L; Federoff, H J

    2000-11-01

    Molecular genetic manipulation of the mouse offers the possibility of elucidating the function of individual gene products in neural systems underlying learning and memory. Many extant learning paradigms for mice rely on negative reinforcement, involve simple problems that are relatively rapidly acquired and thus preclude time-course assessment, and may impose the need to undertake additional experiments to determine the extent to which noncognitive behaviors influence the measures of learning. To overcome such limitations, a multiple schedule of repeated acquisition and performance was behaviorally engineered to assess learning vs rote performance within-behavioral test session and within-subject utilizing an apparatus modified from the rat (the repeated acquisition and performance chamber; RAPC). The multiple schedule required mice to learn a new sequence of door openings leading to saccharin availability in the learning component during each session, while the sequence of door openings for the performance component remained constant across sessions. The learning and performance components alternated over the course of each test session, with different auditory stimuli signaling which component was currently in effect. To validate this paradigm, learning vs performance was evaluated in two inbred strains of mice: C57BL/6J and 129/SvJ. The hippocampal dependence of this measure was examined in lesioned C57BL/6J mice. Both strains exhibited longer latencies and higher errors in the learning compared to the performance component and evidenced declines in both measures across the trials of each session, consistent with an acquisition phenomenon. These same measures showed little or no evidence of change in the performance component. Whereas three trials per session were utilized with C57BL/65 mice in each component, behavior of 129/SvJ mice could only be sustained for two trials per component per session, demonstrating differences in testing capabilities between

  18. Quality Assurance--Best Practices for Assessing Online Programs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wang, Qi

    2006-01-01

    Educators have long sought to define quality in education. With the proliferation of distance education and online learning powered by the Internet, the tasks required to assess the quality of online programs become even more challenging. To assist educators and institutions in search of quality assurance methods to continuously improve their…

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. Assessment of the Quality Management Models in Higher Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Basar, Gulsun; Altinay, Zehra; Dagli, Gokmen; Altinay, Fahriye

    2016-01-01

    This study involves the assessment of the quality management models in Higher Education by explaining the importance of quality in higher education and by examining the higher education quality assurance system practices in other countries. The qualitative study was carried out with the members of the Higher Education Planning, Evaluation,…

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Image quality assessment for CT used on small animals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cisneros, Isabela Paredes; Agulles-Pedrós, Luis

    2016-07-01

    Image acquisition on a CT scanner is nowadays necessary in almost any kind of medical study. Its purpose, to produce anatomical images with the best achievable quality, implies the highest diagnostic radiation exposure to patients. Image quality can be measured quantitatively based on parameters such as noise, uniformity and resolution. This measure allows the determination of optimal parameters of operation for the scanner in order to get the best diagnostic image. A human Phillips CT scanner is the first one minded for veterinary-use exclusively in Colombia. The aim of this study was to measure the CT image quality parameters using an acrylic phantom and then, using the computational tool MatLab, determine these parameters as a function of current value and window of visualization, in order to reduce dose delivery by keeping the appropriate image quality.

  5. 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.

  6. 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…

  7. 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

  8. Evolving from Quantity to Quality: A New Yardstick for Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fulcher, Keston H.; Orem, Chris D.

    2010-01-01

    Higher education experts tout learning outcomes assessment as a vehicle for program improvement. To this end the authors share a rubric designed explicitly to evaluate the quality of assessment and how it leads to program improvement. The rubric contains six general assessment areas, which are further broken down into 14 elements. Embedded within…

  9. 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…

  10. 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

  11. The operational use of Landsat for lake quality assessment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Scarpace, F. L.; Fisher, L. T.

    1980-01-01

    A cooperative program between the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the University of Wisconsin for the assessment, with Landsat data, of the trophic status of all the significant inland lakes in Wisconsin is described. The analysis technique is a semiautomatic data acquisition and handling system which, in conjunction with an analytical categorization scheme, can be used for classifying inland lakes into one of seven categories of eutrophication and one of four problem types.

  12. 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.

  13. 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:…

  14. Exploring the Notion of Quality in Quality Higher Education Assessment in a Collaborative Future

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Maguire, Kate; Gibbs, Paul

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of this article is to contribute to the debate on the notion of quality in higher education with particular focus on "objectifying through articulation" the assessment of quality by professional experts. The article gives an overview of the differentiations of quality as used in higher education. It explores a substantial piece of…

  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. 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;…

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  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. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. 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)…

  6. 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…

  7. Air quality risk assessment and management.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yue; Craig, Lorraine; Krewski, Daniel

    2008-01-01

    This article provides (1) a synthesis of the literature on the linkages between air pollution and human health, (2) an overview of quality management approaches in Canada, the United States, and the European Union (EU), and (3) future directions for air quality research. Numerous studies examining short-term effects of air pollution show significant associations between ambient levels of particulate matter (PM) and other air pollutants and increases in premature mortality and hospitalizations for cardiovascular and respiratory illnesses. Several well-designed epidemiological studies confirmed the adverse long-term effects of PM on both mortality and morbidity. Epidemiological studies also document significant associations between ozone (O3), sulfur (SO2), and nitrogen oxides (NO(x)) and adverse health outcomes; however, the effects of gaseous pollutants are less well documented. Subpopulations that are more susceptible to air pollution include children, the elderly, those with cardiorespiratory disease, and socioeconomically deprived individuals. Canada-wide standards for ambient air concentrations of PM2.5 and O3 were set in 2000, providing air quality targets to be achieved by 2010. In the United States, the Clean Air Act provides the framework for the establishment and review of National Ambient Air Quality Standards for criteria air pollutants and the establishment of emissions standards for hazardous air pollutants. The 1996 European Union's enactment of the Framework Directive for Air Quality established the process for setting Europe-wide limit values for a series of pollutants. The Clean Air for Europe program was established by the European Union to review existing limit values, emission ceilings, and abatement protocols, as set out in the current legislation. These initiatives serve as the legislative framework for air quality management in North America and Europe.

  8. Maximising Confidence in Assessment Decision-Making: A Springboard to Quality in Assessment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clayton, Berwyn; Booth, Robin; Roy, Sue

    The introduction of training packages has focused attention on the quality of assessment in the Australian vocational education and training (VET) sector on the quality of assessment. For the process of mutual recognition under the Australian Recognition Framework (ARF) to work effectively, there needs to be confidence in assessment decisions made…

  9. 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.

  10. Cognitive assessment of refugee children: Effects of trauma and new language acquisition.

    PubMed

    Kaplan, Ida; Stolk, Yvonne; Valibhoy, Madeleine; Tucker, Alan; Baker, Judy

    2016-02-01

    Each year, approximately 60,000 children of refugee background are resettled in Western countries. This paper reviews the effects of the refugee experience on cognitive functioning. The distinctive influences for these children include exposure to traumatic events and the need to acquire a new language, factors that need to be considered to avoid overdiagnosis of learning disorders and inappropriate educational placements. Prearrival trauma, psychological sequelae of traumatic events, developmental impact of trauma, and the quality of family functioning have been found to influence cognitive functioning, learning, and academic performance. In addition, the refugee child may be semiproficient in several languages, but proficient in none, whilst also trying to learn a new language. The influence that the child's limited English proficiency, literacy, and school experience may have on academic and test performance is demonstrated by drawing on the research on refugees' English language acquisition, as well as the more extensive literature on bilingual English language learners. Implications for interventions are drawn at the level of government policy, schools, and the individual. The paper concludes with the observation that there is a major need for longitudinal research on refugee children's learning and academic performance and on interventions that will close the academic gap, thereby enabling refugee children to reach their educational potential.

  11. Cognitive assessment of refugee children: Effects of trauma and new language acquisition.

    PubMed

    Kaplan, Ida; Stolk, Yvonne; Valibhoy, Madeleine; Tucker, Alan; Baker, Judy

    2016-02-01

    Each year, approximately 60,000 children of refugee background are resettled in Western countries. This paper reviews the effects of the refugee experience on cognitive functioning. The distinctive influences for these children include exposure to traumatic events and the need to acquire a new language, factors that need to be considered to avoid overdiagnosis of learning disorders and inappropriate educational placements. Prearrival trauma, psychological sequelae of traumatic events, developmental impact of trauma, and the quality of family functioning have been found to influence cognitive functioning, learning, and academic performance. In addition, the refugee child may be semiproficient in several languages, but proficient in none, whilst also trying to learn a new language. The influence that the child's limited English proficiency, literacy, and school experience may have on academic and test performance is demonstrated by drawing on the research on refugees' English language acquisition, as well as the more extensive literature on bilingual English language learners. Implications for interventions are drawn at the level of government policy, schools, and the individual. The paper concludes with the observation that there is a major need for longitudinal research on refugee children's learning and academic performance and on interventions that will close the academic gap, thereby enabling refugee children to reach their educational potential. PMID:26563891

  12. Monitoring system for the quality assessment in additive manufacturing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carl, Volker

    2015-03-01

    Additive Manufacturing (AM) refers to a process by which a set of digital data -representing a certain complex 3dim design - is used to grow the respective 3dim real structure equal to the corresponding design. For the powder-based EOS manufacturing process a variety of plastic and metal materials can be used. Thereby, AM is in many aspects a very powerful tool as it can help to overcome particular limitations in conventional manufacturing. AM enables more freedom of design, complex, hollow and/or lightweight structures as well as product individualisation and functional integration. As such it is a promising approach with respect to the future design and manufacturing of complex 3dim structures. On the other hand, it certainly calls for new methods and standards in view of quality assessment. In particular, when utilizing AM for the design of complex parts used in aviation and aerospace technologies, appropriate monitoring systems are mandatory. In this respect, recently, sustainable progress has been accomplished by joining the common efforts and concerns of a manufacturer Additive Manufacturing systems and respective materials (EOS), along with those of an operator of such systems (MTU Aero Engines) and experienced application engineers (Carl Metrology), using decent know how in the field of optical and infrared methods regarding non-destructive-examination (NDE). The newly developed technology is best described by a high-resolution layer by layer inspection technique, which allows for a 3D tomography-analysis of the complex part at any time during the manufacturing process. Thereby, inspection costs are kept rather low by using smart image-processing methods as well as CMOS sensors instead of infrared detectors. Moreover, results from conventional physical metallurgy may easily be correlated with the predictive results of the monitoring system which not only allows for improvements of the AM monitoring system, but finally leads to an optimisation of the quality

  13. Monitoring system for the quality assessment in additive manufacturing

    SciTech Connect

    Carl, Volker

    2015-03-31

    Additive Manufacturing (AM) refers to a process by which a set of digital data -representing a certain complex 3dim design - is used to grow the respective 3dim real structure equal to the corresponding design. For the powder-based EOS manufacturing process a variety of plastic and metal materials can be used. Thereby, AM is in many aspects a very powerful tool as it can help to overcome particular limitations in conventional manufacturing. AM enables more freedom of design, complex, hollow and/or lightweight structures as well as product individualisation and functional integration. As such it is a promising approach with respect to the future design and manufacturing of complex 3dim structures. On the other hand, it certainly calls for new methods and standards in view of quality assessment. In particular, when utilizing AM for the design of complex parts used in aviation and aerospace technologies, appropriate monitoring systems are mandatory. In this respect, recently, sustainable progress has been accomplished by joining the common efforts and concerns of a manufacturer Additive Manufacturing systems and respective materials (EOS), along with those of an operator of such systems (MTU Aero Engines) and experienced application engineers (Carl Metrology), using decent know how in the field of optical and infrared methods regarding non-destructive-examination (NDE). The newly developed technology is best described by a high-resolution layer by layer inspection technique, which allows for a 3D tomography-analysis of the complex part at any time during the manufacturing process. Thereby, inspection costs are kept rather low by using smart image-processing methods as well as CMOS sensors instead of infrared detectors. Moreover, results from conventional physical metallurgy may easily be correlated with the predictive results of the monitoring system which not only allows for improvements of the AM monitoring system, but finally leads to an optimisation of the quality

  14. Quality assessment of medical research and education.

    PubMed

    Eriksson, H

    1992-01-01

    Different aspects of the process of evaluating research and education are discussed, using the discipline of medicine as a model. The focus is primarily on potential problems in the design of an evaluation. The most important aspects of an assessment are: to create confidence in the evaluation among scientists and/or teachers who are being assessed before beginning; to find experts for whom the scientists and/or teachers have professional respect; to choose assessment methods in relation to the focus, level, and objectives of the evaluation; and to make the report of the evaluation's findings short and explicit.

  15. 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...

  16. Time-averaging water quality assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Reddy, L.S.; Ormsbee, L.E.; Wood, D.J.

    1995-07-01

    While reauthorization of the Safe Drinking Water Act is pending, many water utilities are preparing to monitor and regulate levels of distribution system constituents that affect water quality. Most frequently, utilities are concerned about average concentrations rather than about tracing a particular constituent`s path. Mathematical and computer models, which provide a quick estimate of average concentrations, could play an important role in this effort. Most water quality models deal primarily with isolated events, such as tracing a particular constituent through a distribution system. This article proposes a simple, time-averaging model that obtains average, maximum, and minimum constituent concentrations and ages throughout the network. It also computes percentage flow contribution and percentage constituent concentration. The model is illustrated using two water distribution systems, and results are compared with those obtained using a dynamic water quality model. Both models predict average water quality parameters with no significant deviations; the time-averaging approach is a simple and efficient alternative to the dynamic model.

  17. 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...

  18. 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.

  19. A Critical Analysis of Assessment Quality in Genomics and Bioinformatics Education Research

    PubMed Central

    Campbell, Chad E.; Nehm, Ross H.

    2013-01-01

    The growing importance of genomics and bioinformatics methods and paradigms in biology has been accompanied by an explosion of new curricula and pedagogies. An important question to ask about these educational innovations is whether they are having a meaningful impact on students’ knowledge, attitudes, or skills. Although assessments are necessary tools for answering this question, their outputs are dependent on their quality. Our study 1) reviews the central importance of reliability and construct validity evidence in the development and evaluation of science assessments and 2) examines the extent to which published assessments in genomics and bioinformatics education (GBE) have been developed using such evidence. We identified 95 GBE articles (out of 226) that contained claims of knowledge increases, affective changes, or skill acquisition. We found that 1) the purpose of most of these studies was to assess summative learning gains associated with curricular change at the undergraduate level, and 2) a minority (<10%) of studies provided any reliability or validity evidence, and only one study out of the 95 sampled mentioned both validity and reliability. Our findings raise concerns about the quality of evidence derived from these instruments. We end with recommendations for improving assessment quality in GBE. PMID:24006400

  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.

  1. [Microbial indicators and fresh water quality assessment].

    PubMed

    Briancesco, Rossella

    2005-01-01

    Traditionally, the microbiological quality of waters has been measured by the analysis of indicator microorganisms. The article reviews the sanitary significance of traditional indicators of faecal contamination (total coliforms, faecal coliforms and faecal streptococci) and points out their limits. For some characteristics Escherichia coli may be considered a more useful indicator then faecal coliforms and recently it has been included in all recent laws regarding fresh, marine and drinking water. A clearer taxonomic definition of faecal streptococci evidenced the difficulty into defining a specific standard methodology of enumeration and suggested the more suitable role of enterococci as indicator microorganisms. Several current laws require the detection of enterococci. The resistance of Clostridium perfringens spores may mean that they would serve as a useful indicator of the sanitary quality of sea sediments.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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 ...

  5. 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...

  6. 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)

  7. 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

  8. 42 CFR 460.140 - Additional quality assessment activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 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...

  9. 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...

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. Assessing Truck Ride Quality for Design

    SciTech Connect

    Field, R.V., Jr.

    1998-09-30

    This report summarizes a three-year project to characterize and improve the ride quality of the Department of Energy (DOE) tractor/trailer. A high-fidelity computer model was used to simulate the vibrational response in the passenger compartment of the truck due to a common roadway environment. It is the intensity of this response that is indicative of the ride quality of the vehicle. The computational model was then validated with experimental tests using a novel technique employing both lab-based modal tests and modal data derived using the Natural Excitation Technique (NExT). The validated model proved invaluable as a design tool. Utilizing the model in a predictive manner, modifications to improve ride quality were made to both the existing vehicle and the next-generation design concept. As a result, the next-generation fleet of tractors (procurement process begins in FY98) will incorporate elements of a successful model-based design for improved truck ride.

  13. 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.

  14. Assessment of Language Learners' Strategies: Do They Prefer Learning or Acquisition Strategies?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Altmisdort, Gonca

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study is to evaluate learning and acquisition strategies used by second/foreign language learners. This study is a comparative investigation of learning and acquisition strategies of successful and less successful language learners. The main question of the study is to investigate if there is a relationship between the learners'…

  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. Micro-MRI-based image acquisition and processing system for assessing the response to therapeutic intervention

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vasilić, B.; Ladinsky, G. A.; Saha, P. K.; Wehrli, F. W.

    2006-03-01

    Osteoporosis is the cause of over 1.5 million bone fractures annually. Most of these fractures occur in sites rich in trabecular bone, a complex network of bony struts and plates found throughout the skeleton. The three-dimensional structure of the trabecular bone network significantly determines mechanical strength and thus fracture resistance. Here we present a data acquisition and processing system that allows efficient noninvasive assessment of trabecular bone structure through a "virtual bone biopsy". High-resolution MR images are acquired from which the trabecular bone network is extracted by estimating the partial bone occupancy of each voxel. A heuristic voxel subdivision increases the effective resolution of the bone volume fraction map and serves a basis for subsequent analysis of topological and orientational parameters. Semi-automated registration and segmentation ensure selection of the same anatomical location in subjects imaged at different time points during treatment. It is shown with excerpts from an ongoing clinical study of early post-menopausal women, that significant reduction in network connectivity occurs in the control group while the structural integrity is maintained in the hormone replacement group. The system described should be suited for large-scale studies designed to evaluate the efficacy of therapeutic intervention in subjects with metabolic bone disease.

  17. 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...

  18. Assessing Educational Processes Using Total-Quality-Management Measurement Tools.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Macchia, Peter, Jr.

    1993-01-01

    Discussion of the use of Total Quality Management (TQM) assessment tools in educational settings highlights and gives examples of fishbone diagrams, or cause and effect charts; Pareto diagrams; control charts; histograms and check sheets; scatter diagrams; and flowcharts. Variation and quality are discussed in terms of continuous process…

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. Measuring the Impact of Student Assessment on Institutional Quality.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Losak, John

    Assessment programs, which have recently been implemented in colleges around the country, have indirectly affected the quality of education in ways that are both researchable and measurable. Admissions and placement testing affect educational quality by separating high and low achievers, and making it possible for high-level texts to be used and…

  2. 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)

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. 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.

  6. Rapid Assessment of Tablet Film Coating Quality by Multispectral UV Imaging.

    PubMed

    Klukkert, Marten; Wu, Jian X; Rantanen, Jukka; Rehder, Soenke; Carstensen, Jens M; Rades, Thomas; Leopold, Claudia S

    2016-08-01

    Chemical imaging techniques are beneficial for control of tablet coating layer quality as they provide spectral and spatial information and allow characterization of various types of coating defects. The purpose of this study was to assess the applicability of multispectral UV imaging for assessment of the coating layer quality of tablets. UV images were used to detect, characterize, and localize coating layer defects such as chipped parts, inhomogeneities, and cracks, as well as to evaluate the coating surface texture. Acetylsalicylic acid tablets were prepared on a rotary tablet press and coated with a polyvinyl alcohol-polyethylene glycol graft copolymer using a pan coater. It was demonstrated that the coating intactness can be assessed accurately and fast by UV imaging. The different types of coating defects could be differentiated and localized based on multivariate image analysis and Soft Independent Modeling by Class Analogy applied to the UV images. Tablets with inhomogeneous texture of the coating could be identified and distinguished from those with a homogeneous surface texture. Consequently, UV imaging was shown to be well-suited for monitoring of the tablet coating layer quality. UV imaging is a promising technique for fast quality control of the tablet coating because of the high data acquisition speed and its nondestructive analytical nature.

  7. Acquisition of Seco Creek GIS database and it's use in water quality models

    SciTech Connect

    Steers, C.A.; Steiner, M.; Taylor, B. )

    1993-02-01

    The Seco Creek Water Quality Demonstration Project covers 1,700,670 acres in parts of Bandera, Frio, Medina and Uvalde Counties in south central Texas. The Seco Creek Database was constructed as part of the Soil Conservation Service's National Water Quality Program to develop hydrologic tools that measure the effects of agricultural nonpoint source pollution and to demonstrate the usefulness of GIS in natural resources management. This project will be part of a GRASS-Water Quality Model Interface which will incorporate watershed models with water quality planning and implementation by January of 1994. The Seco Creek Demonstration Area is the sole water supply for 1.3 million in the San Antonio Area. The database constructed for the project will help maintain the excellent water quality that flows directly into the Edwards Aquifer. The database consists of several vector and raster layers including: SSURGO quality soils, elevation, roads, streams and detailed data on field ownership, cropping and grazing practices and other landuses. This paper will consist of the development and planned uses of the Seco Creek Database.

  8. Image quality and dose assessment in digital breast tomosynthesis: A Monte Carlo study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baptista, M.; Di Maria, S.; Oliveira, N.; Matela, N.; Janeiro, L.; Almeida, P.; Vaz, P.

    2014-11-01

    Mammography is considered a standard technique for the early detection of breast cancer. However, its sensitivity is limited essentially due to the issue of the overlapping breast tissue. This limitation can be partially overcome, with a relatively new technique, called digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT). For this technique, optimization of acquisition parameters which maximize image quality, whilst complying with the ALARA principle, continues to be an area of considerable research. The aim of this work was to study the best quantum energies that optimize the image quality with the lowest achievable dose in DBT and compare these results with the digital mammography (DM) ones. Monte Carlo simulations were performed using the state-of-the-art computer program MCNPX 2.7.0 in order to generate several 2D cranio-caudal (CC) projections obtained during an acquisition of a standard DBT examination. Moreover, glandular absorbed doses and photon flux calculations, for each projection image, were performed. A homogeneous breast computational phantom with 50%/50% glandular/adipose tissue composition was used and two compressed breast thicknesses were evaluated: 4 cm and 8 cm. The simulated projection images were afterwards reconstructed with an algebraic reconstruction tool and the signal difference to noise ratio (SDNR) was calculated in order to evaluate the image quality in DBT and DM. Finally, a thorough comparison between the results obtained in terms of SDNR and dose assessment in DBT and DM was performed.

  9. 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...

  10. 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.

  11. 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…

  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. Evolution of quality and surgical risk assessment in the USA.

    PubMed

    Depalma, Ralph G

    2011-04-01

    As health-care reforms progress, quality and risk assessment in the health-care system of the USA surface as critical issues. This review considers past, present and possible future changes in quality assessment along with formal programs of complication reduction and pay for performance (PFP) as related to surgery and vascular interventions. Strategies for quality improvement include aggregate and risk-adjusted outcome measurement, process compliance with the Surgical Complication Improvement Program, oversight and PFP, now policies of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Advantages, disadvantages and unintended consequences of these policies are discussed. While ongoing system changes will influence vascular surgical practice, unique opportunities and obligations exist for vascular surgeons to contribute to quality assessment of their interventions, to evaluate long-term outcomes and to devise strategies for comprehensive cost-effective care for the conditions affecting patients with vascular disease. PMID:21489931

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Southwest Principal Aquifers Regional Ground-Water Quality Assessment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Anning, D.W.; Thiros, S.A.; Bexfield, L.M.; McKinney, T.S.; Green, J.M.

    2009-01-01

    The National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program of the U.S. Geological Survey is conducting a regional analysis of water quality in the principal aquifers in the southwestern United States. The Southwest Principal Aquifers (SWPA) study is building a better understanding of the susceptibility and vulnerability of basin-fill aquifers in the region to ground-water contamination by synthesizing the baseline knowledge of ground-water quality conditions in 15 basins previously studied by the NAWQA Program. The improved understanding of aquifer susceptibility and vulnerability to contamination is assisting in the development of tools that water managers can use to assess and protect the quality of ground-water resources. This fact sheet provides an overview of the basin-fill aquifers in the southwestern United States and description of the completed and planned regional analyses of ground-water quality being performed by the SWPA study.

  17. 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.

  18. Reporting Quality Assessment of Randomized Controlled Trials Published in Nephrology Urology Monthly Journal

    PubMed Central

    Mehrazmay, Alireza; Karambakhsh, Alireza; Salesi, Mahmood

    2015-01-01

    Context: Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are important tools for evidence-based health care decisions. It is, therefore, important that they be conducted and reported with the highest possible standards. The aim of this study was to evaluate the reporting quality of the RCTs published in nephrology urology monthly journal and to examine whether there was a change over time in the reporting quality. Evidence Acquisition: The quality of each report was assessed using the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) 2010 Statement checklist and a 5-point quality assessment instrument, i.e. the Jadad scale. Results: Eighteen (14 Iranian and 4 non-Iranian) RCTs were published from 2012 to 2014 on topics including renal stone (16.6%), hemodialysis and transplantation (38.8%), and prostate conditions (11.1%). Interventions comprised surgery, drugs, and teaching method in 7 (38 %), 10 (55%), and 1 (5%) of them, respectively. According to the CONSORT checklist, the weakest reported items were registration number, identification as a randomized trial in the title, and settings and locations where the data were collected. The mean Jadad score of the reports was 2.72 ± 1.36 (54% of their maximum possible total score). According to the Jadad and CONSORT scales, there was an increase in the quality of reporting from 2012 to 2014. Conclusions: This assessment shows low reporting quality scores in reports. Training courses for researchers, using standard reporting tools (e.g. CONSORT 2010 Statement checklist), and consultation with methodologists can improve the quality of published RCTs. PMID:26528446

  19. Assessment of the Quality of Digital Terrain Model Produced from Unmanned Aerial System Imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kosmatin Fras, M.; Kerin, A.; Mesarič, M.; Peterman, V.; Grigillo, D.

    2016-06-01

    Production of digital terrain model (DTM) is one of the most usual tasks when processing photogrammetric point cloud generated from Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) imagery. The quality of the DTM produced in this way depends on different factors: the quality of imagery, image orientation and camera calibration, point cloud filtering, interpolation methods etc. However, the assessment of the real quality of DTM is very important for its further use and applications. In this paper we first describe the main steps of UAS imagery acquisition and processing based on practical test field survey and data. The main focus of this paper is to present the approach to DTM quality assessment and to give a practical example on the test field data. For data processing and DTM quality assessment presented in this paper mainly the in-house developed computer programs have been used. The quality of DTM comprises its accuracy, density, and completeness. Different accuracy measures like RMSE, median, normalized median absolute deviation and their confidence interval, quantiles are computed. The completeness of the DTM is very often overlooked quality parameter, but when DTM is produced from the point cloud this should not be neglected as some areas might be very sparsely covered by points. The original density is presented with density plot or map. The completeness is presented by the map of point density and the map of distances between grid points and terrain points. The results in the test area show great potential of the DTM produced from UAS imagery, in the sense of detailed representation of the terrain as well as good height accuracy.

  20. 42 CFR 438.240 - Quality assessment and performance improvement program.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) MEDICAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS MANAGED CARE Quality Assessment and... PIHP have an ongoing quality assessment and performance improvement program for the services it... and overutilization of services. (4) Have in effect mechanisms to assess the quality...

  1. [Systematic economic assessment and quality evaluation for traditional Chinese medicines].

    PubMed

    Sun, Xiao; Guo, Li-ping; Shang, Hong-cai; Ren, Ming; Lei, Xiang

    2015-05-01

    To learn about the economic studies on traditional Chinese medicines in domestic literatures, in order to analyze the current economic assessment of traditional Chinese medicines and explore the existing problems. Efforts were made to search CNKI, VIP, Wanfang database and CBM by computer and include all literatures about economic assessment of traditional Chinese medicines published on professional domestic journals in the systematic assessment and quality evaluation. Finally, 50 articles were included in the study, and the systematic assessment and quality evaluation were made for them in terms of titles, year, authors' identity, expense source, disease type, study perspective, study design type, study target, study target source, time limit, cost calculation, effect indicator, analytical technique and sensitivity analysis. The finally quality score was 0.74, which is very low. The results of the study showed insufficient studies on economics of traditional Chinese medicines, short study duration and simple evaluation methods, which will be solved through unremitting efforts in the future.

  2. [Systematic economic assessment and quality evaluation for traditional Chinese medicines].

    PubMed

    Sun, Xiao; Guo, Li-ping; Shang, Hong-cai; Ren, Ming; Lei, Xiang

    2015-05-01

    To learn about the economic studies on traditional Chinese medicines in domestic literatures, in order to analyze the current economic assessment of traditional Chinese medicines and explore the existing problems. Efforts were made to search CNKI, VIP, Wanfang database and CBM by computer and include all literatures about economic assessment of traditional Chinese medicines published on professional domestic journals in the systematic assessment and quality evaluation. Finally, 50 articles were included in the study, and the systematic assessment and quality evaluation were made for them in terms of titles, year, authors' identity, expense source, disease type, study perspective, study design type, study target, study target source, time limit, cost calculation, effect indicator, analytical technique and sensitivity analysis. The finally quality score was 0.74, which is very low. The results of the study showed insufficient studies on economics of traditional Chinese medicines, short study duration and simple evaluation methods, which will be solved through unremitting efforts in the future. PMID:26390672

  3. Non-reference quality assessment of infrared images reconstructed by compressive sensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ospina-Borras, J. E.; Benitez-Restrepo, H. D.

    2015-01-01

    Infrared (IR) images are representations of the world and have natural features like images in the visible spectrum. As such, natural features from infrared images support image quality assessment (IQA).1 In this work, we compare the quality of a set of indoor and outdoor IR images reconstructed from measurement functions formed by linear combination of their pixels. The reconstruction methods are: linear discrete cosine transform (DCT) acquisition, DCT augmented with total variation minimization, and compressive sensing scheme. Peak Signal to Noise Ratio (PSNR), three full-reference (FR), and four no-reference (NR) IQA measures compute the qualities of each reconstruction: multi-scale structural similarity (MSSIM), visual information fidelity (VIF), information fidelity criterion (IFC), sharpness identification based on local phase coherence (LPC-SI), blind/referenceless image spatial quality evaluator (BRISQUE), naturalness image quality evaluator (NIQE) and gradient singular value decomposition (GSVD), respectively. Each measure is compared to human scores that were obtained by differential mean opinion score (DMOS) test. We observe that GSVD has the highest correlation coefficients of all NR measures, but all FR have better performance. We use MSSIM to compare the reconstruction methods and we find that CS scheme produces a good-quality IR image, using only 30000 random sub-samples and 1000 DCT coefficients (2%). In contrast, linear DCT provides higher correlation coefficients than CS scheme by using all the pixels of the image and 31000 DCT (47%) coefficients.

  4. Problem solving in the presence of others: how rank and relationship quality impact resource acquisition in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes).

    PubMed

    Cronin, Katherine A; Pieper, Bridget A; van Leeuwen, Edwin J C; Mundry, Roger; Haun, Daniel B M

    2014-01-01

    In the wild, chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) are often faced with clumped food resources that they may know how to access but abstain from doing so due to social pressures. To better understand how social settings influence resource acquisition, we tested fifteen semi-wild chimpanzees from two social groups alone and in the presence of others. We investigated how resource acquisition was affected by relative social dominance, whether collaborative problem solving or (active or passive) sharing occurred amongst any of the dyads, and whether these outcomes were related to relationship quality as determined from six months of observational data. Results indicated that chimpanzees obtained fewer rewards when tested in the presence of others compared to when they were tested alone, and this loss tended to be greater when paired with a higher ranked individual. Individuals demonstrated behavioral inhibition; chimpanzees who showed proficient skill when alone often abstained from solving the task when in the presence of others. Finally, individuals with close social relationships spent more time together in the problem solving space, but collaboration and sharing were infrequent and sessions in which collaboration or sharing did occur contained more instances of aggression. Group living provides benefits and imposes costs, and these findings highlight that one cost of group living may be diminishing productive individual behaviors.

  5. Optimization of the imaging quality of 64-slice CT acquisition protocol using Taguchi analysis: A phantom study.

    PubMed

    Pan, Lung Fa; Erdene, Erdenetsetseg; Chen, Chun Chi; Pan, Lung Kwang

    2015-01-01

    In this study, the phantom imaging quality of 64-slice CT acquisition protocol was quantitatively evaluated using Taguchi. The phantom acrylic line group was designed and assembled with multiple layers of solid water plate in order to imitate the adult abdomen, and scanned with Philips brilliance CT in order to simulate a clinical examination. According to the Taguchi L8(2(7)) orthogonal array, four major factors of the acquisition protocol were optimized, including (A) CT slice thickness, (B) the image reconstruction filter type, (C) the spiral CT pitch, and (D) the matrix size. The reconstructed line group phantom image was counted by four radiologists for three discrete rounds in order to obtain the averages and standard deviations of the line counts and the corresponding signal to noise ratios (S/N). The quantified S/N values were analyzed and the optimal combination of the four factor settings was determined to be comprised of (A) a 1-mm thickness, (B) a sharp filter type, (C) a 1.172 spiral CT pitch, and (D) a 1024×1024 matrix size. The dominant factors included the (A) filter type and the cross interaction between the filter type and CT slice thickness (A×B). The minor factors were determined to be (C) the spiral CT pitch and (D) the matrix size since neither was capable of yielding a 95% confidence level in the ANOVA test. PMID:26405931

  6. Comparison of unwrapped image quality and acquisition speed from forward-looking and side-looking modes of the TCTBIS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harpring, Larry J.; Pechersky, Martin J.

    2001-04-01

    A True Color Tube Bore Inspection System (TCTBIS) has been developed to aid in the visual nondestructive examination of the inside of small diameter tubes. The instrument was developed to inspect for the presence of contaminants and discoloration inside the tube. The tubes, which have a 1.5 - 1.7 millimeter inside diameter, are integrally attached to pressure vessels that are filled to high pressure through the tubes. The latest version of the TCTBIS can operate in two modes. In the forward-looking mode a borescope is used to look down the length of the tube. In the side-looking mode, a tube containing a 45 degree(s) mirror is placed over the forward-looking borescope so that a direct view of the sidewall of the tube can be seen. The work reported here is a comparison of the relative performance of these two operating modes in terms of image quality and data acquisition speed. Each mode uses an entirely different method of image acquisition and unwrapped image reconstruction. These methods along with comparison results and suggestions for improvements will be discussed in detail.

  7. 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).

  8. The Assessment of Selectivity in Different Quadrupole-Orbitrap Mass Spectrometry Acquisition Modes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berendsen, Bjorn J. A.; Wegh, Robin S.; Meijer, Thijs; Nielen, Michel W. F.

    2015-02-01

    Selectivity of the confirmation of identity in liquid chromatography (tandem) mass spectrometry using Q-Orbitrap instrumentation was assessed using different acquisition modes based on a representative experimental data set constructed from 108 samples, including six different matrix extracts and containing over 100 analytes each. Single stage full scan, all ion fragmentation, and product ion scanning were applied. By generating reconstructed ion chromatograms using unit mass window in targeted MS2, selected reaction monitoring (SRM), regularly applied using triple-quadrupole instruments, was mimicked. This facilitated the comparison of single stage full scan, all ion fragmentation, (mimicked) SRM, and product ion scanning applying a mass window down to 1 ppm. Single factor Analysis of Variance was carried out on the variance (s2) of the mass error to determine which factors and interactions are significant parameters with respect to selectivity. We conclude that selectivity is related to the target compound (mainly the mass defect), the matrix, sample clean-up, concentration, and mass resolution. Selectivity of the different instrumental configurations was quantified by counting the number of interfering peaks observed in the chromatograms. We conclude that precursor ion selection significantly contributes to selectivity: monitoring of a single product ion at high mass accuracy with a 1 Da precursor ion window proved to be equally selective or better to monitoring two transition products in mimicked SRM. In contrast, monitoring a single fragment in all ion fragmentation mode results in significantly lower selectivity versus mimicked SRM. After a thorough inter-laboratory evaluation study, the results of this study can be used for a critical reassessment of the current identification points system and contribute to the next generation of evidence-based and robust performance criteria in residue analysis and sports doping.

  9. 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…

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Analysis, assessment and mapping of groundwater quality of Chandigarh (India).

    PubMed

    Bansal, Rajesh; Sharma, L N; John, Siby

    2011-04-01

    Chandigarh (India) has been depending on groundwater resources to meet its water requirements in addition to the surface water source (Bhakra Main Canal). With a view to assess the groundwater quality, samples were collected from geo-referenced tube wells in different localities of the city. Samples were analysed for conventional parameters indicative of the physico-chemical quality of groundwater. The groundwater quality mapping was attempted using the ARCGIS 9.0. Thematic maps were generated for each parameter of groundwater quality. This paper presents the spatial distribution of groundwater quality of Chandigarh city. The quality of groundwater was found to be varying with geology of the area as well as the land use and land cover.

  13. Quantifying the impact of respiratory-gated 4D CT acquisition on thoracic image quality: A digital phantom study

    SciTech Connect

    Bernatowicz, K. Knopf, A.; Lomax, A.; Keall, P.; Kipritidis, J.; Mishra, P.

    2015-01-15

    Purpose: Prospective respiratory-gated 4D CT has been shown to reduce tumor image artifacts by up to 50% compared to conventional 4D CT. However, to date no studies have quantified the impact of gated 4D CT on normal lung tissue imaging, which is important in performing dose calculations based on accurate estimates of lung volume and structure. To determine the impact of gated 4D CT on thoracic image quality, the authors developed a novel simulation framework incorporating a realistic deformable digital phantom driven by patient tumor motion patterns. Based on this framework, the authors test the hypothesis that respiratory-gated 4D CT can significantly reduce lung imaging artifacts. Methods: Our simulation framework synchronizes the 4D extended cardiac torso (XCAT) phantom with tumor motion data in a quasi real-time fashion, allowing simulation of three 4D CT acquisition modes featuring different levels of respiratory feedback: (i) “conventional” 4D CT that uses a constant imaging and couch-shift frequency, (ii) “beam paused” 4D CT that interrupts imaging to avoid oversampling at a given couch position and respiratory phase, and (iii) “respiratory-gated” 4D CT that triggers acquisition only when the respiratory motion fulfills phase-specific displacement gating windows based on prescan breathing data. Our framework generates a set of ground truth comparators, representing the average XCAT anatomy during beam-on for each of ten respiratory phase bins. Based on this framework, the authors simulated conventional, beam-paused, and respiratory-gated 4D CT images using tumor motion patterns from seven lung cancer patients across 13 treatment fractions, with a simulated 5.5 cm{sup 3} spherical lesion. Normal lung tissue image quality was quantified by comparing simulated and ground truth images in terms of overall mean square error (MSE) intensity difference, threshold-based lung volume error, and fractional false positive/false negative rates. Results

  14. [Assessment of life quality in children with spina bifida].

    PubMed

    Król, Marianna; Sibiński, Marcin; Stefański, Maciej; Synder, Marek

    2011-01-01

    The aim of the study was identification and assessment of factors influencing quality of life in children with spina bifida. There were 33 children in the study (19 girls and 14 boys) in the age from 5 to 20 years. They were divided into 2 groups: first in the age from 5 to 12 years (17 patients) and second in the age from 13 to 20 years (16 patients). The Health-related Quality of Life in Spina Bifida Questionnaire and questionnaire done by us were used for the study. Younger children had average score of 158 points and older children average 186 points. In the whole group 64% of children assessed they quality of life as good, 30% as very good, 6% as average. None of our patients think that they quality of life is poor or very poor. Presence of visual perception difficulties in younger group and non-ambulation in alder children is related to poorer assessment of quality of life. Alder children that live in a house had better assessment of quality of life than children living in blocks of flats. Vast majority of children with spina bifida have good specialist medical care. Most common concomitant diseases are hydrocephalus and neurogenic urinary bladder.

  15. 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.

  16. Quality assurance checks on ecological risk assessments

    SciTech Connect

    Ferson, S.; Ginzburg, L.

    1995-12-31

    Three major criticisms are routinely made against probabilistic ecological risk assessments: (1) input distributions are often not available, (2) correlations and dependencies are often ignored, and (3) mathematical structure of the ecological model is often questionable. These criticisms are well understood by risk analysts, but it is generally assumed that their only solution is additional empirical effort to develop input distributions, measure correlations and validate the model. As a practical matter, since such empirical information is typically incomplete (and indeed often quite sparse), analysts are forced to make assumptions without empirical justifications. There are, however, computational methods that may allow analysts to sidestep a lack of information to partially or completely answer the three criticisms. When empirical information about the input distributions is limited, comprehensive representations of uncertainty can be estimated using traditional confidence interval or bounding procedures. Using recently developed methods, the probability distribution bounds can be used directly in calculations. When the correlation and dependency structure among variables is unknown, bounds on solutions can be computed without having to make unjustified and possibly false assumptions about independence. Finally, automated checks on the ecological model or mathematical expression used in the risk analysis can be employed to ensure the absence of several classes of structural and mathematical errors. Several kinds of profound errors which are routinely committed in practice, including dimensional or unit discordance, infeasible configurations for correlation, and multiple instantiations of a repeated variable, can all be detected using currently available methods and software.

  17. 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.

  18. Automatic assessment of voice quality according to the GRBAS scale.

    PubMed

    Sáenz-Lechón, Nicolás; Godino-Llorente, Juan I; Osma-Ruiz, Víctor; Blanco-Velasco, Manuel; Cruz-Roldán, Fernando

    2006-01-01

    Nowadays, the most extended techniques to measure the voice quality are based on perceptual evaluation by well trained professionals. The GRBAS scale is a widely used method for perceptual evaluation of voice quality. The GRBAS scale is widely used in Japan and there is increasing interest in both Europe and the United States. However, this technique needs well-trained experts, and is based on the evaluator's expertise, depending a lot on his own psycho-physical state. Furthermore, a great variability in the assessments performed from one evaluator to another is observed. Therefore, an objective method to provide such measurement of voice quality would be very valuable. In this paper, the automatic assessment of voice quality is addressed by means of short-term Mel cepstral parameters (MFCC), and learning vector quantization (LVQ) in a pattern recognition stage. Results show that this approach provides acceptable results for this purpose, with accuracy around 65% at the best.

  19. Quality assessment of malaria laboratory diagnosis in South Africa.

    PubMed

    Dini, Leigh; Frean, John

    2003-01-01

    To assess the quality of malaria diagnosis in 115 South African laboratories participating in the National Health Laboratory Service Parasitology External Quality Assessment Programme we reviewed the results from 7 surveys from January 2000 to August 2002. The mean percentage incorrect result rate was 13.8% (95% CI 11.3-16.9%), which is alarmingly high, with about 1 in 7 blood films being incorrectly interpreted. Most participants with incorrect blood film interpretations had acceptable Giemsa staining quality, indicating that there is less of a problem with staining technique than with blood film interpretation. Laboratories in provinces in which malaria is endemic did not necessarily perform better than those in non-endemic areas. The results clearly suggest that malaria laboratory diagnosis throughout South Africa needs strengthening by improving laboratory standardization and auditing, training, quality assurance and referral resources. PMID:16117961

  20. Surface water-quality assessment of the Kentucky River basin, Kentucky; project description

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    White, K.D.; Smoot, J.L.; Jackson, J.K.; Choquette, Anne F.

    1987-01-01

    In April 1986, the U.S. Geological Survey began the National Water Quality Assessment Program, which at present (1987) is in a pilot phase in which assessment concepts and approaches are being tested and modified to prepare for full implementation of the program in the future. Seven pilot projects (four surface water projects and three groundwater projects) have been started. The preliminary plans for the surface water quality assessment of the Kentucky River basin pilot project are described. The Kentucky River basin drains an area of approximately 7,000 sq mi in east central Kentucky and is underlain by rocks that range in composition from limestone to sandstone and shale. Because greater than 95% of the basin population relies on surface water, surface water quality is of great concern. Land use practices that affect the surface water quality in the basin include agriculture, forestry, oil and gas production, coal mining, and urbanization. Water quality concerns resulting from the various land uses include the effects of: oil and gas field brine discharges; agricultural chemicals; sedimentation caused by coal mining; and trace element impacts from industrial and urban environments. Assessment activity is designed to occur over a 9-year period of time. During the first 3-year period of the cycle, concentrated data acquisition and interpretation will occur. For the next 6 years, sample collection will occur at a much lower level of intensity to document the occurrence of any gross changes in water quality. This 9-year cycle will then be repeated. Historical data will be evaluated to provide, to the extent possible, a description of existing and past trends in water quality conditions and to develop conceptual models that relate the observed conditions to the sources and causes, both natural and human-controlled. New data will be collected to verify the water quality conditions documented by historic data, to track long-term trends in water quality, to intensify

  1. 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

  2. Quality-of-life assessment techniques for veterinarians.

    PubMed

    Villalobos, Alice E

    2011-05-01

    The revised veterinary oath commits the profession to the prevention and relief of animal suffering. There is a professional obligation to properly assess quality of life (QoL) and confront the issues that ruin it, such as undiagnosed suffering. There are no clinical studies in the arena of QoL assessment at the end of life for pets. This author developed a user-friendly QoL scale to help make proper assessments and decisions along the way to the conclusion of a terminal patient's life. This article discusses decision aids and establishes commonsense techniques to assess a pet's QoL.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. The Information Quality Triangle: a methodology to assess clinical information quality.

    PubMed

    Choquet, Rémy; Qouiyd, Samiha; Ouagne, David; Pasche, Emilie; Daniel, Christel; Boussaïd, Omar; Jaulent, Marie-Christine

    2010-01-01

    Building qualitative clinical decision support or monitoring based on information stored in clinical information (or EHR) systems cannot be done without assessing and controlling information quality. Numerous works have introduced methods and measures to qualify and enhance data, information models and terminologies quality. This paper introduces an approach based on an Information Quality Triangle that aims at providing a generic framework to help in characterizing quality measures and methods in the context of the integration of EHR data in a clinical datawarehouse. We have successfully experimented the proposed approach at the HEGP hospital in France, as part of the DebugIT EU FP7 project.

  6. A convolutional neural network approach for objective video quality assessment.

    PubMed

    Le Callet, Patrick; Viard-Gaudin, Christian; Barba, Dominique

    2006-09-01

    This paper describes an application of neural networks in the field of objective measurement method designed to automatically assess the perceived quality of digital videos. This challenging issue aims to emulate human judgment and to replace very complex and time consuming subjective quality assessment. Several metrics have been proposed in literature to tackle this issue. They are based on a general framework that combines different stages, each of them addressing complex problems. The ambition of this paper is not to present a global perfect quality metric but rather to focus on an original way to use neural networks in such a framework in the context of reduced reference (RR) quality metric. Especially, we point out the interest of such a tool for combining features and pooling them in order to compute quality scores. The proposed approach solves some problems inherent to objective metrics that should predict subjective quality score obtained using the single stimulus continuous quality evaluation (SSCQE) method. This latter has been adopted by video quality expert group (VQEG) in its recently finalized reduced referenced and no reference (RRNR-TV) test plan. The originality of such approach compared to previous attempts to use neural networks for quality assessment, relies on the use of a convolutional neural network (CNN) that allows a continuous time scoring of the video. Objective features are extracted on a frame-by-frame basis on both the reference and the distorted sequences; they are derived from a perceptual-based representation and integrated along the temporal axis using a time-delay neural network (TDNN). Experiments conducted on different MPEG-2 videos, with bit rates ranging 2-6 Mb/s, show the effectiveness of the proposed approach to get a plausible model of temporal pooling from the human vision system (HVS) point of view. More specifically, a linear correlation criteria, between objective and subjective scoring, up to 0.92 has been obtained on

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Affective Norms for 4900 Polish Words Reload (ANPW_R): Assessments for Valence, Arousal, Dominance, Origin, Significance, Concreteness, Imageability and, Age of Acquisition

    PubMed Central

    Imbir, Kamil K.

    2016-01-01

    In studies that combine understanding of emotions and language, there is growing demand for good-quality experimental materials. To meet this expectation, a large number of 4905 Polish words was assessed by 400 participants in order to provide a well-established research method for everyone interested in emotional word processing. The Affective Norms for Polish Words Reloaded (ANPW_R) is designed as an extension to the previously introduced the ANPW dataset and provides assessments for eight different affective and psycholinguistic measures of Valence, Arousal, Dominance, Origin, Significance, Concreteness, Imageability, and subjective Age of Acquisition. The ANPW_R is now the largest available dataset of affective words for Polish, including affective scores that have not been measured in any other dataset (concreteness and age of acquisition scales). Additionally, the ANPW_R allows for testing hypotheses concerning dual-mind models of emotion and activation (origin and subjective significance scales). Participants in the current study assessed all 4905 words in the list within 1 week, at their own pace in home sessions, using eight different Self-assessment Manikin (SAM) scales. Each measured dimension was evaluated by 25 women and 25 men. The ANPW_R norms appeared to be reliable in split-half estimation and congruent with previous normative studies in Polish. The quadratic relation between valence and arousal was found to be in line with previous findings. In addition, nine other relations appeared to be better described by quadratic instead of linear function. The ANPW_R provides well-established research materials for use in psycholinguistic and affective studies in Polish-speaking samples. PMID:27486423

  11. Affective Norms for 4900 Polish Words Reload (ANPW_R): Assessments for Valence, Arousal, Dominance, Origin, Significance, Concreteness, Imageability and, Age of Acquisition.

    PubMed

    Imbir, Kamil K

    2016-01-01

    In studies that combine understanding of emotions and language, there is growing demand for good-quality experimental materials. To meet this expectation, a large number of 4905 Polish words was assessed by 400 participants in order to provide a well-established research method for everyone interested in emotional word processing. The Affective Norms for Polish Words Reloaded (ANPW_R) is designed as an extension to the previously introduced the ANPW dataset and provides assessments for eight different affective and psycholinguistic measures of Valence, Arousal, Dominance, Origin, Significance, Concreteness, Imageability, and subjective Age of Acquisition. The ANPW_R is now the largest available dataset of affective words for Polish, including affective scores that have not been measured in any other dataset (concreteness and age of acquisition scales). Additionally, the ANPW_R allows for testing hypotheses concerning dual-mind models of emotion and activation (origin and subjective significance scales). Participants in the current study assessed all 4905 words in the list within 1 week, at their own pace in home sessions, using eight different Self-assessment Manikin (SAM) scales. Each measured dimension was evaluated by 25 women and 25 men. The ANPW_R norms appeared to be reliable in split-half estimation and congruent with previous normative studies in Polish. The quadratic relation between valence and arousal was found to be in line with previous findings. In addition, nine other relations appeared to be better described by quadratic instead of linear function. The ANPW_R provides well-established research materials for use in psycholinguistic and affective studies in Polish-speaking samples. PMID:27486423

  12. 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.

  13. Forensic mental health assessment in France: recommendations for quality improvement.

    PubMed

    Combalbert, Nicolas; Andronikof, Anne; Armand, Marine; Robin, Cécile; Bazex, Hélène

    2014-01-01

    The quality of forensic mental health assessment has been a growing concern in various countries on both sides of the Atlantic, but the legal systems are not always comparable and some aspects of forensic assessment are specific to a given country. This paper describes the legal context of forensic psychological assessment in France (i.e. pre-trial investigation phase entrusted to a judge, with mental health assessment performed by preselected professionals called "experts" in French), its advantages and its pitfalls. Forensic psychiatric or psychological assessment is often an essential and decisive element in criminal cases, but since a judiciary scandal which was made public in 2005 (the Outreau case) there has been increasing criticism from the public and the legal profession regarding the reliability of clinical conclusions. Several academic studies and a parliamentary report have highlighted various faulty aspects in both the judiciary process and the mental health assessments. The heterogeneity of expert practices in France appears to be mainly related to a lack of consensus on several core notions such as mental health diagnosis or assessment methods, poor working conditions, lack of specialized training, and insufficient familiarity with the Code of Ethics. In this article we describe and analyze the French practice of forensic psychologists and psychiatrists in criminal cases and propose steps that could be taken to improve its quality, such as setting up specialized training courses, enforcing the Code of Ethics for psychologists, and calling for consensus on diagnostic and assessment methods. PMID:24631526

  14. Forensic mental health assessment in France: recommendations for quality improvement.

    PubMed

    Combalbert, Nicolas; Andronikof, Anne; Armand, Marine; Robin, Cécile; Bazex, Hélène

    2014-01-01

    The quality of forensic mental health assessment has been a growing concern in various countries on both sides of the Atlantic, but the legal systems are not always comparable and some aspects of forensic assessment are specific to a given country. This paper describes the legal context of forensic psychological assessment in France (i.e. pre-trial investigation phase entrusted to a judge, with mental health assessment performed by preselected professionals called "experts" in French), its advantages and its pitfalls. Forensic psychiatric or psychological assessment is often an essential and decisive element in criminal cases, but since a judiciary scandal which was made public in 2005 (the Outreau case) there has been increasing criticism from the public and the legal profession regarding the reliability of clinical conclusions. Several academic studies and a parliamentary report have highlighted various faulty aspects in both the judiciary process and the mental health assessments. The heterogeneity of expert practices in France appears to be mainly related to a lack of consensus on several core notions such as mental health diagnosis or assessment methods, poor working conditions, lack of specialized training, and insufficient familiarity with the Code of Ethics. In this article we describe and analyze the French practice of forensic psychologists and psychiatrists in criminal cases and propose steps that could be taken to improve its quality, such as setting up specialized training courses, enforcing the Code of Ethics for psychologists, and calling for consensus on diagnostic and assessment methods.

  15. Assessing Age of Onset Effects in (Early) Child L2 Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Unsworth, Sharon

    2013-01-01

    This study compares the development of three different types of bilingual/second language children in their acquisition of gender-marking on adjectives in Dutch to investigate whether there is evidence for age-of-onset effects in early childhood as proposed by Meisel (2009). The three groups of children are: simultaneous bilingual children,…

  16. In Support of Collection Assessment: The Role of Automation in the Acquisitions and Serials Departments.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hawks, Carol Pitts

    1992-01-01

    Describes the role of automation in library acquisitions and serials departments in support of collection development. Highlights include workstations and expert systems; links to external databases; vendor services, including serials services and online review and selection of approval books; and automated access to collection development…

  17. Depth versus Breadth of Lexical Repertoire: Assessing Their Roles in EFL Students' Incidental Vocabulary Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ehsanzadeh, Seyed Jafar

    2012-01-01

    This study explores the roles of depth and breadth of lexical repertoire in L2 lexical inferencing success and incidental vocabulary acquisition through reading. Students read a graded reader containing 13 pseudo-words and attempted to infer the meanings of underlined target words. The Word Associates Test (WAT, Read, 2004) and the Vocabulary…

  18. Effects of School Quality, School Citizenship Policy, and Student Body Composition on the Acquisition of Citizenship Competences in the Final Year of Primary Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dijkstra, Anne Bert; Geijsel, Femke; Ledoux, Guuske; van der Veen, Ineke; ten Dam, Geert

    2015-01-01

    This study examines the effects of general educational quality of schools, school citizenship policy, and ethnic homogeneity of the student body on the acquisition of citizenship competences in the final year of primary education. The theoretical framework is based on developmental, psychological, and sociological studies into effects of social…

  19. 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.…

  20. 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…

  1. Quality Management and Self Assessment Tools for Public Libraries.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Evans, Margaret Kinnell

    This paper describes a two-year study by the British Library Research and Innovation Centre that examined the potential of self-assessment for public library services. The approaches that formed the basis for the investigation were the Business Excellence Model, the Quality Framework, and the Democratic Approach. Core values were identified by…

  2. 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.

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. Parameters of Higher School Internationalization and Quality Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Juknyte-Petreikiene, Inga

    2006-01-01

    The article presents the analysis of higher education internationalization, its conceptions and forms of manifestation. It investigates the ways and means of higher education internationalization, the diversity of higher school internationalization motives, the issues of higher education internationalization quality assessment, presenting an…

  6. Quantitative study designs used in quality improvement and assessment.

    PubMed

    Ormes, W S; Brim, M B; Coggan, P

    2001-01-01

    This article describes common quantitative design techniques that can be used to collect and analyze quality data. An understanding of the differences between these design techniques can help healthcare quality professionals make the most efficient use of their time, energies, and resources. To evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of these various study designs, it is necessary to assess factors that threaten the degree with which quality professionals may infer a cause-and-effect relationship from the data collected. Processes, the conduits of organizational function, often can be assessed by methods that do not take into account confounding and compromising circumstances that affect the outcomes of their analyses. An assumption that the implementation of process improvements may cause real change is incomplete without a consideration of other factors that might also have caused the same result. It is only through the identification, assessment, and exclusion of these alternative factors that administrators and healthcare quality professionals can assess the degree to which true process improvement or compliance has occurred. This article describes the advantages and disadvantages of common quantitative design techniques and reviews the corresponding threats to the interpretability of data obtained from their use. PMID:11378972

  7. 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…

  8. 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...

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Comparability of river quality assessment using macrophytes: a multi-step procedure to overcome biogeographical differences.

    PubMed

    Aguiar, F C; Segurado, P; Urbanič, G; Cambra, J; Chauvin, C; Ciadamidaro, S; Dörflinger, G; Ferreira, J; Germ, M; Manolaki, P; Minciardi, M R; Munné, A; Papastergiadou, E; Ferreira, M T

    2014-04-01

    This paper exposes a new methodological approach to solve the problem of intercalibrating river quality national methods when a common metric is lacking and most of the countries share the same Water Framework Directive (WFD) assessment method. We provide recommendations for similar works in future concerning the assessment of ecological accuracy and highlight the importance of a good common ground to make feasible the scientific work beyond the intercalibration. The approach herein presented was applied to highly seasonal rivers of the Mediterranean Geographical Intercalibration Group for the Biological Quality Element Macrophytes. The Mediterranean Group of river macrophytes involved seven countries and two assessment methods with similar acquisition data and assessment concept: the Macrophyte Biological Index for Rivers (IBMR) for Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain, and the River Macrophyte Index (RMI) for Slovenia. Database included 318 sites of which 78 were considered as benchmarks. The boundary harmonization was performed for common WFD-assessment methods (all countries except Slovenia) using the median of the Good/Moderate and High/Good boundaries of all countries. Then, whenever possible, the Slovenian method, RMI was computed for the entire database. The IBMR was also computed for the Slovenian sites and was regressed against RMI in order to check the relatedness of methods (R(2)=0.45; p<0.00001) and to convert RMI boundaries into the IBMR scale. The boundary bias of RMI was computed using direct comparison of classification and the median boundary values following boundary harmonization. The average absolute class differences after harmonization is 26% and the percentage of classifications differing by half of a quality class is also small (16.4%). This multi-step approach to the intercalibration was endorsed by the WFD Regulatory Committee.

  13. Quantitative assessment of the impact of biomedical image acquisition on the results obtained from image analysis and processing

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Dedicated, automatic algorithms for image analysis and processing are becoming more and more common in medical diagnosis. When creating dedicated algorithms, many factors must be taken into consideration. They are associated with selecting the appropriate algorithm parameters and taking into account the impact of data acquisition on the results obtained. An important feature of algorithms is the possibility of their use in other medical units by other operators. This problem, namely operator’s (acquisition) impact on the results obtained from image analysis and processing, has been shown on a few examples. Material and method The analysed images were obtained from a variety of medical devices such as thermal imaging, tomography devices and those working in visible light. The objects of imaging were cellular elements, the anterior segment and fundus of the eye, postural defects and others. In total, almost 200'000 images coming from 8 different medical units were analysed. All image analysis algorithms were implemented in C and Matlab. Results For various algorithms and methods of medical imaging, the impact of image acquisition on the results obtained is different. There are different levels of algorithm sensitivity to changes in the parameters, for example: (1) for microscope settings and the brightness assessment of cellular elements there is a difference of 8%; (2) for the thyroid ultrasound images there is a difference in marking the thyroid lobe area which results in a brightness assessment difference of 2%. The method of image acquisition in image analysis and processing also affects: (3) the accuracy of determining the temperature in the characteristic areas on the patient’s back for the thermal method - error of 31%; (4) the accuracy of finding characteristic points in photogrammetric images when evaluating postural defects – error of 11%; (5) the accuracy of performing ablative and non-ablative treatments in cosmetology - error of 18

  14. 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

  15. System change: quality assessment and improvement for Medicaid managed care.

    PubMed

    Smith, W R; Cotter, J J; Rossiter, L F

    1996-01-01

    Rising Medicaid health expenditures have hastened the development of State managed care programs. Methods to monitor and improve health care under Medicaid are changing. Under fee-for-service (FFS), the primary concern was to avoid overutilization. Under managed care, it is to avoid underutilization. Quality enhancement thus moves from addressing inefficiency to addressing insufficiency of care. This article presents a case study of Virginia's redesign of Quality Assessment and Improvement (QA/I) for Medicaid, adapting the guidelines of the Quality Assurance Reform Initiative (QARI) of the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA). The article concludes that redesigns should emphasize Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) by all providers and of multi-faceted, population-based data.

  16. Reduced-reference image quality assessment using moment method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Diwei; Shen, Yuantong; Shen, Yongluo; Li, Hongwei

    2016-10-01

    Reduced-reference image quality assessment (RR IQA) aims to evaluate the perceptual quality of a distorted image through partial information of the corresponding reference image. In this paper, a novel RR IQA metric is proposed by using the moment method. We claim that the first and second moments of wavelet coefficients of natural images can have approximate and regular change that are disturbed by different types of distortions, and that this disturbance can be relevant to human perceptions of quality. We measure the difference of these statistical parameters between reference and distorted image to predict the visual quality degradation. The introduced IQA metric is suitable for implementation and has relatively low computational complexity. The experimental results on Laboratory for Image and Video Engineering (LIVE) and Tampere Image Database (TID) image databases indicate that the proposed metric has a good predictive performance.

  17. 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

  18. Methodological issues in the quantitative assessment of quality of life.

    PubMed

    Panagiotakos, Demosthenes B; Yfantopoulos, John N

    2011-10-01

    The term quality of life can be identified in Aristotle's classical writings of 330 BC. In his Nichomachian ethics he recognises the multiple relationships between happiness, well-being, "eudemonia" and quality of life. Historically the concept of quality of life has undergone various interpretations. It involves personal experience, perceptions and beliefs, attitudes concerning philosophical, cultural, spiritual, psychological, political, and financial aspects of everyday living. Quality of life has been extensively used both as an outcome and an explanatory factor in relation to human health, in various clinical trials, epidemiologic studies and health interview surveys. Because of the variations in the definition of quality of life, both in theory and in practice, there are also a wide range of procedures that are used to assess quality of life. In this paper several methodological issues regarding the tools used to evaluate quality of life is discussed. In summary, the use of components consisted of large number of classes, as well as the use of specific weights for each scale component, and the low-to-moderate inter-correlation level between the components, is evident from simulated and empirical studies.

  19. No-reference quality assessment based on visual perception

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Junshan; Yang, Yawei; Hu, Shuangyan; Zhang, Jiao

    2014-11-01

    The visual quality assessment of images/videos is an ongoing hot research topic, which has become more and more important for numerous image and video processing applications with the rapid development of digital imaging and communication technologies. The goal of image quality assessment (IQA) algorithms is to automatically assess the quality of images/videos in agreement with human quality judgments. Up to now, two kinds of models have been used for IQA, namely full-reference (FR) and no-reference (NR) models. For FR models, IQA algorithms interpret image quality as fidelity or similarity with a perfect image in some perceptual space. However, the reference image is not available in many practical applications, and a NR IQA approach is desired. Considering natural vision as optimized by the millions of years of evolutionary pressure, many methods attempt to achieve consistency in quality prediction by modeling salient physiological and psychological features of the human visual system (HVS). To reach this goal, researchers try to simulate HVS with image sparsity coding and supervised machine learning, which are two main features of HVS. A typical HVS captures the scenes by sparsity coding, and uses experienced knowledge to apperceive objects. In this paper, we propose a novel IQA approach based on visual perception. Firstly, a standard model of HVS is studied and analyzed, and the sparse representation of image is accomplished with the model; and then, the mapping correlation between sparse codes and subjective quality scores is trained with the regression technique of least squaresupport vector machine (LS-SVM), which gains the regressor that can predict the image quality; the visual metric of image is predicted with the trained regressor at last. We validate the performance of proposed approach on Laboratory for Image and Video Engineering (LIVE) database, the specific contents of the type of distortions present in the database are: 227 images of JPEG2000, 233

  20. The health hazard assessment process in support of joint weapon system acquisitions.

    PubMed

    Kluchinsky, Timothy A; Jokel, Charles R; Cambre, John V; Goddard, Donald E; Batts, Robert W

    2013-01-01

    Since 1981, the Army's HHA Program has provided an invaluable service to combat developers and materiel program managers by providing recommendations designed to eliminate or control health hazards associated with materiel and weapon systems. The program has consistently strived to improve its services by providing more meaningful and efficient assistance to the acquisition community. In the uncertain fiscal times ahead, the Army's HHA Program will continue to provide valuable and cost-effective solutions to mitigate the health risks of weapons systems.

  1. Defining and assessing health-related quality of life.

    PubMed

    Holcík, J; Koupilová, I

    1999-11-01

    In recent years, there has been an increasing interest in quality of life assessment in clinical research and practice, as well as in public health and policy analysis. Indicators of health-related quality of life are important not only for health professionals and their patients, but also for health administrators and health economists in health care planning and policy making. Most studies on the outcome of treatments and interventions now include some kind of a quality of life measure. This usually takes a form of an assessment of symptoms and physical functioning, measurement of psychological well-being, life satisfaction, or coping and adjustment. Numerous scales of psychological health, physical health status and physical functioning have been developed for use in the assessment of health outcomes and a wide range of instruments for measurement of health-related quality of life is available. These fall into two broad categories of generic and disease-specific instruments. The selection of an instrument depends upon its measurement properties but also upon the specific context in which the instrument is going to be used. Adequate attention needs to be paid to the translation and validation of instruments for use across countries and cultural contexts.

  2. National Water-Quality Assessment Program: Central Arizona Basins

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cordy, Gail E.

    1994-01-01

    In 1991, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) began to implement a full-scale National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) program. The long-term goals of the NAWQA program are to describe the status and trends in the quality of a large, representative part of the Nation's surface-water and ground-water resources and to provide a sound, scientific understanding of the primary natural and human factors affecting the quality of these resources. In meeting these goals, the program will produce a wealth of water-quality information that will be useful to policymakers and managers at the National, State, and local levels. Studies of 60 hydrologic systems that include parts of most major river basins and aquifer systems (study-unit investigations) are the building blocks of the national assessment. The 60 study units range in size from 1,000 to about 60,000 mi2 and represent 60 to 70 percent of the Nation's water use and population served by public water supplies. Twenty study-unit investigations were started in 1991, 20 additional studies started in 1994, and 20 more are planned to start in 1997. The Central Arizona Basins study unit began assessment activities in 1994.

  3. Quality assessment of systematic reviews on alveolar socket preservation.

    PubMed

    Moraschini, V; Barboza, E Dos S P

    2016-09-01

    The aim of this overview was to evaluate and compare the quality of systematic reviews, with or without meta-analysis, that have evaluated studies on techniques or biomaterials used for the preservation of alveolar sockets post tooth extraction in humans. An electronic search was conducted without date restrictions using the Medline/PubMed, Cochrane Library, and Web of Science databases up to April 2015. Eligibility criteria included systematic reviews, with or without meta-analysis, focused on the preservation of post-extraction alveolar sockets in humans. Two independent authors assessed the quality of the included reviews using AMSTAR and the checklist proposed by Glenny et al. in 2003. After the selection process, 12 systematic reviews were included. None of these reviews obtained the maximum score using the quality assessment tools implemented, and the results of the analyses were highly variable. A significant statistical correlation was observed between the scores of the two checklists. A wide structural and methodological variability was observed between the systematic reviews published on the preservation of alveolar sockets post tooth extraction. None of the reviews evaluated obtained the maximum score using the two quality assessment tools implemented.

  4. Assessing the Quality of Quality Assessment: The Inspection of Teaching and Learning in British Universities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Underwood, Simeon

    2000-01-01

    Characterizes Subject Review, a new scrutiny process for British higher education, evaluating its effectiveness against the purposes it has set itself in the area of funding policy, enhancement of provision, and public information. The paper offers a case study of factors which come into account when systems for measuring the quality of higher…

  5. National Water-Quality Assessment program: The Trinity River Basin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Land, Larry F.

    1991-01-01

    In 1991, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) began to implement a full-scale National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) program. The long-term goals of the NAWQA program are to describe the status and trends in the quality of a large, representative part of the Nation's surface- and ground-water resources and to provide a sound, scientific understanding of the primary natural and human factors affecting the quality of these resources. In meeting these goals, the program will produce a wealth of water-quality information that will be useful to policy makers and managers at the national, State, and local levels. A major design feature of the NAWQA program will enable water-quality information at different areal scales to be integrated. A major component of the program is study-unit investigations, which comprise the principal building blocks of the program on which national-level assessment activities will be based. The 60 study-unit investigations that make up the program are hydrologic systems that include parts of most major river basins and aquifer systems. These study units cover areas of 1,200 to more than 65,000 square miles and incorporate about 60 to 70 percent of the Nation's water use and population served by public water supply. In 1991, the Trinity River basin study was among the first 20 NAWQA study units selected for study under the full-scale implementation plan.

  6. National Water-Quality Assessment Program: The Sacramento River Basin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Domagalski, Joseph L.; Brown, Larry R.

    1994-01-01

    In 1991, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) began to implement a full-scale National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) program. The long-term goals of the NAWQA program are to describe the status of and trends in the quality of a large, representative part of the Nation's surface- and ground-water resources and to identify the major natural and human factors that affect the quality of those resources. In addressing these goals, the program will provide a wealth of water- quality information that will be useful to policy makers and managers at the national, State, and local levels. A major asset of the NAWQA program is that it will allow for the integration of water-quality information collected at several scales. A major component of the program is the study-unit investigation-the foundation of national- level assessment. The 60 study units of the NAWQA program are hydrologic systems that include parts of most major river basins and aquifer systems of the conterminous United States. These study units cover areas of 1,000 to more than 60,000 square miles and represent 60 to 70 percent of the Nation's water use and population served by public water supplies. Investigations of the first 20 study units began in 1991. In 1994, the Sacramento River Basin was among the second set of 20 NAWQA study units selected for investigation.

  7. Web Service for Positional Quality Assessment: the Wps Tier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xavier, E. M. A.; Ariza-López, F. J.; Ureña-Cámara, M. A.

    2015-08-01

    In the field of spatial data every day we have more and more information available, but we still have little or very little information about the quality of spatial data. We consider that the automation of the spatial data quality assessment is a true need for the geomatic sector, and that automation is possible by means of web processing services (WPS), and the application of specific assessment procedures. In this paper we propose and develop a WPS tier centered on the automation of the positional quality assessment. An experiment using the NSSDA positional accuracy method is presented. The experiment involves the uploading by the client of two datasets (reference and evaluation data). The processing is to determine homologous pairs of points (by distance) and calculate the value of positional accuracy under the NSSDA standard. The process generates a small report that is sent to the client. From our experiment, we reached some conclusions on the advantages and disadvantages of WPSs when applied to the automation of spatial data accuracy assessments.

  8. Overview of the National Water-Quality Assessment Program

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Leahy, P.P.; Thompson, T.H.

    1994-01-01

    The Nation's water resources are the basis for life and our economic vitality. These resources support a complex web of human activities and fishery and wildlife needs that depend upon clean water. Demands for good-quality water for drinking, recreation, farming, and industry are rising, and as a result, the American public is concerned about the condition and sustainability of our water resources. The American public is asking: Is it safe to swim in and drink water from our rivers or lakes? Can we eat the fish that come from them? Is our ground water polluted? Is water quality degrading with time, and if so, why? Has all the money we've spent to clean up our waters, done any good? The U.S. Geological Survey's National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program was designed to provide information that will help answer these questions. NAWQA is designed to assess historical, current, and future water-quality conditions in representative river basins and aquifers nationwide. One of the primary objectives of the program is to describe relations between natural factors, human activities, and water-quality conditions and to define those factors that most affect water quality in different parts of the Nation. The linkage of water quality to environmental processes is of fundamental importance to water-resource managers, planners, and policy makers. It provides a strong and unbiased basis for better decisionmaking by those responsible for making decisions that affect our water resources, including the United States Congress, Federal, State, and local agencies, environmental groups, and industry. Information from the NAWQA Program also will be useful for guiding research, monitoring, and regulatory activities in cost effective ways.

  9. Quality assessment of altimeter data through tide gauge comparisons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prandi, Pierre; Valladeau, Guillaume; Ablain, Michael; Picot, Nicolas; Desjonquères, Jean-Damien

    2015-04-01

    Since the first altimeter missions and the improvements performed in the accuracy of sea surface height measurements from 1992 onwards, the importance of global quality assessment of altimeter data has been increasing. Global CalVal studies usually assess this performance by the analysis of internal consistency and cross-comparison between all missions. The overall quality assessment of altimeter data can be performed by analyzing their internal consistency and the cross-comparison between all missions. As a complementary approach, tide gauge measurements are used as an external and independent reference to enable further quality assessment of the altimeter sea level and provide a better estimate of the multiple altimeter performances. In this way, both altimeter and tide gauge observations, dedicated to climate applications, require a rigorous quality control. The tide gauge time series considered in this study derive from several networks (GLOSS/CLIVAR, PSMSL, REFMAR) and provide sea-level heights with a physical content comparable with altimetry sea level estimates. Concerning altimeter data, the long-term drift assessment can be evaluated thanks to a widespread network of tide gauges. Thus, in-situ measurements are compared with altimeter sea level for the main altimeter missions. If altimeter time series are long enough, tide gauge data provide a relevant estimation of the global Mean Sea Level (MSL) drift calculated for all the missions. Moreover, comparisons with sea level products merging all the altimeter missions together have also been performed using several datasets, among which the AVISO delayed-time Sea Level Anomaly grids.

  10. Geometric Quality Assessment of LIDAR Data Based on Swath Overlap

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sampath, A.; Heidemann, H. K.; Stensaas, G. L.

    2016-06-01

    This paper provides guidelines on quantifying the relative horizontal and vertical errors observed between conjugate features in the overlapping regions of lidar data. The quantification of these errors is important because their presence quantifies the geometric quality of the data. A data set can be said to have good geometric quality if measurements of identical features, regardless of their position or orientation, yield identical results. Good geometric quality indicates that the data are produced using sensor models that are working as they are mathematically designed, and data acquisition processes are not introducing any unforeseen distortion in the data. High geometric quality also leads to high geolocation accuracy of the data when the data acquisition process includes coupling the sensor with geopositioning systems. Current specifications (e.g. Heidemann 2014) do not provide adequate means to quantitatively measure these errors, even though they are required to be reported. Current accuracy measurement and reporting practices followed in the industry and as recommended by data specification documents also potentially underestimate the inter-swath errors, including the presence of systematic errors in lidar data. Hence they pose a risk to the user in terms of data acceptance (i.e. a higher potential for Type II error indicating risk of accepting potentially unsuitable data). For example, if the overlap area is too small or if the sampled locations are close to the center of overlap, or if the errors are sampled in flat regions when there are residual pitch errors in the data, the resultant Root Mean Square Differences (RMSD) can still be small. To avoid this, the following are suggested to be used as criteria for defining the inter-swath quality of data: a) Median Discrepancy Angle b) Mean and RMSD of Horizontal Errors using DQM measured on sloping surfaces c) RMSD for sampled locations from flat areas (defined as areas with less than 5 degrees of slope

  11. Assessment of quality of life in patients with knee osteoarthritis

    PubMed Central

    Kawano, Marcio Massao; Araújo, Ivan Luis Andrade; Castro, Martha Cavalcante; Matos, Marcos Almeida

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT OBJECTIVE : To assess the quality of life of knee osteoarthritis patients using the SF-36 questionnaire METHODS : Cross-sec-tional study with 93 knee osteoarthritis patients. The sample was categorized according to Ahlbӓck score. All individuals were interviewed with the SF-36 questionnaire RESULTS : The main finding of the study is related to the association of edu-cation level with the functional capacity, functional limitation and pain. Patients with higher education level had better functional capacity when they were compared to patients with basic level of education CONCLUSION : Individuals with osteoarthritis have a low perception of their quality of life in functional capacity, functional limitation and pain. There is a strong association between low level of education and low perception of quality of life. Level of Evidence IV, Clinical Case Series. PMID:27057143

  12. Assessing the Quality of PhD Dissertations. A Survey of External Committee Members

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kyvik, Svein; Thune, Taran

    2015-01-01

    This article reports on a study of the quality assessment of doctoral dissertations, and asks whether examiner characteristics influence assessment of research quality in PhD dissertations. Utilising a multi-dimensional concept of quality of PhD dissertations, we look at differences in assessment of research quality, and particularly test whether…

  13. National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Area-Characterization Toolbox

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Price, Curtis

    2010-01-01

    This is release 1.0 of the National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Area-Characterization Toolbox. These tools are designed to be accessed using ArcGIS Desktop software (versions 9.3 and 9.3.1). The toolbox is composed of a collection of custom tools that implement geographic information system (GIS) techniques used by the NAWQA Program to characterize aquifer areas, drainage basins, and sampled wells.

  14. Quality control and quality assurance plan for bridge channel-stability assessments in Massachusetts

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Parker, Gene W.; Pinson, Harlow

    1993-01-01

    A quality control and quality assurance plan has been implemented as part of the Massachusetts bridge scour and channel-stability assessment program. This program is being conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey, Massachusetts-Rhode Island District, in cooperation with the Massachusetts Highway Department. Project personnel training, data-integrity verification, and new data-management technologies are being utilized in the channel-stability assessment process to improve current data-collection and management techniques. An automated data-collection procedure has been implemented to standardize channel-stability assessments on a regular basis within the State. An object-oriented data structure and new image management tools are used to produce a data base enabling management of multiple data object classes. Data will be reviewed by assessors and data base managers before being merged into a master bridge-scour data base, which includes automated data-verification routines.

  15. Assessment of ecological quality of coastal lagoons with a combination of phytobenthic and water quality indices.

    PubMed

    Christia, Chrysoula; Giordani, Gianmarco; Papastergiadou, Eva

    2014-09-15

    Coastal lagoons are ecotones between continents and the sea. Coastal lagoons of Western Greece, subjected to different human pressures, were classified into four different types based on their hydromorphological characteristics and monitored over a three year period for their biotic and abiotic features. Six ecological indices based on water quality parameters (TSI-Chl-a, TSI-TP, TRIX), benthic macrophytes (E-MaQI, EEI-c) and an integrated index TWQI, were applied to assess the ecological status of studied lagoons under real conditions. The trophic status ranged from oligotrophic to hypertrophic according to the index applied. The ecological quality of transitional water ecosystems can be better assessed by using indices based on benthic macrophytes as changes in abundance and diversity of sensitive and tolerant species are the first evidence of incoming eutrophication. The multi-parametric index TWQI can be considered appropriate for the ecological assessment of these ecosystems due to its robustness and the simple application procedure.

  16. Subjective video quality assessment methods for recognition tasks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ford, Carolyn G.; McFarland, Mark A.; Stange, Irena W.

    2009-02-01

    To develop accurate objective measurements (models) for video quality assessment, subjective data is traditionally collected via human subject testing. The ITU has a series of Recommendations that address methodology for performing subjective tests in a rigorous manner. These methods are targeted at the entertainment application of video. However, video is often used for many applications outside of the entertainment sector, and generally this class of video is used to perform a specific task. Examples of these applications include security, public safety, remote command and control, and sign language. For these applications, video is used to recognize objects, people or events. The existing methods, developed to assess a person's perceptual opinion of quality, are not appropriate for task-based video. The Institute for Telecommunication Sciences, under a program from the Department of Homeland Security and the National Institute for Standards and Technology's Office of Law Enforcement, has developed a subjective test method to determine a person's ability to perform recognition tasks using video, thereby rating the quality according to the usefulness of the video quality within its application. This new method is presented, along with a discussion of two examples of subjective tests using this method.

  17. A novel, fuzzy-based air quality index (FAQI) for air quality assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sowlat, Mohammad Hossein; Gharibi, Hamed; Yunesian, Masud; Tayefeh Mahmoudi, Maryam; Lotfi, Saeedeh

    2011-04-01

    The ever increasing level of air pollution in most areas of the world has led to development of a variety of air quality indices for estimation of health effects of air pollution, though the indices have their own limitations such as high levels of subjectivity. Present study, therefore, aimed at developing a novel, fuzzy-based air quality index (FAQI ) to handle such limitations. The index developed by present study is based on fuzzy logic that is considered as one of the most common computational methods of artificial intelligence. In addition to criteria air pollutants (i.e. CO, SO 2, PM 10, O 3, NO 2), benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene, and 1,3-butadiene were also taken into account in the index proposed, because of their considerable health effects. Different weighting factors were then assigned to each pollutant according to its priority. Trapezoidal membership functions were employed for classifications and the final index consisted of 72 inference rules. To assess the performance of the index, a case study was carried out employing air quality data at five different sampling stations in Tehran, Iran, from January 2008 to December 2009, results of which were then compared to the results obtained from USEPA air quality index (AQI). According to the results from present study, fuzzy-based air quality index is a comprehensive tool for classification of air quality and tends to produce accurate results. Therefore, it can be considered useful, reliable, and suitable for consideration by local authorities in air quality assessment and management schemes. Fuzzy-based air quality index (FAQI).

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Integrating transcriptomics into triad-based soil-quality assessment.

    PubMed

    Chen, Guangquan; de Boer, Tjalf E; Wagelmans, Marlea; van Gestel, Cornelis A M; van Straalen, Nico M; Roelofs, Dick

    2014-04-01

    The present study examined how transcriptomics tools can be included in a triad-based soil-quality assessment to assess the toxicity of soils from riverbanks polluted by metals. To that end, the authors measured chemical soil properties and used the International Organization for Standardization guideline for ecotoxicological tests and a newly developed microarray for gene expression in the indicator soil arthropod Folsomia candida. Microarray analysis revealed that the oxidative stress response pathway was significantly affected in all soils except one. The data indicate that changes in cell redox homeostasis are a significant signature of metal stress. Finally, 32 genes showed significant dose-dependent expression with metal concentrations. They are promising genetic markers providing an early indication of the need for higher-tier testing of soil quality. During the bioassay, the toxicity of the least polluted soils could be removed by sterilization. The gene expression profile for this soil did not show a metal-related signature, confirming that a factor other than metals (most likely of biological origin) caused the toxicity. The present study demonstrates the feasibility and advantages of integrating transcriptomics into triad-based soil-quality assessment. Combining molecular and organismal life-history trait stress responses helps to identify causes of adverse effects in bioassays. Further validation is needed for verifying the set of genes with dose-dependent expression patterns linked with toxic stress. PMID:24382659

  1. National water-quality assessment program : the Albemarle- Pamlico drainage

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lloyd, O.B.; Barnes, C.R.; Woodside, M.D.

    1991-01-01

    In 1991, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) began to implement a full-scale National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) program. Long-term goals of the NAWQA program are to describe the status and trends in the quality of a large, representative part of the Nation's surface- and ground-water resources and to provide a sound, scientific understanding of the primary natural and human factors affecting the quality of these resources. In meeting these goals, the program will produce a wealth of water quality information that will be useful to policy makers and managers at the national, State, and local levels. Study-unit investigations constitute a major component of the NAWQA program, forming the principal building blocks on which national-level assessment activities are based. The 60 study-unit investigations that make up the program are hydrologic systems that include parts of most major river basins and aquifer systems. These study units cover areas of 1,200 to more than 65,000 square miles and incorporate about 60 to 70 percent of the Nation's water use and population served by public water supply. In 1991, the Albemarle-Pamlico drainage was among the first 20 NAWQA study units selected for study under the full-scale implementation plan. The Albemarle-Pamlico drainage study will examine the physical, chemical, and biological aspects of water quality issues in a coordinated investigation of surface water and ground water in the Albemarle-Pamlico drainage basin. The quantity and quality of discharge from the Albemarle-Pamlico drainage basin contribute to some water quality problems in the biologically sensitive waters of Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds. A retrospective analysis of existing water quality data will precede a 3-year period of intensive data-collection and analysis activities. The data resulting from this study and the improved understanding of important processes and issues in the upstream part of the study unit will enhance understanding of the quality of

  2. Assessing water quality trends in catchments with contrasting hydrological regimes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sherriff, Sophie C.; Shore, Mairead; Mellander, Per-Erik

    2016-04-01

    Environmental resources are under increasing pressure to simultaneously achieve social, economic and ecological aims. Increasing demand for food production, for example, has expanded and intensified agricultural systems globally. In turn, greater risks of diffuse pollutant delivery (suspended sediment (SS) and Phosphorus (P)) from land to water due to higher stocking densities, fertilisation rates and soil erodibility has been attributed to deterioration of chemical and ecological quality of aquatic ecosystems. Development of sustainable and resilient management strategies for agro-ecosystems must detect and consider the impact of land use disturbance on water quality over time. However, assessment of multiple monitoring sites over a region is challenged by hydro-climatic fluctuations and the propagation of events through catchments with contrasting hydrological regimes. Simple water quality metrics, for example, flow-weighted pollutant exports have potential to normalise the impact of catchment hydrology and better identify water quality fluctuations due to land use and short-term climate fluctuations. This paper assesses the utility of flow-weighted water quality metrics to evaluate periods and causes of critical pollutant transfer. Sub-hourly water quality (SS and P) and discharge data were collected from hydrometric monitoring stations at the outlets of five small (~10 km2) agricultural catchments in Ireland. Catchments possess contrasting land uses (predominantly grassland or arable) and soil drainage (poorly, moderately or well drained) characteristics. Flow-weighted water quality metrics were calculated and evaluated according to fluctuations in source pressure and rainfall. Flow-weighted water quality metrics successfully identified fluctuations in pollutant export which could be attributed to land use changes through the agricultural calendar, i.e., groundcover fluctuations. In particular, catchments with predominantly poor or moderate soil drainage

  3. The Groundwater Performance Assessment Project Quality Assurance Plan

    SciTech Connect

    Luttrell, Stuart P.

    2006-05-11

    U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has monitored groundwater on the Hanford Site since the 1940s to help determine what chemical and radiological contaminants have made their way into the groundwater. As regulatory requirements for monitoring increased in the 1980s, there began to be some overlap between various programs. DOE established the Groundwater Performance Assessment Project (groundwater project) in 1996 to ensure protection of the public and the environment while improving the efficiency of monitoring activities. The groundwater project is designed to support all groundwater monitoring needs at the site, eliminate redundant sampling and analysis, and establish a cost-effective hierarchy for groundwater monitoring activities. This document provides the quality assurance guidelines that will be followed by the groundwater project. This QA Plan is based on the QA requirements of DOE Order 414.1C, Quality Assurance, and 10 CFR 830, Subpart A--General Provisions/Quality Assurance Requirements as delineated in Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s Standards-Based Management System. In addition, the groundwater project is subject to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Requirements for Quality Assurance Project Plans (EPA/240/B-01/003, QA/R-5). The groundwater project has determined that the Hanford Analytical Services Quality Assurance Requirements Documents (HASQARD, DOE/RL-96-68) apply to portions of this project and to the subcontractors. HASQARD requirements are discussed within applicable sections of this plan.

  4. Quality assessment of adaptive 3D video streaming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tavakoli, Samira; Gutiérrez, Jesús; García, Narciso

    2013-03-01

    The streaming of 3D video contents is currently a reality to expand the user experience. However, because of the variable bandwidth of the networks used to deliver multimedia content, a smooth and high-quality playback experience could not always be guaranteed. Using segments in multiple video qualities, HTTP adaptive streaming (HAS) of video content is a relevant advancement with respect to classic progressive download streaming. Mainly, it allows resolving these issues by offering significant advantages in terms of both user-perceived Quality of Experience (QoE) and resource utilization for content and network service providers. In this paper we discuss the impact of possible HAS client's behavior while adapting to the network capacity on enduser. This has been done through an experiment of testing the end-user response to the quality variation during the adaptation procedure. The evaluation has been carried out through a subjective test of the end-user response to various possible clients' behaviors for increasing, decreasing, and oscillation of quality in 3D video. In addition, some of the HAS typical impairments during the adaptation has been simulated and their effects on the end-user perception are assessed. The experimental conclusions have made good insight into the user's response to different adaptation scenarios and visual impairments causing the visual discomfort that can be used to develop the adaptive streaming algorithm to improve the end-user experience.

  5. Quality Assessment of Collection 6 MODIS Atmospheric Science Products

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manoharan, V. S.; Ridgway, B.; Platnick, S. E.; Devadiga, S.; Mauoka, E.

    2015-12-01

    Since the launch of the NASA Terra and Aqua satellites in December 1999 and May 2002, respectively, atmosphere and land data acquired by the MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) sensor on-board these satellites have been reprocessed five times at the MODAPS (MODIS Adaptive Processing System) located at NASA GSFC. The global land and atmosphere products use science algorithms developed by the NASA MODIS science team investigators. MODAPS completed Collection 6 reprocessing of MODIS Atmosphere science data products in April 2015 and is currently generating the Collection 6 products using the latest version of the science algorithms. This reprocessing has generated one of the longest time series of consistent data records for understanding cloud, aerosol, and other constituents in the earth's atmosphere. It is important to carefully evaluate and assess the quality of this data and remove any artifacts to maintain a useful climate data record. Quality Assessment (QA) is an integral part of the processing chain at MODAPS. This presentation will describe the QA approaches and tools adopted by the MODIS Land/Atmosphere Operational Product Evaluation (LDOPE) team to assess the quality of MODIS operational Atmospheric products produced at MODAPS. Some of the tools include global high resolution images, time series analysis and statistical QA metrics. The new high resolution global browse images with pan and zoom have provided the ability to perform QA of products in real time through synoptic QA on the web. This global browse generation has been useful in identifying production error, data loss, and data quality issues from calibration error, geolocation error and algorithm performance. A time series analysis for various science datasets in the Level-3 monthly product was recently developed for assessing any long term drifts in the data arising from instrument errors or other artifacts. This presentation will describe and discuss some test cases from the

  6. Soil bioassays as tools for sludge compost quality assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Domene, Xavier; Sola, Laura; Ramirez, Wilson; Alcaniz, Josep M.; Andres, Pilar

    2011-03-15

    Composting is a waste management technology that is becoming more widespread as a response to the increasing production of sewage sludge and the pressure for its reuse in soil. In this study, different bioassays (plant germination, earthworm survival, biomass and reproduction, and collembolan survival and reproduction) were assessed for their usefulness in the compost quality assessment. Compost samples, from two different composting plants, were taken along the composting process, which were characterized and submitted to bioassays (plant germination and collembolan and earthworm performance). Results from our study indicate that the noxious effects of some of the compost samples observed in bioassays are related to the low organic matter stability of composts and the enhanced release of decomposition endproducts, with the exception of earthworms, which are favored. Plant germination and collembolan reproduction inhibition was generally associated with uncomposted sludge, while earthworm total biomass and reproduction were enhanced by these materials. On the other hand, earthworm and collembolan survival were unaffected by the degree of composting of the wastes. However, this pattern was clear in one of the composting procedures assessed, but less in the other, where the release of decomposition endproducts was lower due to its higher stability, indicating the sensitivity and usefulness of bioassays for the quality assessment of composts.

  7. Assess water scarcity integrating water quantity and quality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, J.; Zeng, Z.

    2014-12-01

    Water scarcity has become widespread all over the world. Current methods for water scarcity assessment are mainly based on water quantity and seldom consider water quality. Here, we develop an approach for assessing water scarcity considering both water quantity and quality. In this approach, a new water scarcity index is used to describe the severity of water scarcity in the form of a water scarcity meter, which may help to communicate water scarcity to a wider audience. To illustrate the approach, we analyzed the historical trend of water scarcity for Beijing city in China during 1995-2009, as well as the assessment for different river basins in China. The results show that Beijing made a huge progress in mitigating water scarcity, and that from 1999 to 2009 the blue and grey water scarcity index decreased by 59% and 62%, respectively. Despite this progress, we demonstrate that Beijing is still characterized by serious water scarcity due to both water quantity and quality. The water scarcity index remained at a high value of 3.5 with a blue and grey water scarcity index of 1.2 and 2.3 in 2009 (exceeding the thresholds of 0.4 and 1, respectively). As a result of unsustainable water use and pollution, groundwater levels continue to decline, and water quality shows a continuously deteriorating trend. To curb this trend, future water policies should further decrease water withdrawal from local sources (in particular groundwater) within Beijing, and should limit the grey water footprint below the total amount of water resources.

  8. Continuous table acquisition MRI for radiotherapy treatment planning: Distortion assessment with a new extended 3D volumetric phantom

    SciTech Connect

    Walker, Amy Metcalfe, Peter; Liney, Gary; Holloway, Lois; Dowling, Jason; Rivest-Henault, David

    2015-04-15

    -plane direction and an increased blurring of capsule images, resulting in an apparent capsule volume increase by up to 170% in extreme axial FOV regions. Blurring increased with table speed and in the central regions of the phantom, geometric distortion was less for static table acquisitions compared to a table speed of 2 mm/s over the same volume. Overall, the best geometric accuracy was achieved with a table speed of 1.1 mm/s. Conclusions: The phantom designed enables full FOV imaging for distortion assessment for the purposes of RTP. MRI acquisition with a moving table extends the imaging volume in the z direction with reduced distortions which could be useful particularly if considering MR-only planning. If utilizing MR images to provide additional soft tissue information to the planning CT, standard acquisition sequences over a smaller volume would avoid introducing additional blurring or distortions from the through-plane table movement.

  9. Quality of evidence must guide risk assessment of asbestos.

    PubMed

    Lenters, Virissa; Burdorf, Alex; Vermeulen, Roel; Stayner, Leslie; Heederik, Dick

    2012-10-01

    In 2011, we reported on the sensitivity of lung cancer potency estimates for asbestos to the quality of the exposure assessment component of underlying evidence. Both this meta-analysis and a separate reassessment of standards published by the Health Council of the Netherlands (Gezondheidsraad) have been commented on by Berman and Case. A criticism is that we used a truncated data set. We incrementally excluded poorer-quality studies to evaluate trends in meta-analyzed lung cancer potency estimates (meta-K (L) values). This was one of three analysis approaches we presented. The other two used the full set of studies: a meta-analysis stratified by covariates and dichotomized by poorer and better exposure assessment aspects; and a meta-regression modeling both asbestos fiber type and these covariates. They also state that our results are not robust to removal of one study. We disagree with this claim and present additional sensitivity analyses underpinning our earlier conclusion that inclusion of studies with higher-quality asbestos-exposure assessment yield higher meta-estimates of the lung cancer risk per unit of exposure. We reiterate that potency differences for predominantly chrysotile- versus amphibole-asbestos-exposed cohorts are difficult to ascertain when meta-analyses are restricted to studies with fewer exposure assessment limitations. We strongly argue that the existence of any uncertainty related to potency issues should not hamper the development of appropriate evidence-based guidelines and stringent policies in order to protect the public from hazardous environmental and occupational exposures.

  10. Data Quality Verification at STScI - Automated Assessment and Your Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dempsey, R.; Swade, D.; Scott, J.; Hamilton, F.; Holm, A.

    1996-12-01

    As satellite based observatories improve their ability to deliver wider varieties and more complex types of scientific data, so to does the process of analyzing and reducing these data. It becomes correspondingly imperative that Guest Observers or Archival Researchers have access to an accurate, consistent, and easily understandable summary of the quality of their data. Previously, at the STScI, an astronomer would display and examine the quality and scientific usefulness of every single observation obtained with HST. Recently, this process has undergone a major reorganization at the Institute. A major part of the new process is that the majority of data are assessed automatically with little or no human intervention. As part of routine processing in the OSS--PODPS Unified System (OPUS), the Observatory Monitoring System (OMS) observation logs, the science processing trailer file (also known as the TRL file), and the science data headers are inspected by an automated tool, AUTO_DQ. AUTO_DQ then determines if any anomalous events occurred during the observation or through processing and calibration of the data that affects the procedural quality of the data. The results are placed directly into the Procedural Data Quality (PDQ) file as a string of predefined data quality keywords and comments. These in turn are used by the Contact Scientist (CS) to check the scientific usefulness of the observations. In this manner, the telemetry stream is checked for known problems such as losses of lock, re-centerings, or degraded guiding, for example, while missing data or calibration errors are also easily flagged. If the problem is serious, the data are then queued for manual inspection by an astronomer. The success of every target acquisition is verified manually. If serious failures are confirmed, the PI and the scheduling staff are notified so that options concerning rescheduling the observations can be explored.

  11. Meat quality assessment by electronic nose (machine olfaction technology).

    PubMed

    Ghasemi-Varnamkhasti, Mahdi; Mohtasebi, Seyed Saeid; Siadat, Maryam; Balasubramanian, Sundar

    2009-01-01

    Over the last twenty years, newly developed chemical sensor systems (so called "electronic noses") have made odor analyses possible. These systems involve various types of electronic chemical gas sensors with partial specificity, as well as suitable statistical methods enabling the recognition of complex odors. As commercial instruments have become available, a substantial increase in research into the application of electronic noses in the evaluation of volatile compounds in food, cosmetic and other items of everyday life is observed. At present, the commercial gas sensor technologies comprise metal oxide semiconductors, metal oxide semiconductor field effect transistors, organic conducting polymers, and piezoelectric crystal sensors. Further sensors based on fibreoptic, electrochemical and bi-metal principles are still in the developmental stage. Statistical analysis techniques range from simple graphical evaluation to multivariate analysis such as artificial neural network and radial basis function. The introduction of electronic noses into the area of food is envisaged for quality control, process monitoring, freshness evaluation, shelf-life investigation and authenticity assessment. Considerable work has already been carried out on meat, grains, coffee, mushrooms, cheese, sugar, fish, beer and other beverages, as well as on the odor quality evaluation of food packaging material. This paper describes the applications of these systems for meat quality assessment, where fast detection methods are essential for appropriate product management. The results suggest the possibility of using this new technology in meat handling.

  12. Subjective Quality Assessment of Underwater Video for Scientific Applications.

    PubMed

    Moreno-Roldán, José-Miguel; Luque-Nieto, Miguel-Ángel; Poncela, Javier; Díaz-del-Río, Víctor; Otero, Pablo

    2015-01-01

    Underwater video services could be a key application in the better scientific knowledge of the vast oceanic resources in our planet. However, limitations in the capacity of current available technology for underwater networks (UWSNs) raise the question of the feasibility of these services. When transmitting video, the main constraints are the limited bandwidth and the high propagation delays. At the same time the service performance depends on the needs of the target group. This paper considers the problems of estimations for the Mean Opinion Score (a standard quality measure) in UWSNs based on objective methods and addresses the topic of quality assessment in potential underwater video services from a subjective point of view. The experimental design and the results of a test planned according standardized psychometric methods are presented. The subjects used in the quality assessment test were ocean scientists. Video sequences were recorded in actual exploration expeditions and were processed to simulate conditions similar to those that might be found in UWSNs. Our experimental results show how videos are considered to be useful for scientific purposes even in very low bitrate conditions. PMID:26694400

  13. Subjective Quality Assessment of Underwater Video for Scientific Applications.

    PubMed

    Moreno-Roldán, José-Miguel; Luque-Nieto, Miguel-Ángel; Poncela, Javier; Díaz-del-Río, Víctor; Otero, Pablo

    2015-12-15

    Underwater video services could be a key application in the better scientific knowledge of the vast oceanic resources in our planet. However, limitations in the capacity of current available technology for underwater networks (UWSNs) raise the question of the feasibility of these services. When transmitting video, the main constraints are the limited bandwidth and the high propagation delays. At the same time the service performance depends on the needs of the target group. This paper considers the problems of estimations for the Mean Opinion Score (a standard quality measure) in UWSNs based on objective methods and addresses the topic of quality assessment in potential underwater video services from a subjective point of view. The experimental design and the results of a test planned according standardized psychometric methods are presented. The subjects used in the quality assessment test were ocean scientists. Video sequences were recorded in actual exploration expeditions and were processed to simulate conditions similar to those that might be found in UWSNs. Our experimental results show how videos are considered to be useful for scientific purposes even in very low bitrate conditions.

  14. Meat Quality Assessment by Electronic Nose (Machine Olfaction Technology)

    PubMed Central

    Ghasemi-Varnamkhasti, Mahdi; Mohtasebi, Seyed Saeid; Siadat, Maryam; Balasubramanian, Sundar

    2009-01-01

    Over the last twenty years, newly developed chemical sensor systems (so called “electronic noses”) have made odor analyses possible. These systems involve various types of electronic chemical gas sensors with partial specificity, as well as suitable statistical methods enabling the recognition of complex odors. As commercial instruments have become available, a substantial increase in research into the application of electronic noses in the evaluation of volatile compounds in food, cosmetic and other items of everyday life is observed. At present, the commercial gas sensor technologies comprise metal oxide semiconductors, metal oxide semiconductor field effect transistors, organic conducting polymers, and piezoelectric crystal sensors. Further sensors based on fibreoptic, electrochemical and bi-metal principles are still in the developmental stage. Statistical analysis techniques range from simple graphical evaluation to multivariate analysis such as artificial neural network and radial basis function. The introduction of electronic noses into the area of food is envisaged for quality control, process monitoring, freshness evaluation, shelf-life investigation and authenticity assessment. Considerable work has already been carried out on meat, grains, coffee, mushrooms, cheese, sugar, fish, beer and other beverages, as well as on the odor quality evaluation of food packaging material. This paper describes the applications of these systems for meat quality assessment, where fast detection methods are essential for appropriate product management. The results suggest the possibility of using this new technology in meat handling. PMID:22454572

  15. An assessment of drinking-water quality post-Haiyan

    PubMed Central

    Anarna, Maria Sonabel; Fernando, Arturo

    2015-01-01

    Introduction Access to safe drinking-water is one of the most important public health concerns in an emergency setting. This descriptive study reports on an assessment of water quality in drinking-water supply systems in areas affected by Typhoon Haiyan immediately following and 10 months after the typhoon. Methods Water quality testing and risk assessments of the drinking-water systems were conducted three weeks and 10 months post-Haiyan. Portable test kits were used to determine the presence of Escherichia coli and the level of residual chlorine in water samples. The level of risk was fed back to the water operators for their action. Results Of the 121 water samples collected three weeks post-Haiyan, 44% were contaminated, while 65% (244/373) of samples were found positive for E. coli 10 months post-Haiyan. For the three components of drinking-water systems – source, storage and distribution – the proportions of contaminated systems were 70%, 67% and 57%, respectively, 10 months after Haiyan. Discussion Vulnerability to faecal contamination was attributed to weak water safety programmes in the drinking-water supply systems. Poor water quality can be prevented or reduced by developing and implementing a water safety plan for the systems. This, in turn, will help prevent waterborne disease outbreaks caused by contaminated water post-disaster. PMID:26767136

  16. Subjective Quality Assessment of Underwater Video for Scientific Applications

    PubMed Central

    Moreno-Roldán, José-Miguel; Luque-Nieto, Miguel-Ángel; Poncela, Javier; Díaz-del-Río, Víctor; Otero, Pablo

    2015-01-01

    Underwater video services could be a key application in the better scientific knowledge of the vast oceanic resources in our planet. However, limitations in the capacity of current available technology for underwater networks (UWSNs) raise the question of the feasibility of these services. When transmitting video, the main constraints are the limited bandwidth and the high propagation delays. At the same time the service performance depends on the needs of the target group. This paper considers the problems of estimations for the Mean Opinion Score (a standard quality measure) in UWSNs based on objective methods and addresses the topic of quality assessment in potential underwater video services from a subjective point of view. The experimental design and the results of a test planned according standardized psychometric methods are presented. The subjects used in the quality assessment test were ocean scientists. Video sequences were recorded in actual exploration expeditions and were processed to simulate conditions similar to those that might be found in UWSNs. Our experimental results show how videos are considered to be useful for scientific purposes even in very low bitrate conditions. PMID:26694400

  17. Assessing Impact of Weight on Quality of Life.

    PubMed

    Kolotkin, R L; Head, S; Hamilton, M; Tse, C K

    1995-01-01

    This paper is a preliminary report on the development of a new instrument, the Impact of Weight on Quality of Life (IWQOL) questionnaire, that assesses the effects of weight on various areas of life. We conducted two studies utilizing subjects in treatment for obesity at Duke University Diet and Fitness Center. The first study describes item development, assesses reliability, and compares pre- and post-treatment scores on the IWQOL. In the second study we examined the effects of body mass index (BMI), gender, and age on subjects' perceptions of impact of weight on quality of life. Results indicate adequate psychometric properties with test-retest reliabilities averaging .75 for single items, and .89 for scales. Scale internal consistency averaged .87. Post-treatment scores differed significantly from pre-treatment scores on all scales, indicating that treatment produced positive changes in impact of weight on quality of life. The results of the second study indicate that the impact of weight generally worsened as the patients' size increased. However for women there was no association between BMI and impact of weight on Self-Esteem and Sexual Life. Even at the lowest BMI tertile studied, women reported that weight had a substantial impact in these areas. There were also significant gender differences, with women showing greater impact of weight on Self-Esteem and Sexual Life compared with men. The impact of age was a bit surprising, with some areas showing positive changes and others showing no change.

  18. Assessing Heterogeneous Student Bodies Using a Methodology that Encourages the Acquisition of Skills Valued by Employers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Perdigones, Alicia; Garcia, Jose Luis; Valino, Vanesa; Raposo, Cecilia

    2009-01-01

    This work compares the results of three assessment systems used in two Spanish universities (the "Universidad Politecnica de Madrid" and the "Universidad Catolica de Avila"): the traditional system based on final examinations, continuous assessment with periodic tests and a proposed system (specially designed for heterogeneous student bodies)…

  19. Assessment of diffusion tensor image quality across sites and vendors using the American College of Radiology head phantom.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zhiyue J; Seo, Youngseob; Babcock, Evelyn; Huang, Hao; Bluml, Stefan; Wisnowski, Jessica; Holshouser, Barbara; Panigrahy, Ashok; Shaw, Dennis W W; Altman, Nolan; McColl, Roderick W; Rollins, Nancy K

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to explore the feasibility of assessing quality of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) from multiple sites and vendors using American College of Radiology (ACR) phantom. Participating sites (Siemens (n = 2), GE (n= 2), and Philips (n = 4)) reached consensus on parameters for DTI and used the widely available ACR phantom. Tensor data were processed at one site. B0 and eddy current distortions were assessed using grid line displacement on phantom Slice 5; signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) was measured at the center and periphery of the b = 0 image; fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean diffusivity (MD) were assessed using phantom Slice 7. Variations of acquisition parameters and deviations from specified sequence parameters were recorded. Nonlinear grid line distortion was higher with linear shimming and could be corrected using the 2nd order shimming. Following image registration, eddy current distortion was consistently smaller than acquisi-tion voxel size. SNR was consistently higher in the image periphery than center by a factor of 1.3-2.0. ROI-based FA ranged from 0.007 to 0.024. ROI-based MD ranged from 1.90 × 10-3 to 2.33 × 10-3 mm2/s (median = 2.04 × 10-3 mm2/s). Two sites had image void artifacts. The ACR phantom can be used to compare key qual-ity measures of diffusion images acquired from multiple vendors at multiple sites. PMID:27167268

  20. Entre dicho y hecho ...: An Assessment of the Application of Research from Second Language Acquisition and Related Fields to the Creation of Spanish CALL Materials for Lexical Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lafford, Barbara A.; Lafford, Peter A.; Sykes, Julie

    2007-01-01

    Despite the problems presented by lexical errors in second language (L2) communication, most computer assisted language learning (CALL) programs tend to focus on the acquisition of grammar points rather than on the development of the L2 lexicon. In addition, CALL vocabulary tasks are typically limited in scope and mechanical in nature, covering…

  1. Surface-water quality assessment using hyperspectral imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blanco, Alfonso; Roper, William E.; Gomez, Richard B.

    2003-08-01

    Hyperspectral imagining has been recently been used to obtain several water quality parameters in water bodies either inland or in oceans. Optical and thermal have proven that spatial and temporal information needed to track and understand trend changes for these water quality parameters will result in developing better management practices for improving water quality of water bodies. This paper will review water quality parameters Chlorophyll (Chl), Dissolved Organic Carbon (DOC), and Total Suspended Solids (TSS) obtained for the Sakonnet River in Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island using the AVIRIS Sensor. The AVIRIS Sensor should improve the assessment and the definition of locations and pollutant concentrations of point and non-point sources. It will provide for necessary monitoring data to follow the clean up efforts and locate the necessary water and wastewater infrastructure to eliminate these point and non-point sources. This hyperspectral application would enhance the evaluation by both point and non-point sources, improve upon and partially replace expenses, labor intensive field sampling, and allow for economical sampling and mapping of large geographical areas.

  2. Subjective quality assessment of numerically reconstructed compressed holograms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ahar, Ayyoub; Blinder, David; Bruylants, Tim; Schretter, Colas; Munteanu, Adrian; Schelkens, Peter

    2015-09-01

    Recently several papers reported efficient techniques to compress digital holograms. Typically, the rate-distortion performance of these solutions was evaluated by means of objective metrics such as Peak Signal-to-Noise Ratio (PSNR) or the Structural Similarity Index Measure (SSIM) by either evaluating the quality of the decoded hologram or the reconstructed compressed hologram. Seen the specific nature of holograms, it is relevant to question to what extend these metrics provide information on the effective visual quality of the reconstructed hologram. Given that today no holographic display technology is available that would allow for a proper subjective evaluation experiment, we propose in this paper a methodology that is based on assessing the quality of a reconstructed compressed hologram on a regular 2D display. In parallel, we also evaluate several coding engines, namely JPEG configured with the default perceptual quantization tables and with uniform quantization tables, JPEG 2000, JPEG 2000 extended with arbitrary packet decompositions and direction-adaptive filters and H.265/HEVC configured in intra-frame mode. The experimental results indicate that the perceived visual quality and the objective measures are well correlated. Moreover, also the superiority of the HEVC and the extended JPEG 2000 coding engines was confirmed, particularly at lower bitrates.

  3. Storage stability and quality assessment of processed cereal brans.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Savita; Kaur, Satinder; Dar, B N; Singh, Baljit

    2014-03-01

    Quality improvement of cereal brans, a health promoting ingredient for functional foods is the emerging research concept due to their low shelf stability and presence of non-nutrient components. A study was conducted to evaluate the storage quality of processed milling industry byproducts so that these can be potentially utilized as a dietary fibre source. Different cereal brans (wheat, rice, barley and oat) were processed by dry, wet, microwave heating, extrusion cooking and chemical methods at variable conditions. Processed brans were stored in high density polyethylene (HDPE) pouches at ambient and refrigeration temperature. Quality assessments (moisture, free fatty acids, water activity and physical quality) of brans were done up to six months, at one month intervals. Free fatty acid content, moisture and water activity of the cereal brans remained stable during the entire storage period. Among treatments, extrusion processing is the most effective for stability. Processing treatments and storage temperature have the positive effect on extending the shelf life of all cereal brans. Therefore, processed cereal brans can be used as a dietary fortificant for the development of value added food products. PMID:24587536

  4. Assessment of river Po sediment quality by micropollutant analysis.

    PubMed

    Camusso, Marina; Galassi, Silvana; Vignati, Davide

    2002-05-01

    Trace metals, PCB congeners and DDT homologues were determined in composite sediment samples collected from 10 representative sites along the river Po in two separate seasons. The aim was to identify the most anthropogenically impacted areas for future monitoring programmes and to aid development of Italian sediment quality criteria. The surface samples were collected during low flow conditions. Trace metal concentrations were assayed by electrothermal (Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb), flame (Fe, Mn, Zn) or hydride generation (As) atomic absorption spectrometry after microwave assisted acid digestion. Hg was determined on solid samples by automated analyser. Organic microcontaminants were determined by gas-chromatography with 63Ni electron capture detector after Soxhlet extraction. Concentrations of trace metals, total PCB and DDT homologues showed two distinct peaks at the sites immediately downstream of Turin and Milan, respectively, and in each case decreased progressively further downstream. Principal component analysis identified three major factors (from a multi-dimensional space of 35 variables) which explained 85-90% of the total observed variance. The first and second factors corresponded to anthropogenic inputs and geological factors on sediment quality; the third included seasonal processes of minor importance. Sediment quality assessment identified Cd, Cu, Hg, Pb, Zn and organic microcontaminants as posing the most serious threats to river sediment quality. A reference site within the Po basin provided useful background values. Moderate pollution by organochlorine compounds was ascribed both to local sources and to atmospheric deposition. PMID:12153015

  5. Assessment of groundwater quality status in Amini Island of Lakshadweep.

    PubMed

    Prasad, N B Narasimha; Mansoor, O A

    2005-01-01

    Amini Island is one of the 10 inhabited islands in Lakshadweep. Built on the ancient volcanic formations Lakshadweep is the the tiniest Union Territory of India. The major problem experienced by the islanders is the acute scarcity of fresh drinking water. Groundwater is the only source of fresh water and the availability of the same is very restricted due to peculiar hydrologic, geologic, geomorphic and demographic features. Hence, proper understanding of the groundwater quality, with reference to temporal and spatial variations, is very important to meet the increasing demand and also to formulate future plans for groundwater development. In this context, the assessment of groundwater quality status was carried out in Amini Island. All the available information on water quality, present groundwater usage pattern, etc. was collected and analyzed. Total hardness and salinity are found to be the most critical water quality parameters exceeding the permissible limits of drinking water standards. Spatial variation diagrams of salinity and hardness have been prepared for different seasons. It is also observed from these maps that the salinity and hardness are comparatively better on the lagoon side compared to the seaside. These maps also suggest that the salinity and the hardness problem is more in the southern tip compared to northern portion.

  6. CBCT-based bone quality assessment: are Hounsfield units applicable?

    PubMed Central

    Jacobs, R; Singer, S R; Mupparapu, M

    2015-01-01

    CBCT is a widely applied imaging modality in dentistry. It enables the visualization of high-contrast structures of the oral region (bone, teeth, air cavities) at a high resolution. CBCT is now commonly used for the assessment of bone quality, primarily for pre-operative implant planning. Traditionally, bone quality parameters and classifications were primarily based on bone density, which could be estimated through the use of Hounsfield units derived from multidetector CT (MDCT) data sets. However, there are crucial differences between MDCT and CBCT, which complicates the use of quantitative gray values (GVs) for the latter. From experimental as well as clinical research, it can be seen that great variability of GVs can exist on CBCT images owing to various reasons that are inherently associated with this technique (i.e. the limited field size, relatively high amount of scattered radiation and limitations of currently applied reconstruction algorithms). Although attempts have been made to correct for GV variability, it can be postulated that the quantitative use of GVs in CBCT should be generally avoided at this time. In addition, recent research and clinical findings have shifted the paradigm of bone quality from a density-based analysis to a structural evaluation of the bone. The ever-improving image quality of CBCT allows it to display trabecular bone patterns, indicating that it may be possible to apply structural analysis methods that are commonly used in micro-CT and histology. PMID:25315442

  7. Medical Imaging Image Quality Assessment with Monte Carlo Methods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Michail, C. M.; Karpetas, G. E.; Fountos, G. P.; Kalyvas, N. I.; Martini, Niki; Koukou, Vaia; Valais, I. G.; Kandarakis, I. S.

    2015-09-01

    The aim of the present study was to assess image quality of PET scanners through a thin layer chromatography (TLC) plane source. The source was simulated using a previously validated Monte Carlo model. The model was developed by using the GATE MC package and reconstructed images obtained with the STIR software for tomographic image reconstruction, with cluster computing. The PET scanner simulated in this study was the GE DiscoveryST. A plane source consisted of a TLC plate, was simulated by a layer of silica gel on aluminum (Al) foil substrates, immersed in 18F-FDG bath solution (1MBq). Image quality was assessed in terms of the Modulation Transfer Function (MTF). MTF curves were estimated from transverse reconstructed images of the plane source. Images were reconstructed by the maximum likelihood estimation (MLE)-OSMAPOSL algorithm. OSMAPOSL reconstruction was assessed by using various subsets (3 to 21) and iterations (1 to 20), as well as by using various beta (hyper) parameter values. MTF values were found to increase up to the 12th iteration whereas remain almost constant thereafter. MTF improves by using lower beta values. The simulated PET evaluation method based on the TLC plane source can be also useful in research for the further development of PET and SPECT scanners though GATE simulations.

  8. An assessment of California wildfire effects on air quality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sermondadaz, S. M.; Jin, L.; Brown, N. J.

    2009-12-01

    Wildfires are a seasonal and recurrent problem in California. In addition to the damage caused each year and their heavy societal cost, wildfires may also have non-negligible effects on air quality. Most current studies usually focus on anthropogenic emissions impacts. Improved knowledge of the fires’ effect on various pollutant species -such as ozone, and ozone precursors, i.e. carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds - might be useful and relevant for control strategies and environmental policies. For this purpose, this model study uses the Community Multiscale Air Quality Model (CMAQ) to assess the effects of fire emissions as a perturbation, through the comparison of simulations performed with and without fire emissions. Emissions, boundaries and meteorological data used in this study are extracted from a severe fire episode in summer 2000. We assess the spread of ozone and its precursor pollutants (CO, NOX, VOC) around specifically chosen fire perimeters. Distribution of air pollutants in both horizontal and vertical dimensions is considered to achieve a better understanding of the pollutant formation and transport along the fire plumes. We assess how far fire emissions influence pollutant concentrations at surface and aloft. The impact of fire emissions depends on the fire size, its location and the meteorology associated with it. Our study provides information on ozone formation and transport caused by fire events, which may have implications for ozone violations in affected regions.

  9. Objective assessment of image quality VI: imaging in radiation therapy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barrett, Harrison H.; Kupinski, Matthew A.; Müeller, Stefan; Halpern, Howard J.; Morris, John C., III; Dwyer, Roisin

    2013-11-01

    Earlier work on objective assessment of image quality (OAIQ) focused largely on estimation or classification tasks in which the desired outcome of imaging is accurate diagnosis. This paper develops a general framework for assessing imaging quality on the basis of therapeutic outcomes rather than diagnostic performance. By analogy to receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves and their variants as used in diagnostic OAIQ, the method proposed here utilizes the therapy operating characteristic or TOC curves, which are plots of the probability of tumor control versus the probability of normal-tissue complications as the overall dose level of a radiotherapy treatment is varied. The proposed figure of merit is the area under the TOC curve, denoted AUTOC. This paper reviews an earlier exposition of the theory of TOC and AUTOC, which was specific to the assessment of image-segmentation algorithms, and extends it to other applications of imaging in external-beam radiation treatment as well as in treatment with internal radioactive sources. For each application, a methodology for computing the TOC is presented. A key difference between ROC and TOC is that the latter can be defined for a single patient rather than a population of patients.

  10. Electronic Quality of Life Assessment Using Computer-Adaptive Testing

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Background Quality of life (QoL) questionnaires are desirable for clinical practice but can be time-consuming to administer and interpret, making their widespread adoption difficult. Objective Our aim was to assess the performance of the World Health Organization Quality of Life (WHOQOL)-100 questionnaire as four item banks to facilitate adaptive testing using simulated computer adaptive tests (CATs) for physical, psychological, social, and environmental QoL. Methods We used data from the UK WHOQOL-100 questionnaire (N=320) to calibrate item banks using item response theory, which included psychometric assessments of differential item functioning, local dependency, unidimensionality, and reliability. We simulated CATs to assess the number of items administered before prespecified levels of reliability was met. Results The item banks (40 items) all displayed good model fit (P>.01) and were unidimensional (fewer than 5% of t tests significant), reliable (Person Separation Index>.70), and free from differential item functioning (no significant analysis of variance interaction) or local dependency (residual correlations < +.20). When matched for reliability, the item banks were between 45% and 75% shorter than paper-based WHOQOL measures. Across the four domains, a high standard of reliability (alpha>.90) could be gained with a median of 9 items. Conclusions Using CAT, simulated assessments were as reliable as paper-based forms of the WHOQOL with a fraction of the number of items. These properties suggest that these item banks are suitable for computerized adaptive assessment. These item banks have the potential for international development using existing alternative language versions of the WHOQOL items. PMID:27694100

  11. Quality of bone healing: perspectives and assessment techniques.

    PubMed

    Guda, Teja; Labella, Carl; Chan, Rodney; Hale, Robert

    2014-05-01

    Bone regeneration and healing is an area of extensive research providing an ever-expanding set of not only therapeutic solutions for surgeons but also diagnostic tools. Multiple factors such as an ideal graft, the appropriate biochemical and mechanical wound environment, and viable cell populations are essential components in promoting healing. While bony tissue performs many functions, critical is mechanical strength, followed closely by structure. Many tools are available to evaluate bone quality in terms of quantity, structure, and strength; the purpose of this article is to identify the factors that can be evaluated and the advantages and disadvantages of each in assessing the quality of bone healing in both preclinical research and clinical settings.

  12. A cluster-based strategy for assessing the overlap between large chemical libraries and its application to a recent acquisition.

    PubMed

    Engels, Michael F M; Gibbs, Alan C; Jaeger, Edward P; Verbinnen, Danny; Lobanov, Victor S; Agrafiotis, Dimitris K

    2006-01-01

    We report on the structural comparison of the corporate collections of Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development (JNJPRD) and 3-Dimensional Pharmaceuticals (3DP), performed in the context of the recent acquisition of 3DP by JNJPRD. The main objective of the study was to assess the druglikeness of the 3DP library and the extent to which it enriched the chemical diversity of the JNJPRD corporate collection. The two databases, at the time of acquisition, collectively contained more than 1.1 million compounds with a clearly defined structural description. The analysis was based on a clustering approach and aimed at providing an intuitive quantitative estimate and visual representation of this enrichment. A novel hierarchical clustering algorithm called divisive k-means was employed in combination with Kelley's cluster-level selection method to partition the combined data set into clusters, and the diversity contribution of each library was evaluated as a function of the relative occupancy of these clusters. Typical 3DP chemotypes enriching the diversity of the JNJPRD collection were catalogued and visualized using a modified maximum common substructure algorithm. The joint collection of JNJPRD and 3DP compounds was also compared to other databases of known medicinally active or druglike compounds. The potential of the methodology for the analysis of very large chemical databases is discussed. PMID:17125205

  13. Effects of error correction during assessment probes on the acquisition of sight words for students with moderate intellectual disabilities.

    PubMed

    Waugh, Rebecca E; Alberto, Paul A; Fredrick, Laura D

    2011-01-01

    Simultaneous prompting is an errorless learning strategy designed to reduce the number of errors students make; however, research has shown a disparity in the number of errors students make during instructional versus probe trials. This study directly examined the effects of error correction versus no error correction during probe trials on the effectiveness and efficiency of simultaneous prompting on the acquisition of sight words by three middle school students with moderate intellectual disabilities. A single-case adapted alternating treatments (Sindelar, Rosenberg, & Wilson, 1985) embedded in a multiple baseline across word sets design was employed to examine the effects of error correction during probe trials in order to reduce error rates. A functional relation was established for two of the three students for the use of error correction during probe sessions to reduce error rates. Error correction during assessment probes required fewer sessions to criterion, resulted in fewer probe errors, resulted in a higher percentage of correct responding on the next subsequent trial, and required less total probe time. For two of the three students, probes with error correction resulted in a more rapid acquisition rate requiring fewer sessions to criterion. PMID:20884169

  14. Metrics for assessing the quality of value sets in clinical quality measures

    PubMed Central

    Winnenburg, Rainer; Bodenreider, Olivier

    2013-01-01

    Objective: To assess the quality of value sets in clinical quality measures, both individually and as a population of value sets. Materials and methods: The concepts from a given value set are expected to be rooted by one or few ancestor concepts and the value set is expected to contain all the descendants of its root concepts and only these descendants. (1) We assessed the completeness and correctness of individual value sets by comparison to the extension derived from their roots. (2) We assessed the non-redundancy of value sets for the entire population of value sets (within a given code system) using the Jaccard similarity measure. Results: We demonstrated the utility of our approach on some cases of inconsistent value sets and produced a list of 58 potentially duplicate value sets from the current set of clinical quality measures for the 2014 Meaningful Use criteria. Conclusion: These metrics are easy to compute and provide compact indicators of the completeness, correctness, and non-redundancy of value sets. PMID:24551422

  15. A framework for assessing Health Economic Evaluation (HEE) quality appraisal instruments

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Health economic evaluations support the health care decision-making process by providing information on costs and consequences of health interventions. The quality of such studies is assessed by health economic evaluation (HEE) quality appraisal instruments. At present, there is no instrument for measuring and improving the quality of such HEE quality appraisal instruments. Therefore, the objectives of this study are to establish a framework for assessing the quality of HEE quality appraisal instruments to support and improve their quality, and to apply this framework to those HEE quality appraisal instruments which have been subject to more scrutiny than others, in order to test the framework and to demonstrate the shortcomings of existing HEE quality appraisal instruments. Methods To develop the quality assessment framework for HEE quality appraisal instruments, the experiences of using appraisal tools for clinical guidelines are used. Based on a deductive iterative process, clinical guideline appraisal instruments identified through literature search are reviewed, consolidated, and adapted to produce the final quality assessment framework for HEE quality appraisal instruments. Results The final quality assessment framework for HEE quality appraisal instruments consists of 36 items organized within 7 dimensions, each of which captures a specific domain of quality. Applying the quality assessment framework to four existing HEE quality appraisal instruments, it is found that these four quality appraisal instruments are of variable quality. Conclusions The framework described in this study should be regarded as a starting point for appraising the quality of HEE quality appraisal instruments. This framework can be used by HEE quality appraisal instrument producers to support and improve the quality and acceptance of existing and future HEE quality appraisal instruments. By applying this framework, users of HEE quality appraisal instruments can become aware

  16. External quality assessment scheme and laboratory accreditation in Indonesia.

    PubMed

    Timan, Ina S; Aulia, Diana; Santoso, Witono

    2002-02-01

    The National Program on External Quality Assessment Scheme (NEQAS) in Indonesia was first started in 1979, organized by the Indonesian Ministry of Health collaborating with professional bodies. The first trial was for clinical chemistry test with 2 cycles per year, followed by the hematology NEQAS in 1986 in collaboration with WHO-Royal Post Graduate Medical School London. After that, the schemes for serology, microbiology and parasitology were also organized. Around 500-600 laboratories throughout Indonesia participated each year in these quality control schemes, 2-4 cycles per year. Samples would be sent to participants and results will be given back to each laboratory. Poor performers should participate in the workshop or training course conducted by the Central Health Laboratory to improve their results. Participation in this NEQAS is mandatory for obtaining the laboratory license, and the Ministry of Health uses these schemes as one of the means for monitoring and coordinating the performance of laboratories throughout Indonesia. There are also some other EQAS (External Quality Assessment Scheme) programs conducted by professional bodies, such as for hemostasis, clinical chemistry and serology. During the course of conducting these schemes, it could be observed that manual methods were gradually changed to the automatic methods, especially for the clinical chemistry and hematology laboratories, which counts also for improvements of their results. Since the last 6 years, the Ministry of Health also began to conduct the Accreditation System evaluation for hospitals, including the laboratory departments. There are 7 standards that were evaluated, such as the aspect of the organization, administration and management, staffing, facilities and equipment, standard operating procedures, research and developments and quality control. This accreditation program is still in progress for all public and private hospital laboratories.

  17. Assessment of selected ground-water-quality data in Montana

    SciTech Connect

    Davis, R.E.; Rogers, G.D.

    1984-09-01

    This study was conducted to assess the existing, computer-accessible, ground-water-quality data for Montana. All known sources of ground-water-quality data were reviewed. Although the estimated number of analyses exceeds 25,000, more than three-fourths of the data were not suitable for this study. The only data used were obtained from the National Water Data Storage and Retrieval System (WATSTORE) of the US Geological Survey, because the chemical analyses generally are complete, have an assigned geohydrologic unit or source of water, and are accessible by computer. The data were assessed by geographic region of the State because of climatic and geologic differences. These regions consist of the eastern plains region and the western mountainous region. Within each region, the data were assessed according to geohydrologic unit. The number and areal distribution of data sites for some groupings of units are inadequate to be representative, particularly for groupings stratigraphically below the Upper Cretaceous Fox Hills Sandstone and Hell Creek Formation in the eastern region and for Quaternary alluvium, terrace deposits, glacial deposits, and associated units in the western region. More than one-half the data for the entire State are for the Tertiary Wasatch, Fort Union, and associated units in the eastern region. The results of statistical analyses of data in WATSTORE indicate that the median dissolved-solids concentration for the groupings of geohydrologic units ranges from about 400 to 5000 milligrams per liter in the eastern region and from about 100 to 200 milligrams per liter in the western region. Concentrations of most trace constituents do not exceed the primary drinking-water standards of the US Environmental Protection Agency. The data in WATSTORE for organic constituents presently are inadequate to detect any organic effects of man's activities on ground-water quality. 26 figs., 79 tabs.

  18. External quality assessment for immunohistochemistry: experiences from NordiQC.

    PubMed

    Nielsen, S

    2015-07-01

    Immunohistochemistry (IHC) is applied routinely in surgical and clinical pathology, because it is essential for diagnosis and sub-classification of many neoplastic lesions. Despite its extensive use for more than 40 years, lack of standardization is a major problem; many factors during the pre-analytical, analytical and post-analytical phases affect the final results. Nordic immunohistochemical Quality Control (NordiQC) was established in 2003 to evaluate the inter-laboratory consistency of IHC, focusing mainly on the analytical part. More than 26,000 IHC slides have been evaluated during the period 2003-2013; 15 - 300 laboratories have participated in each assessment. Overall, 71% of the staining results assessed have been evaluated as sufficient for diagnostic use, while 29% were judged insufficient. All IHC protocols used for the stained slides submitted to NordiQC have been evaluated by focusing on the technical calibration performed by the laboratories, and specific parameters that gave sufficient or insufficient results have been identified. The most common causes for insufficient results were: inadequate calibration of the primary antibody, use of an inadequate primary antibody, inappropriate choice of epitope retrieval method, insufficient heat induced epitope retrieval (HIER) and use of an inadequate detection kit. Approximately 90% of the insufficient results were characterized by either a signal that was too weak or false negative staining, whereas in the remaining 10%, a poor signal-to-noise ratio or false positive staining was seen. Identification of positive and negative tissue controls to ensure appropriate calibration of the IHC assay combined with individually tailored suggestions for protocol optimization have improved IHC staining for many markers and thus inter-laboratory consistency of the IHC results. The overall data generated by NordiQC during 11 years clearly indicates that external quality assessment is a valuable and necessary supplement

  19. Paired variability indices in assessing speech rhythm in Spanish/English bilingual language acquisition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Work, Richard; Andruski, Jean; Casielles, Eugenia; Kim, Sahyang; Nathan, Geoff

    2005-04-01

    Traditionally, English is classified as a stress-timed language while Spanish is classified as syllable-timed. Examining the contrasting development of rhythmic patterns in bilingual first language acquisition should provide information on how this differentiation takes place. As part of a longitudinal study, speech samples were taken of a Spanish/English bilingual child of Argentinean parents living in the Midwestern United States between the ages of 1;8 and 3;2. Spanish is spoken at home and English input comes primarily from an English day care the child attends 5 days a week. The parents act as interlocutors for Spanish recordings with a native speaker interacting with the child for the English recordings. Following the work of Grabe, Post and Watson (1999) and Grabe and Low (2002) a normalized Pairwise Variability Index (PVI) is used which compares, in utterances of minimally four syllables, the durations of vocalic intervals in successive syllables. Comparisons are then made between the rhythmic patterns of the child's productions within each language over time and between languages at comparable MLUs. Comparisons are also made with the rhythmic patterns of the adult productions of each language. Results will be analyzed for signs of native speaker-like rhythmic production in the child.

  20. Assessing the quality of topography from stereo-photoclinometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barnouin, O.; Gaskell, R.; Kahn, E.; Ernst, C.; Daly, M.; Bierhaus, E.; Johnson, C.; Clark, B.; Lauretta, D.

    2014-07-01

    Stereo-photoclinometry (SPC) has been used extensively to determine the shape and topography of various asteroids from image data. This technique will be used as one of two main approaches for determining the shape and topography of the asteroid Bennu, the target of the Origins Spectral Interpretation Resource Identification Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) mission. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the quality of SPC products derived from the Near-Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) mission, whose suite of imaging data resembles that to be collected by OSIRIS-REx. We make use of the NEAR laser range-finder (NLR) to independently assess SPC's accuracy and precision.

  1. Quality Assessment of Vertical Angular Deviations for Photometer Calibration Benches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Silva Ribeiro, A.; Costa Santos, A.; Alves Sousa, J.; Forbes, A. B.

    2015-02-01

    Lighting, both natural and electric, constitutes one of the most important aspects of the life of human beings, allowing us to see and perform our daily tasks in outdoor and indoor environments. The safety aspects of lighting are self-evident in areas such as road lighting, urban lighting and also indoor lighting. The use of photometers to measure lighting levels requires traceability obtained in accredited laboratories, which must provide an associated uncertainty. It is therefore relevant to study the impact of known uncertainty sources like the vertical angular deviation of photometer calibration benches, in order to define criteria to its quality assessment.

  2. Quality of life assessment in gastro-oesophageal reflux disease.

    PubMed

    Irvine, E J

    2004-05-01

    Health related quality of life (HRQoL) is determined by both disease and non-disease related factors. Several studies have reported significant HRQoL impairment in GORD patients compared with the general population. Disease severity correlates strongly with HRQoL. Non-disease features, such as the presence of anxiety and comorbid conditions, also negatively impact on HRQoL. Combining a generic and disease specific instrument may avoid missing unexpected outcomes and ensure recognition of all clinically important changes. Full validation of assessment tools is critical. Long term, as well as short term, evaluation is important and is critical when undertaking comparative pharmacoeconomic evaluations.

  3. Assessment of University Gynaecology Clinics Based on Quality Reports.

    PubMed

    Solomayer, E F; Rody, A; Wallwiener, D; Beckmann, M W

    2013-07-01

    Introduction: Quality reporting was initially implemented to offer a better means of assessing hospitals and to provide patients with information to help them when choosing their hospital. Quality reports are published every 2 years and include parameters describing the hospital's structure and general infrastructure together with specific data on individual specialised departments or clinics. Method: This study investigated the 2010 quality reports of German university hospitals published online, focussing on the following data: number of inpatients treated by the hospital, focus of care provided by the unit/department, range of medical services and care provided by the unit/department, non-medical services provided by the unit/department, number of cases treated in the unit/department, ICD diagnoses, OPS procedures, number of outpatient procedures, day surgeries as defined by Section 115b SGB V, presence of an accident insurance consultant and number of staff employed. Results: University gynaecology clinics (UGCs) treat 10 % (range: 6-17 %) of all inpatients of their respective university hospital. There were no important differences in infrastructure between clinics. All UGCs offered full medical care and were specialist clinics for gynaecology (surgery, breast centres, genital cancer, urogynaecology, endoscopy), obstetrics (prenatal diagnostics, high-risk obstetrics); many were also specialist clinics for endocrinology and reproductive medicine. On average, each clinic employs 32 physicians (range: 16-78). Half of them (30-77 %) are specialists. Around 171 (117-289) inpatients are treated on average per physician. The most common ICD coded treatments were deliveries and treatment of infants. Gynaecological diagnoses are underrepresented. Summary: UGCs treat 10 % of all inpatients treated in university hospitals, making them important ports of entry for their respective university hospital. Around half of the physicians are specialists. Quality reports

  4. Use of Landsat data to assess waterfowl habitat quality

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Colwell, J.E.; Gilmer, D.S.; Work, E.A.; Rebel, D.

    1978-01-01

    This report is a discussion of the feasibility of using Landsat data to generate information of value for effective management of migratory waterfowl. Effective management of waterfowl includes regulating waterfowl populations through hunting regulations and habitat management. This report examines the ability to analyze annual production by monitoring the number of breeding and brood ponds that are present, and the ability to assess waterfowl habitat based on the various relationships between ponds and the surrounding upland terrain types. The basic conclusions of this report are that: 1) Landsat data can be used to improve estimates of pond numbers which may be correlated with duck production; and 2) Landsat data can be used to generate information on terrain types which subsequently can be used to assess relative waterfowl habitat quality.

  5. Use of Thematic Mapper for water quality assessment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Horn, E. M.; Morrissey, L. A.

    1984-01-01

    The evaluation of simulated TM data obtained on an ER-2 aircraft at twenty-five predesignated sample sites for mapping water quality factors such as conductivity, pH, suspended solids, turbidity, temperature, and depth, is discussed. Using a multiple regression for the seven TM bands, an equation is developed for the suspended solids. TM bands 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6 are used with logarithm conductivity in a multiple regression. The assessment of regression equations for a high coefficient of determination (R-squared) and statistical significance is considered. Confidence intervals about the mean regression point are calculated in order to assess the robustness of the regressions used for mapping conductivity, turbidity, and suspended solids, and by regressing random subsamples of sites and comparing the resultant range of R-squared, cross validation is conducted.

  6. 42 CFR 425.500 - Measures to assess the quality of care furnished by an ACO.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) MEDICARE PROGRAM (CONTINUED) MEDICARE SHARED SAVINGS PROGRAM Quality Performance Standards and Reporting § 425.500 Measures to assess the quality of care furnished by an ACO. (a) General. CMS establishes quality performance measures to assess the quality of...

  7. 42 CFR 425.500 - Measures to assess the quality of care furnished by an ACO.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) MEDICARE PROGRAM (CONTINUED) MEDICARE SHARED SAVINGS PROGRAM Quality Performance Standards and Reporting § 425.500 Measures to assess the quality of care furnished by an ACO. (a) General. CMS establishes quality performance measures to assess the quality of...

  8. Quality Assessment of University Studies as a Service: Dimensions and Criteria

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pukelyte, Rasa

    2010-01-01

    This article reviews a possibility to assess university studies as a service. University studies have to be of high quality both in their content and in the administrative level. Therefore, quality of studies as a service is an important constituent part of study quality assurance. When assessing quality of university studies as a service, it is…

  9. Assessment of porous asphalt pavement performance: hydraulics and water quality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Briggs, J. F.; Ballestero, T. P.; Roseen, R. M.; Houle, J. J.

    2005-05-01

    The objective of this study is to focus on the water quality treatment and hydraulic performance of a porous asphalt pavement parking lot in Durham, New Hampshire. The site was constructed in October 2004 to assess the suitability of porous asphalt pavement for stormwater management in cold climates. The facility consists of a 4-inch asphalt open-graded friction course layer overlying a high porosity sand and gravel base. This base serves as a storage reservoir in-between storms that can slowly infiltrate groundwater. Details on the design, construction, and cost of the facility will be presented. The porous asphalt pavements is qualitatively monitored for signs of distress, especially those due to cold climate stresses like plowing, sanding, salting, and freeze-thaw cycles. Life cycle predictions are discussed. Surface infiltration rates are measured with a constant head device built specifically to test high infiltration capacity pavements. The test measures infiltration rates in a single 4-inch diameter column temporarily sealed to the pavement at its base. A surface inundation test, as described by Bean, is also conducted as a basis for comparison of results (Bean, 2004). These tests assess infiltration rates soon after installation, throughout the winter, during snowmelt, after a winter of salting, sanding, and plowing, and after vacuuming in the spring. Frost penetration into the subsurface reservoir is monitored with a frost gauge. Hydrologic effects of the system are evaluated. Water levels are monitored in the facility and in surrounding wells with continuously logging pressure transducers. The 6-inch underdrain pipe that conveys excess water in the subsurface reservoir to a riprap pad is also continuously monitored for flow. Since porous asphalt pavement systems infiltrate surface water into the subsurface, it is important to assess whether water quality treatment performance in the subsurface reservoir is adequate. The assumed influent water quality is

  10. A tool for a comprehensive assessment of treated wastewater quality.

    PubMed

    Silva, Catarina; Quadros, Sílvia; Ramalho, Pedro; Rosa, Maria João

    2014-12-15

    The main goal of a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) is to comply with the treated wastewater (TWW) quality requirements. However, the assessment of this compliance is a rather complex process for WWTPs in the EU Member States, since it requires the integration of a large volume of data and several criteria according to EU Directives 91/271/EEC and 2000/60/EC. A tool for a comprehensive assessment of TWW quality in this context is herein presented. The tool's novelty relies on an integrated analysis of performance indicators (PIs) and new performance indices (PXs). PIs integrate the several compliance criteria into a single framework, supported by flowcharts for a straightforward assessment of TWW compliance by practitioners. PXs are obtained by applying a performance function to the concentration values analysed in the TWW for discharge or reuse. PXs are dimensionless and the scale adopted (0-300) defines three performance levels: unsatisfactory, acceptable and good performance. The reference values proposed for these levels and for the PIs were based on the EU legislation. The PXs complement the information provided by the PIs. While the latter assess the plant effectiveness in a given year (i.e. the TWW compliance with the requirements), PXs tackle the plant reliability, i.e. they allow to easily compare the performance of different parameters over the time and to identify when the performance did satisfy or fail the pre-established objectives and the distance that remains to achieve these targets. The tool was tested in 17 WWTPs and the most representative results are herein illustrated.

  11. Agreement in Quality of Life Assessment between Adolescents with Intellectual Disability and Their Parents

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Golubovic, Spela; Skrbic, Renata

    2013-01-01

    Intellectual disability affects different aspects of functioning and quality of life, as well as the ability to independently assess the quality of life itself. The paper examines the agreement in the quality of life assessments made by adolescents with intellectual disability and their parents compared with assessments made by adolescents without…

  12. A review of image quality assessment methods with application to computational photography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maître, Henri

    2015-12-01

    Image quality assessment has been of major importance for several domains of the industry of image as for instance restoration or communication and coding. New application fields are opening today with the increase of embedded power in the camera and the emergence of computational photography: automatic tuning, image selection, image fusion, image data-base building, etc. We review the literature of image quality evaluation. We pay attention to the very different underlying hypotheses and results of the existing methods to approach the problem. We explain why they differ and for which applications they may be beneficial. We also underline their limits, especially for a possible use in the novel domain of computational photography. Being developed to address different objectives, they propose answers on different aspects, which make them sometimes complementary. However, they all remain limited in their capability to challenge the human expert, the said or unsaid ultimate goal. We consider the methods which are based on retrieving the parameters of a signal, mostly in spectral analysis; then we explore the more global methods to qualify the image quality in terms of noticeable defects or degradation as popular in the compression domain; in a third field the image acquisition process is considered as a channel between the source and the receiver, allowing to use the tools of the information theory and to qualify the system in terms of entropy and information capacity. However, these different approaches hardly attack the most difficult part of the task which is to measure the quality of the photography in terms of aesthetic properties. To help in addressing this problem, in between Philosophy, Biology and Psychology, we propose a brief review of the literature which addresses the problematic of qualifying Beauty, present the attempts to adapt these concepts to visual patterns and initiate a reflection on what could be done in the field of photography.

  13. Transcription factor motif quality assessment requires systematic comparative analysis

    PubMed Central

    Kibet, Caleb Kipkurui; Machanick, Philip

    2016-01-01

    Transcription factor (TF) binding site prediction remains a challenge in gene regulatory research due to degeneracy and potential variability in binding sites in the genome. Dozens of algorithms designed to learn binding models (motifs) have generated many motifs available in research papers with a subset making it to databases like JASPAR, UniPROBE and Transfac. The presence of many versions of motifs from the various databases for a single TF and the lack of a standardized assessment technique makes it difficult for biologists to make an appropriate choice of binding model and for algorithm developers to benchmark, test and improve on their models. In this study, we review and evaluate the approaches in use, highlight differences and demonstrate the difficulty of defining a standardized motif assessment approach. We review scoring functions, motif length, test data and the type of performance metrics used in prior studies as some of the factors that influence the outcome of a motif assessment. We show that the scoring functions and statistics used in motif assessment influence ranking of motifs in a TF-specific manner. We also show that TF binding specificity can vary by source of genomic binding data. We also demonstrate that information content of a motif is not in isolation a measure of motif quality but is influenced by TF binding behaviour. We conclude that there is a need for an easy-to-use tool that presents all available evidence for a comparative analysis. PMID:27092243

  14. Indoor Air Quality Assessment of the San Francisco Federal Building

    SciTech Connect

    Apte, Michael; Bennett, Deborah H.; Faulkner, David; Maddalena, Randy L.; Russell, Marion L.; Spears, Michael; Sullivan, Douglas P; Trout, Amber L.

    2008-07-01

    An assessment of the indoor air quality (IAQ) of the San Francisco Federal Building (SFFB) was conducted on May 12 and 14, 2009 at the request of the General Services Administration (GSA). The purpose of the assessment was for a general screening of IAQ parameters typically indicative of well functioning building systems. One naturally ventilated space and one mechanically ventilated space were studied. In both zones, the levels of indoor air contaminants, including CO2, CO, particulate matter, volatile organic compounds, and aldehydes, were low, relative to reference exposure levels and air quality standards for comparable office buildings. We found slightly elevated levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) including two compounds often found in"green" cleaning products. In addition, we found two industrial solvents at levels higher than typically seen in office buildings, but the levels were not sufficient to be of a health concern. The ventilation rates in the two study spaces were high by any standard. Ventilation rates in the building should be further investigated and adjusted to be in line with the building design. Based on our measurements, we conclude that the IAQ is satisfactory in the zone we tested, but IAQ may need to be re-checked after the ventilation rates have been lowered.

  15. Quality assessment of butter cookies applying multispectral imaging.

    PubMed

    Andresen, Mette S; Dissing, Bjørn S; Løje, Hanne

    2013-07-01

    A method for characterization of butter cookie quality by assessing the surface browning and water content using multispectral images is presented. Based on evaluations of the browning of butter cookies, cookies were manually divided into groups. From this categorization, reference values were calculated for a statistical prediction model correlating multispectral images with a browning score. The browning score is calculated as a function of oven temperature and baking time. It is presented as a quadratic response surface. The investigated process window was the intervals 4-16 min and 160-200°C in a forced convection electrically heated oven. In addition to the browning score, a model for predicting the average water content based on the same images is presented. This shows how multispectral images of butter cookies may be used for the assessment of different quality parameters. Statistical analysis showed that the most significant wavelengths for browning predictions were in the interval 400-700 nm and the wavelengths significant for water prediction were primarily located in the near-infrared spectrum. The water prediction model was found to correctly estimate the average water content with an absolute error of 0.22%. From the images it was also possible to follow the browning and drying propagation from the cookie edge toward the center.

  16. Quality assessment of perinatal and infant postmortem examinations in Turkey.

    PubMed

    Pakis, Isil; Karapirli, Mustafa; Karayel, Ferah; Turan, Arzu; Akyildiz, Elif; Polat, Oguz

    2008-09-01

    An autopsy examination is important in identifying the cause of death and as a means of auditing clinical and forensic practice; however, especially in perinatal and infantile age groups determining the cause of death leads to some difficulties in autopsy practice. In this study, 15,640 autopsies recorded during the years 2000-2004 in the Mortuary Department of the Council of Forensic Medicine were reviewed. Autopsy findings of 510 cases between 20 completed weeks of gestation and 1 year of age were analyzed retrospectively. The quality of each necropsy report was assessed using a modification of the system gestational age assessment described by Rushton, which objectively scores aspects identified by the Royal College of Pathologists as being part of a necropsy. According to their ages, the cases were subdivided into three groups. Intrauterine deaths were 31% (158 cases), neonatal deaths were 24% (123 cases), and infantile deaths were 45% (229 cases) of all cases. Scores for the quality of the necropsy report were above the minimum acceptable score with 44% in intrauterine, 88% in neonatal and infantile deaths.

  17. Assessing Raw and Treated Water Quality Using Fluorescence Spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bridgeman, J.; Baker, A.

    2006-12-01

    To date, much fluorescence spectroscopy work has focused on the use of techniques to characterize pollution in river water and to fingerprint pollutants such as, inter alia, treated and raw sewage effluent. In the face of tightening water quality standards associated with disinfection byproducts, there exists the need for a surrogate THM parameter which can be measured accurately and quickly at the water treatment works and which will give a satisfactory indication of the THM concentration leaving the water treatment works. In addition, water treatment works and distribution system managers require tools which are simple and quick, yet robust, to monitor plant and unit process performance. We extend the use of fluorescence techniques from raw water quality monitoring to (1) the monitoring of water treatment works intakes and the assessment of water treatment works performance by (2) assessing the removal of dissolved organic matter (DOM) through the unit process stages of various water treatment works treating different raw waters and (3) examining the prevalence of microbiological activity found at service reservoirs in the downstream distribution system. 16 surface water treatment works were selected in the central region of the UK and samples taken at works' intakes, downstream of each unit process, and in the distribution systems. The intakes selected abstract water from a broad range of upland and lowland water sources with varying natural and anthropogenic pollutant inputs and significantly different flows. The treatment works selected offer a range of different, but relatively standard, unit processes. The results demonstrate that raw waters exhibit more fluorescence than (partially) treated waters. However, noticeable differences between each site are observed. Furthermore, differences in unit process performance between works are also identified and quantified. Across all sites, treatment with Granular Activated Carbon is found to yield a significant

  18. Can water quality of tubewells be assessed without chemical testing?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoque, Mohammad A.; Butler, Adrian P.

    2016-04-01

    Arsenic is one of the major pollutants found in aquifers on a global scale. The screening of tubewells for arsenic has helped many people to avoid drinking from highly polluted wells in the Bengal Delta (West Bengal and Bangladesh). However, there are still many millions of tubewells in Bangladesh yet to be tested, and a substantial proportion of these are likely to contain excessive arsenic. Due to the level of poverty and lack of infrastructure, it is unlikely that the rest of the tubewells will be tested quickly. However, water quality assessment without needing a chemical testing may be helpful in this case. Studies have found that qualitative factors, such as staining in the tubewell basement and/or on utensils, can indicate subsurface geology and water quality. The science behind this staining is well established, red staining is associated with iron reduction leading to release of arsenic whilst black staining is associated with manganese reduction (any release of arsenic due to manganese reduction is sorbed back on the, yet to be reduced, iron), whereas mixed staining may indicate overlapping manganese and iron reduction at the tubewell screen. Reduction is not uniform everywhere and hence chemical water quality including dissolved arsenic varies from place to place. This is why coupling existing tubewell arsenic information with user derived staining data could be useful in predicting the arsenic status at a particular site. Using well location, depth, along with colour of staining, an assessment of both good (nutrients) and bad (toxins and pathogens) substances in the tubewell could be provided. Social-network technology, combined with increasing use of smartphones, provides a powerful opportunity for both sharing and providing feedback to the user. Here we outline how a simple digital application can couple the reception both qualitative and quantitative tubewell data into a centralised interactive database and provide manipulated feedback to an

  19. Chip Design Process Optimization Based on Design Quality Assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Häusler, Stefan; Blaschke, Jana; Sebeke, Christian; Rosenstiel, Wolfgang; Hahn, Axel

    2010-06-01

    Nowadays, the managing of product development projects is increasingly challenging. Especially the IC design of ASICs with both analog and digital components (mixed-signal design) is becoming more and more complex, while the time-to-market window narrows at the same time. Still, high quality standards must be fulfilled. Projects and their status are becoming less transparent due to this complexity. This makes the planning and execution of projects rather difficult. Therefore, there is a need for efficient project control. A main challenge is the objective evaluation of the current development status. Are all requirements successfully verified? Are all intermediate goals achieved? Companies often develop special solutions that are not reusable in other projects. This makes the quality measurement process itself less efficient and produces too much overhead. The method proposed in this paper is a contribution to solve these issues. It is applied at a German design house for analog mixed-signal IC design. This paper presents the results of a case study and introduces an optimized project scheduling on the basis of quality assessment results.

  20. State-Level Cancer Quality Assessment and Research

    PubMed Central

    Lipscomb, Joseph; Gillespie, Theresa W.

    2016-01-01

    Over a decade ago, the Institute of Medicine called for a national cancer data system in the United States to support quality-of-care assessment and improvement, including research on effective interventions. Although considerable progress has been achieved in cancer quality measurement and effectiveness research, the nation still lacks a population-based data infrastructure for accurately identifying cancer patients and tracking services and outcomes over time. For compelling reasons, the most effective pathway forward may be the development of state-level cancer data systems, in which central registry data are linked to multiple public and private secondary sources. These would include administrative/claims files from Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurers. Moreover, such a state-level system would promote rapid learning by encouraging adoption of near-real-time reporting and feedback systems, such as the Commission on Cancer’s new Rapid Quality Reporting System. The groundwork for such a system is being laid in the state of Georgia, and similar work is advancing in other states. The pace of progress depends on the successful resolution of issues related to the application of information technology, financing, and governance. PMID:21799333

  1. Smolt Quality Assessment of Spring Chinook Salmon : Annual Report.

    SciTech Connect

    Zaugg, Waldo S.

    1991-04-01

    The physiological development and physiological condition of spring chinook salmon are being studied at several hatcheries in the Columbia River Basin. The purpose of the study is to determine whether any or several smolt indices can be related to adult recovery and be used to improve hatchery effectiveness. The tests conducted in 1989 on juvenile chinook salmon at Dworshak, Leavenworth, and Warm Springs National Fish Hatcheries, and the Oregon State Willamette Hatchery assessed saltwater tolerance, gill ATPase, cortisol, insulin, thyroid hormones, secondary stress, fish morphology, metabolic energy stores, immune response, blood cell numbers, and plasma ion concentrations. The study showed that smolt development may have occurred before the fish were released from the Willamette Hatchery, but not from the Dworshak, Leavenworth, or Warm Springs Hatcheries. These results will be compared to adult recovery data when they become available, to determine which smolt quality indices may be used to predict adult recovery. The relative rankings of smolt quality at the different hatcheries do not necessarily reflect the competency of the hatchery managers and staff, who have shown a high degree of professionalism and expertise in fish rearing. We believe that the differences in smolt quality are due to the interaction of genetic and environmental factors. One aim of this research is to identify factors that influence smolt development and that may be controlled through fish husbandry to regulate smolt development. 35 refs., 27 figs., 5 tabs.

  2. Visual quality assessment of electrochromic and conventional glazings

    SciTech Connect

    Moeck, M.; Lee, E.S.; Rubin, M.D.; Sullivan, R.; Selkowitz, S.E.

    1996-09-01

    Variable transmission, ``switchable`` electrochromic glazings are compared to conventional static glazings using computer simulations to assess the daylighting quality of a commercial office environment where paper and computer tasks are performed. RADIANCE simulations were made for a west-facing commercial office space under clear and overcast sky conditions. This visualization tool was used to model different glazing types, to compute luminance and illuminance levels, and to generate a parametric set of photorealistic images of typical interior views at various times of the day and year. Privacy and visual display terminal (VDT) visibility is explored. Electrochromic glazings result in a more consistent glare-free daylit environment compared to their static counterparts. However, if the glazing is controlled to minimize glare or to maintain low interior daylight levels for critical visual tasks (e.g, VDT), occupants may object to the diminished quality of the outdoor view due to its low transmission (Tv = 0.08) during those hours. RADIANCE proved to be a very powerful tool to better understand some of the design tradeoffs of this emerging glazing technology. The ability to draw specific conclusions about the relative value of different technologies or control strategies is limited by the lack of agreed upon criteria or standards for lighting quality and visibility.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhuyan, Samarjyoti

    2001-07-01

    An integrated modeling process has been developed that combines remote sensing, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and the Agricultural NonPoint Source Pollution (AGNPS) hydrologic model to assess water quality of a watershed. Remotely sensed Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) images were used to obtain various land cover information of a watershed including sub-classes of rangeland and wheat land based on the estimates of vegetative cover and crop residue, respectively. AGNPS model input parameters including Universal Soil Loss Equation's (USLE) cropping factors (C-factors) were assigned to the landcover classes. The AGNPS-ARC INFO interface was used to extract input parameters from several GIS layers for the AGNPS model during several selected storm events for the sub-watersheds. Measured surface water quantity and quality data for these storm events were obtained from U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) gaging stations. Base flow separation was done to remove the base flow fraction of water and total suspended sediment (TSS), total nitrogen (total-N), and total phosphorous (total-P) from the total stream flow. Continuous antecedent moisture content ratios were developed for the sub-watersheds during the storm events and were used to adjust the Soil Conservation Service-Curve Numbers (SCS-CN) of various landcovers. A relationship was developed between storm amounts and estimated energy intensity (EI) values using a probability method (Koelliker and Humbert, 1989), and the EI values were used in running the AGNPS model input files. Several model parameters were calibrated against the measured water quality data and then the model was run on different sub-watersheds to evaluate the modeling process. This modeling process was found to be effective for smaller sub-watersheds having adequate rainfall data. However, in the case of large sub-watersheds with substantial variations of rainfall and landcover, this process was less satisfactory. This integrated modeling process will

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Louisiana Quality Start Child Care 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 Louisiana's Quality Start Child Care 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;…

  7. Tennessee Star-Quality Child Care 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 Tennessee's Star-Quality Child Care 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)…

  8. Microbiological assessment of indoor air quality at different hospital sites.

    PubMed

    Cabo Verde, Sandra; Almeida, Susana Marta; Matos, João; Guerreiro, Duarte; Meneses, Marcia; Faria, Tiago; Botelho, Daniel; Santos, Mateus; Viegas, Carla

    2015-09-01

    Poor hospital indoor air quality (IAQ) may lead to hospital-acquired infections, sick hospital syndrome and various occupational hazards. Air-control measures are crucial for reducing dissemination of airborne biological particles in hospitals. The objective of this study was to perform a survey of bioaerosol quality in different sites in a Portuguese Hospital, namely the operating theater (OT), the emergency service (ES) and the surgical ward (SW). Aerobic mesophilic bacterial counts (BCs) and fungal load (FL) were assessed by impaction directly onto tryptic soy agar and malt extract agar supplemented with antibiotic chloramphenicol (0.05%) plates, respectively using a MAS-100 air sampler. The ES revealed the highest airborne microbial concentrations (BC range 240-736 CFU/m(3) CFU/m(3); FL range 27-933 CFU/m(3)), exceeding, at several sampling sites, conformity criteria defined in national legislation [6]. Bacterial concentrations in the SW (BC range 99-495 CFU/m(3)) and the OT (BC range 12-170 CFU/m(3)) were under recommended criteria. While fungal levels were below 1 CFU/m(3) in the OT, in the SW (range 1-32 CFU/m(3)), there existed a site with fungal indoor concentrations higher than those detected outdoors. Airborne Gram-positive cocci were the most frequent phenotype (88%) detected from the measured bacterial population in all indoor environments. Staphylococcus (51%) and Micrococcus (37%) were dominant among the bacterial genera identified in the present study. Concerning indoor fungal characterization, the prevalent genera were Penicillium (41%) and Aspergillus (24%). Regular monitoring is essential for assessing air control efficiency and for detecting irregular introduction of airborne particles via clothing of visitors and medical staff or carriage by personal and medical materials. Furthermore, microbiological survey data should be used to clearly define specific air quality guidelines for controlled environments in hospital settings. PMID

  9. Microbiological assessment of indoor air quality at different hospital sites.

    PubMed

    Cabo Verde, Sandra; Almeida, Susana Marta; Matos, João; Guerreiro, Duarte; Meneses, Marcia; Faria, Tiago; Botelho, Daniel; Santos, Mateus; Viegas, Carla

    2015-09-01

    Poor hospital indoor air quality (IAQ) may lead to hospital-acquired infections, sick hospital syndrome and various occupational hazards. Air-control measures are crucial for reducing dissemination of airborne biological particles in hospitals. The objective of this study was to perform a survey of bioaerosol quality in different sites in a Portuguese Hospital, namely the operating theater (OT), the emergency service (ES) and the surgical ward (SW). Aerobic mesophilic bacterial counts (BCs) and fungal load (FL) were assessed by impaction directly onto tryptic soy agar and malt extract agar supplemented with antibiotic chloramphenicol (0.05%) plates, respectively using a MAS-100 air sampler. The ES revealed the highest airborne microbial concentrations (BC range 240-736 CFU/m(3) CFU/m(3); FL range 27-933 CFU/m(3)), exceeding, at several sampling sites, conformity criteria defined in national legislation [6]. Bacterial concentrations in the SW (BC range 99-495 CFU/m(3)) and the OT (BC range 12-170 CFU/m(3)) were under recommended criteria. While fungal levels were below 1 CFU/m(3) in the OT, in the SW (range 1-32 CFU/m(3)), there existed a site with fungal indoor concentrations higher than those detected outdoors. Airborne Gram-positive cocci were the most frequent phenotype (88%) detected from the measured bacterial population in all indoor environments. Staphylococcus (51%) and Micrococcus (37%) were dominant among the bacterial genera identified in the present study. Concerning indoor fungal characterization, the prevalent genera were Penicillium (41%) and Aspergillus (24%). Regular monitoring is essential for assessing air control efficiency and for detecting irregular introduction of airborne particles via clothing of visitors and medical staff or carriage by personal and medical materials. Furthermore, microbiological survey data should be used to clearly define specific air quality guidelines for controlled environments in hospital settings.

  10. Incorporating detection tasks into the assessment of CT image quality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scalzetti, E. M.; Huda, W.; Ogden, K. M.; Khan, M.; Roskopf, M. L.; Ogden, D.

    2006-03-01

    The purpose of this study was to compare traditional and task dependent assessments of CT image quality. Chest CT examinations were obtained with a standard protocol for subjects participating in a lung cancer-screening project. Images were selected for patients whose weight ranged from 45 kg to 159 kg. Six ABR certified radiologists subjectively ranked these images using a traditional six-point ranking scheme that ranged from 1 (inadequate) to 6 (excellent). Three subtle diagnostic tasks were identified: (1) a lung section containing a sub-centimeter nodule of ground-glass opacity in an upper lung (2) a mediastinal section with a lymph node of soft tissue density in the mediastinum; (3) a liver section with a rounded low attenuation lesion in the liver periphery. Each observer was asked to estimate the probability of detecting each type of lesion in the appropriate CT section using a six-point scale ranging from 1 (< 10%) to 6 (> 90%). Traditional and task dependent measures of image quality were plotted as a function of patient weight. For the lung section, task dependent evaluations were very similar to those obtained using the traditional scoring scheme, but with larger inter-observer differences. Task dependent evaluations for the mediastinal section showed no obvious trend with subject weight, whereas there the traditional score decreased from ~4.9 for smaller subjects to ~3.3 for the larger subjects. Task dependent evaluations for the liver section showed a decreasing trend from ~4.1 for the smaller subjects to ~1.9 for the larger subjects, whereas the traditional evaluation had a markedly narrower range of scores. A task-dependent method of assessing CT image quality can be implemented with relative ease, and is likely to be more meaningful in the clinical setting.

  11. Quality-control design for surface-water sampling in the National Water-Quality Assessment Program

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mueller, David K.; Martin, Jeffrey D.; Lopes, Thomas J.

    1997-01-01

    The data-quality objectives of the National Water-Quality Assessment Program include estimating the extent to which contamination, matrix effects, and measurement variability affect interpretation of chemical analyses of surface-water samples. The quality-control samples used to make these estimates include field blanks, field matrix spikes, and replicates. This report describes the design for collection of these quality-control samples in National Water-Quality Assessment Program studies and the data management needed to properly identify these samples in the U.S. Geological Survey's national data base.

  12. Towards a Fuzzy Expert System on Toxicological Data Quality Assessment.

    PubMed

    Yang, Longzhi; Neagu, Daniel; Cronin, Mark T D; Hewitt, Mark; Enoch, Steven J; Madden, Judith C; Przybylak, Katarzyna

    2013-01-01

    Quality assessment (QA) requires high levels of domain-specific experience and knowledge. QA tasks for toxicological data are usually performed by human experts manually, although a number of quality evaluation schemes have been proposed in the literature. For instance, the most widely utilised Klimisch scheme1 defines four data quality categories in order to tag data instances with respect to their qualities; ToxRTool2 is an extension of the Klimisch approach aiming to increase the transparency and harmonisation of the approach. Note that the processes of QA in many other areas have been automatised by employing expert systems. Briefly, an expert system is a computer program that uses a knowledge base built upon human expertise, and an inference engine that mimics the reasoning processes of human experts to infer new statements from incoming data. In particular, expert systems have been extended to deal with the uncertainty of information by representing uncertain information (such as linguistic terms) as fuzzy sets under the framework of fuzzy set theory and performing inferences upon fuzzy sets according to fuzzy arithmetic. This paper presents an experimental fuzzy expert system for toxicological data QA which is developed on the basis of the Klimisch approach and the ToxRTool in an effort to illustrate the power of expert systems to toxicologists, and to examine if fuzzy expert systems are a viable solution for QA of toxicological data. Such direction still faces great difficulties due to the well-known common challenge of toxicological data QA that "five toxicologists may have six opinions". In the meantime, this challenge may offer an opportunity for expert systems because the construction and refinement of the knowledge base could be a converging process of different opinions which is of significant importance for regulatory policy making under the regulation of REACH, though a consensus may never be reached. Also, in order to facilitate the implementation

  13. Some Aspects of the Technical Quality of Formative Assessments in Middle School Mathematics. CRESST Report 750

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Phelan, Julia; Kang, Taehoon; Niemi, David N.; Vendlinski, Terry; Choi, Kilchan

    2009-01-01

    While research suggests that formative assessment can be a powerful tool to support teaching and learning, efforts to jump on the formative assessment bandwagon have been more widespread than those to assure the technical quality of the assessments. This report covers initial analyses of data bearing on the quality of formative assessments in…

  14. Metabolomics: approaches to assessing oocyte and embryo quality.

    PubMed

    Singh, R; Sinclair, K D

    2007-09-01

    Morphological evaluation remains the primary method of embryo assessment during IVF cycles, but its modest predictive power and inherent inter- and intra-observer variability limits its value. Low-molecular weight metabolites represent the end products of cell regulatory processes and therefore reveal the response of biological systems to a variety of genetic, nutrient or environmental influences. It follows that the non-invasive quantification of oocyte and embryo metabolism, from the analyses of follicular fluid or culture media, may be a useful predictor of pregnancy outcome following embryo transfer, a potential supported by recent clinical studies working with specific classes of metabolites such as glycolytic intermediates and amino acids. Such selective approaches, however, whilst adhering closely to known cellular processes, may fail to harness the full potential of contemporary metabolomic methodologies, which can measure a wider spectrum of metabolites. However, an important technical drawback with many existing methodologies is the limited number of metabolites that can be determined by a single analytical platform. Vibrational spectroscopy methodologies such as Fourier transform infrared and near infrared spectroscopy may overcome these limitations by generating unique spectral signatures of functional groups and bonds, but their application in embryo quality assessment remains to be fully validated. Ultimately, a combination of evaluation criteria that include morphometry with metabolomics may provide the best predictive assessment of embryo viability.

  15. New strategy for image and video quality assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ma, Qi; Zhang, Liming; Wang, Bin

    2010-01-01

    Image and video quality assessment (QA) is a critical issue in image and video processing applications. General full-reference (FR) QA criteria such as peak signal-to-noise ratio (PSNR) and mean squared error (MSE) do not accord well with human subjective assessment. Some QA indices that consider human visual sensitivity, such as mean structural similarity (MSSIM) with structural sensitivity, visual information fidelity (VIF) with statistical sensitivity, etc., were proposed in view of the differences between reference and distortion frames on a pixel or local level. However, they ignore the role of human visual attention (HVA). Recently, some new strategies with HVA have been proposed, but the methods extracting the visual attention are too complex for real-time realization. We take advantage of the phase spectrum of quaternion Fourier transform (PQFT), a very fast algorithm we previously proposed, to extract saliency maps of color images or videos. Then we propose saliency-based methods for both image QA (IQA) and video QA (VQA) by adding weights related to saliency features to these original IQA or VQA criteria. Experimental results show that our saliency-based strategy can approach more closely to human subjective assessment compared with these original IQA or VQA methods and does not take more time because of the fast PQFT algorithm.

  16. Streamlined acquisition handbook

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1990-01-01

    NASA has always placed great emphasis on the acquisition process, recognizing it as among its most important activities. This handbook is intended to facilitate the application of streamlined acquisition procedures. The development of these procedures reflects the efforts of an action group composed of NASA Headquarters and center acquisition professionals. It is the intent to accomplish the real change in the acquisition process as a result of this effort. An important part of streamlining the acquisition process is a commitment by the people involved in the process to accomplishing acquisition activities quickly and with high quality. Too often we continue to accomplish work in 'the same old way' without considering available alternatives which would require no changes to regulations, approvals from Headquarters, or waivers of required practice. Similarly, we must be sensitive to schedule opportunities throughout the acquisition cycle, not just once the purchase request arrives at the procurement office. Techniques that have been identified as ways of reducing acquisition lead time while maintaining high quality in our acquisition process are presented.

  17. Quality assessment of Landsat surface reflectance products using MODIS data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feng, Min; Huang, Chengquan; Channan, Saurabh; Vermote, Eric F.; Masek, Jeffrey G.; Townshend, John R.

    2012-01-01

    Surface reflectance adjusted for atmospheric effects is a primary input for land cover change detection and for developing many higher level surface geophysical parameters. With the development of automated atmospheric correction algorithms, it is now feasible to produce large quantities of surface reflectance products using Landsat images. Validation of these products requires in situ measurements, which either do not exist or are difficult to obtain for most Landsat images. The surface reflectance products derived using data acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), however, have been validated more comprehensively. Because the MODIS on the Terra platform and the Landsat 7 are only half an hour apart following the same orbit, and each of the 6 Landsat spectral bands overlaps with a MODIS band, good agreements between MODIS and Landsat surface reflectance values can be considered indicators of the reliability of the Landsat products, while disagreements may suggest potential quality problems that need to be further investigated. Here we develop a system called Landsat-MODIS Consistency Checking System (LMCCS). This system automatically matches Landsat data with MODIS observations acquired on the same date over the same locations and uses them to calculate a set of agreement metrics. To maximize its portability, Java and open-source libraries were used in developing this system, and object-oriented programming (OOP) principles were followed to make it more flexible for future expansion. As a highly automated system designed to run as a stand-alone package or as a component of other Landsat data processing systems, this system can be used to assess the quality of essentially every Landsat surface reflectance image where spatially and temporally matching MODIS data are available. The effectiveness of this system was demonstrated using it to assess preliminary surface reflectance products derived using the Global Land Survey (GLS) Landsat

  18. Quality Assessment of Landsat Surface Reflectance Products Using MODIS Data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Feng, Min; Huang, Chengquan; Channan, Saurabh; Vermote, Eric; Masek, Jeffrey G.; Townshend, John R.

    2012-01-01

    Surface reflectance adjusted for atmospheric effects is a primary input for land cover change detection and for developing many higher level surface geophysical parameters. With the development of automated atmospheric correction algorithms, it is now feasible to produce large quantities of surface reflectance products using Landsat images. Validation of these products requires in situ measurements, which either do not exist or are difficult to obtain for most Landsat images. The surface reflectance products derived using data acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), however, have been validated more comprehensively. Because the MODIS on the Terra platform and the Landsat 7 are only half an hour apart following the same orbit, and each of the 6 Landsat spectral bands overlaps with a MODIS band, good agreements between MODIS and Landsat surface reflectance values can be considered indicators of the reliability of the Landsat products, while disagreements may suggest potential quality problems that need to be further investigated. Here we develop a system called Landsat-MODIS Consistency Checking System (LMCCS). This system automatically matches Landsat data with MODIS observations acquired on the same date over the same locations and uses them to calculate a set of agreement metrics. To maximize its portability, Java and open-source libraries were used in developing this system, and object-oriented programming (OOP) principles were followed to make it more flexible for future expansion. As a highly automated system designed to run as a stand-alone package or as a component of other Landsat data processing systems, this system can be used to assess the quality of essentially every Landsat surface reflectance image where spatially and temporally matching MODIS data are available. The effectiveness of this system was demonstrated using it to assess preliminary surface reflectance products derived using the Global Land Survey (GLS) Landsat

  19. Infants' Background Television Exposure during Play: Negative Relations to the Quantity and Quality of Mothers' Speech and Infants' Vocabulary Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Masur, Elise Frank; Flynn, Valerie; Olson, Janet

    2016-01-01

    Research on immediate effects of background television during mother-infant toy play shows that an operating television in the room disrupts maternal communicative behaviors crucial for infants' vocabulary acquisition. This study is the first to examine associations between frequent background TV/video exposure during mother-infant toy play at…

  20. Assessment of Quality of Life of Women with Breast Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Gavric, Zivana; Vukovic-Kostic, Zivana

    2016-01-01

    Background: Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among women in 145 countries worldwide, and the success of healthcare for women with this disease is measured with the quality of life of survivors. The aim of this study was to examine how the breast cancer affects the quality of life and in what dimension of health quality of life is the least accomplished. Method: A pilot research had been performed in the period from June 10 to August 15 2011, on 100 women from Association of women with breast cancer “Iskra” in Banja Luka, aged 20-75. The survey research was based on the EORTC QLQ-C30 version 3.0 and questionnaire for assessment of quality of life of those suffering from breast cancer QLQ-BR23 with 53 questions in total. Results: The average age of women in research was 51.8 years (±11.23). Statistically important differences (χ24=221.941; p<0.01) are higher mean values of the score for the functional scale, (66.32±17.82) cognitive functions (63.50±28.00) in relation to functional role (46.83±20.88), social (37.00±27.58) and emotional (36.58 ±25.15) functioning. Mean values of the score for the symptoms scale were statistically higher for symptoms such as fatigue, insomnia and pain in relation to other symptoms. Mean values of the score for body image scale are statistically higher in relation to mean values of the score of sexual functions and enjoyment scale, and the scale for grading the future perspectives. Conclusion: Breast cancer affects all the domains of the quality of life, and in our population it is the most prominent in domains of emotional and social functions, as well as role functions. Symptoms of fatigue, insomnia and pain have the most importance influence on these domains. PMID:27157152

  1. Using the Baldrige Criteria To Assess Quality in Libraries.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ashar, Hanna; Geiger, Sharon

    1998-01-01

    The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (MBNQA) for quality programs has seven categories against which organizations are evaluated (leadership, information and analysis, strategic/operational quality planning, human resources, process management, quality/performance results, customer/student satisfaction). A preliminary quality-assessment…

  2. Quality of life assessment by community pharmacists: an exploratory study.

    PubMed

    Bentley, J P; Smith, M C; Banahan, B F; Frate, D A; Parks, B R

    1998-02-01

    Implicit in the evolving role of pharmacy is that its practitioners embrace the concept of quality of life (QoL). In recent years there has been an increased interest in incorporating health-related quality of life (HRQoL) measures into clinical practice, primarily focusing on the physician as the user of this information. Pharmacists may be able to use these instruments in their practices to provide better pharmaceutical care. To explore the feasibility of such an undertaking, questionnaires were mailed to a national sample of community pharmacies. In addition to the questionnaire, the respondents were provided with examples of two instruments: the Duke Health Profile and the QOLIE-10. A definition of HRQoL was provided to the respondents. After two mailings and a reminder postcard, a usable response rate of 27.2% was achieved. The results revealed that over 80% of the respondents currently discuss HRQoL issues with their patients. In addition, 66% reported that they attempt to assess the HRQoL of their patients, albeit usually on a subjective, informal basis. After viewing examples of HRQoL instruments, over three-quarters of the respondents reported a willingness to use HRQoL assessment tools in their practices. However, only 53.7% of the respondents were familiar with the concept of HRQoL. Less than 5% reported familiarity with formal instruments. The self-reported knowledge of pharmacists concerning HRQoL was low and the respondents recognized a significant gap between their current knowledge and the level of knowledge needed to assess the HRQoL of their patients formally. The results suggest a possible role for the pharmacist in HRQoL assessment. However, the use of HRQoL instruments in community pharmacies will require further training and education on the part of pharmacists concerning the concept of HRQoL, the issues involved in its measurement and how they can use HRQoL information in their practices. In addition, a number of unanswered questions must be

  3. Assessing Website Pharmacy Drug Quality: Safer Than You Think?

    PubMed Central

    Bate, Roger; Hess, Kimberly

    2010-01-01

    Background Internet-sourced drugs are often considered suspect. The World Health Organization reports that drugs from websites that conceal their physical address are counterfeit in over 50 percent of cases; the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) works with the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) to regularly update a list of websites likely to sell drugs that are illegal or of questionable quality. Methods and Findings This study examines drug purchasing over the Internet, by comparing the sales of five popular drugs from a selection of websites stratified by NABP or other ratings. The drugs were assessed for price, conditions of purchase, and basic quality. Prices and conditions of purchase varied widely. Some websites advertised single pills while others only permitted the purchase of large quantities. Not all websites delivered the exact drugs ordered, some delivered no drugs at all; many websites shipped from multiple international locations, and from locations that were different from those advertised on the websites. All drug samples were tested against approved U.S. brand formulations using Raman spectrometry. Many (17) websites substituted drugs, often in different formulations from the brands requested. These drugs, some of which were probably generics or perhaps non-bioequivalent copy versions, could not be assessed accurately. Of those drugs that could be assessed, none failed from “approved”, “legally compliant” or “not recommended” websites (0 out of 86), whereas 8.6% (3 out of 35) failed from “highly not recommended” and unidentifiable websites. Conclusions Of those drugs that could be assessed, all except Viagra® passed spectrometry testing. Of those that failed, few could be identified either by a country of manufacture listed on the packaging, or by the physical location of the website pharmacy. If confirmed by future studies on other drug samples, then U.S. consumers should be able to reduce their risk by

  4. Quality assessment in nursing home facilities: measuring customer satisfaction.

    PubMed

    Mostyn, M M; Race, K E; Seibert, J H; Johnson, M

    2000-01-01

    A national study designed to assess the reliability and validity of a nursing home customer satisfaction survey is summarized. One hundred fifty-nine facilities participated, each responsible for the distribution and collection of 200 questionnaires randomly sent to the home of the resident's responsible party. A total of 9053 completed questionnaires were returned, for an average adjusted response rate of 53%. The factor analysis identified 4 scales: Comfort and Cleanliness, Nursing, Food Services, and Facility Care and Services, each with high reliability. Based on a multiple regression analysis, the scales were shown to have good criterion-related validity, accounting for 64% of the variance in overall quality ratings. Comparisons based on select characteristics indicated significantly different satisfaction ratings among facilities. The results are interpreted as providing evidence for the construct validity of a multidimensional customer satisfaction scale with measured reliability and criterion-related validity. Moreover, the scale can be used to differentiate satisfaction levels among facilities. PMID:10763218

  5. Objective assessment of image quality. IV. Application to adaptive optics

    PubMed Central

    Barrett, Harrison H.; Myers, Kyle J.; Devaney, Nicholas; Dainty, Christopher

    2008-01-01

    The methodology of objective assessment, which defines image quality in terms of the performance of specific observers on specific tasks of interest, is extended to temporal sequences of images with random point spread functions and applied to adaptive imaging in astronomy. The tasks considered include both detection and estimation, and the observers are the optimal linear discriminant (Hotelling observer) and the optimal linear estimator (Wiener). A general theory of first- and second-order spatiotemporal statistics in adaptive optics is developed. It is shown that the covariance matrix can be rigorously decomposed into three terms representing the effect of measurement noise, random point spread function, and random nature of the astronomical scene. Figures of merit are developed, and computational methods are discussed. PMID:17106464

  6. Groundwater Quality Assessment for Waste Management Area U: First Determination

    SciTech Connect

    Hodges, Floyd N.; Chou, Charissa J.

    2000-08-04

    As a result of the most recent recalculation one of the indicator parameters, specific conductance, exceeded its background value in downgradient well 299-W19-41, triggering a change from detection monitoring to groundwater quality assessment program. The major contributors to the higher specific conductance are nonhazardous constituents (i.e., sodium, calcium, magnesium, chloride, sulfate, and bicarbonate). Nitrate, chromium, and technetium-99 are present and are increasing; however, they are significantly below their drinking waster standards. Interpretation of groundwater monitoring data indicates that both the nonhazardous constituents causing elevated specific conductance in groundwater and the tank waste constituents present in groundwater at the waste management area are a result of surface water infiltration in the southern portion of the facility. There is evidence for both upgradient and waste management area sources for observed nitrate concentrations. There is no indication of an upgradient source for the observed chromium and technetium-99.

  7. Quality assessment in nursing home facilities: measuring customer satisfaction.

    PubMed

    Mostyn, M M; Race, K E; Seibert, J H; Johnson, M

    2000-01-01

    A national study designed to assess the reliability and validity of a nursing home customer satisfaction survey is summarized. One hundred fifty-nine facilities participated, each responsible for the distribution and collection of 200 questionnaires randomly sent to the home of the resident's responsible party. A total of 9053 completed questionnaires were returned, for an average adjusted response rate of 53%. The factor analysis identified 4 scales: Comfort and Cleanliness, Nursing, Food Services, and Facility Care and Services, each with high reliability. Based on a multiple regression analysis, the scales were shown to have good criterion-related validity, accounting for 64% of the variance in overall quality ratings. Comparisons based on select characteristics indicated significantly different satisfaction ratings among facilities. The results are interpreted as providing evidence for the construct validity of a multidimensional customer satisfaction scale with measured reliability and criterion-related validity. Moreover, the scale can be used to differentiate satisfaction levels among facilities.

  8. Objective assessment of image quality. IV. Application to adaptive optics.

    PubMed

    Barrett, Harrison H; Myers, Kyle J; Devaney, Nicholas; Dainty, Christopher

    2006-12-01

    The methodology of objective assessment, which defines image quality in terms of the performance of specific observers on specific tasks of interest, is extended to temporal sequences of images with random point spread functions and applied to adaptive imaging in astronomy. The tasks considered include both detection and estimation, and the observers are the optimal linear discriminant (Hotelling observer) and the optimal linear estimator (Wiener). A general theory of first- and second-order spatiotemporal statistics in adaptive optics is developed. It is shown that the covariance matrix can be rigorously decomposed into three terms representing the effect of measurement noise, random point spread function, and random nature of the astronomical scene. Figures of merit are developed, and computational methods are discussed.

  9. Image analysis for dental bone quality assessment using CBCT imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suprijanto; Epsilawati, L.; Hajarini, M. S.; Juliastuti, E.; Susanti, H.

    2016-03-01

    Cone beam computerized tomography (CBCT) is one of X-ray imaging modalities that are applied in dentistry. Its modality can visualize the oral region in 3D and in a high resolution. CBCT jaw image has potential information for the assessment of bone quality that often used for pre-operative implant planning. We propose comparison method based on normalized histogram (NH) on the region of inter-dental septum and premolar teeth. Furthermore, the NH characteristic from normal and abnormal bone condition are compared and analyzed. Four test parameters are proposed, i.e. the difference between teeth and bone average intensity (s), the ratio between bone and teeth average intensity (n) of NH, the difference between teeth and bone peak value (Δp) of NH, and the ratio between teeth and bone of NH range (r). The results showed that n, s, and Δp have potential to be the classification parameters of dental calcium density.

  10. Objective assessment of image quality. IV. Application to adaptive optics.

    PubMed

    Barrett, Harrison H; Myers, Kyle J; Devaney, Nicholas; Dainty, Christopher

    2006-12-01

    The methodology of objective assessment, which defines image quality in terms of the performance of specific observers on specific tasks of interest, is extended to temporal sequences of images with random point spread functions and applied to adaptive imaging in astronomy. The tasks considered include both detection and estimation, and the observers are the optimal linear discriminant (Hotelling observer) and the optimal linear estimator (Wiener). A general theory of first- and second-order spatiotemporal statistics in adaptive optics is developed. It is shown that the covariance matrix can be rigorously decomposed into three terms representing the effect of measurement noise, random point spread function, and random nature of the astronomical scene. Figures of merit are developed, and computational methods are discussed. PMID:17106464

  11. Tracking and data acquisition system for the 1990's. Volume 7: TDAS space technology assessment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Khatri, R.

    1983-01-01

    The results of the TDAS and user spacecraft technology assessment effort are provided. For each TDAS Satellite enhancement and user spacecraft element previously enumerated, the technology issues are identified and the R&D needed to resolve these issues is delineated. Subsequently, taking into account developments taking place elsewhere, the addition unique TDAS satellite module and user spacecraft element R&D efforts needed are identified, and conclusions are drawn in each case. From these conclusions, it is evident that with additional unique R&D efforts carried out for TDAS and appropriate user spacecraft elements the desired TDAS' capabilities for the 1990's can be realized and user spacecraft can be implemented that adequately interface with the projected TDAS.

  12. Assessing The Policy Relevance of Regional Air Quality Models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holloway, T.

    This work presents a framework for discussing the policy relevance of models, and regional air quality models in particular. We define four criteria: 1) The scientific status of the model; 2) Its ability to address primary environmental concerns; 3) The position of modeled environmental issues on the political agenda; and 4) The role of scientific input into the policy process. This framework is applied to current work simulating the transport of nitric acid in Asia with the ATMOS-N model, to past studies on air pollution transport in Europe with the EMEP model, and to future applications of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) Models-3. The Lagrangian EMEP model provided critical input to the development of the 1994 Oslo and 1999 Gothenburg Protocols to the Convention on Long-Range Transbound- ary Air Pollution, as well as to the development of EU directives, via its role as a component of the RAINS integrated assessment model. Our work simulating reactive nitrogen in Asia follows the European example in part, with the choice of ATMOS-N, a regional Lagrangian model to calculate source-receptor relationships for the RAINS- Asia integrated assessment model. However, given differences between ATMOS-N and the EMEP model, as well as differences between the scientific and political cli- mates facing Europe ten years ago and Asia today, the role of these two models in the policy process is very different. We characterize the different aspects of policy relevance between these models using our framework, and consider how the current generation US EPA air quality model compares, in light of its Eulerian structure, dif- ferent objectives, and the policy context of the US.

  13. Drinking water quality assessment in Southern Sindh (Pakistan).

    PubMed

    Memon, Mehrunisa; Soomro, Mohammed Saleh; Akhtar, Mohammad Saleem; Memon, Kazi Suleman

    2011-06-01

    The southern Sindh province of Pakistan adjoins the Arabian Sea coast where drinking water quality is deteriorating due to dumping of industrial and urban waste and use of agrochemicals and yet has limited fresh water resources. The study assessed the drinking water quality of canal, shallow pumps, dug wells, and water supply schemes from the administrative districts of Thatta, Badin, and Thar by measuring physical, chemical, and biological (total coliform) quality parameters. All four water bodies (dug wells, shallow pumps canal water, and water supply schemes) exceeded WHO MPL for turbidity (24%, 28%, 96%, 69%), coliform (96%, 77%, 92%, 81%), and electrical conductivity (100%, 99%, 44%, 63%), respectively. However, the turbidity was lower in underground water, i.e., 24% and 28% in dug wells and shallow pumps as compared to open water, i.e., 96% and 69% in canal and water supply schemes, respectively. In dug wells and shallow pumps, limits for TDS, alkalinity, hardness, and sodium exceeded, respectively, by 63% and 33%; 59% and 70%, 40% and 27%, and 78% and 26%. Sodium was major problem in dug wells and shallow pumps of district Thar and considerable percent in shallow pumps of Badin. Iron was major problem in all water bodies of district Badin ranging from 50% to 69% and to some extent in open waters of Thatta. Other parameters as pH, copper, manganese, zinc, and phosphorus were within standard permissible limits of World Health Organization. Some common diseases found in the study area were gastroenteritis, diarrhea and vomiting, kidney, and skin problems.

  14. Assessing groundwater quality for irrigation using indicator kriging method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Delbari, Masoomeh; Amiri, Meysam; Motlagh, Masoud Bahraini

    2014-09-01

    One of the key parameters influencing sprinkler irrigation performance is water quality. In this study, the spatial variability of groundwater quality parameters (EC, SAR, Na+, Cl-, HCO3 - and pH) was investigated by geostatistical methods and the most suitable areas for implementation of sprinkler irrigation systems in terms of water quality are determined. The study was performed in Fasa county of Fars province using 91 water samples. Results indicated that all parameters are moderately to strongly spatially correlated over the study area. The spatial distribution of pH and HCO3 - was mapped using ordinary kriging. The probability of concentrations of EC, SAR, Na+ and Cl- exceeding a threshold limit in groundwater was obtained using indicator kriging (IK). The experimental indicator semivariograms were often fitted well by a spherical model for SAR, EC, Na+ and Cl-. For HCO3 - and pH, an exponential model was fitted to the experimental semivariograms. Probability maps showed that the risk of EC, SAR, Na+ and Cl- exceeding the given critical threshold is higher in lower half of the study area. The most proper agricultural lands for sprinkler irrigation implementation were identified by evaluating all probability maps. The suitable areas for sprinkler irrigation design were determined to be 25,240 hectares, which is about 34 percent of total agricultural lands and are located in northern and eastern parts. Overall the results of this study showed that IK is an appropriate approach for risk assessment of groundwater pollution, which is useful for a proper groundwater resources management.

  15. An assessment of bird habitat quality using population growth rates

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Knutson, M.G.; Powell, L.A.; Hines, R.K.; Friberg, M.A.; Niemi, G.J.

    2006-01-01

    Survival and reproduction directly affect population growth rate (lambda) making lambda a fundamental parameter for assessing habitat quality. We used field data, literature review, and a computer simulation to predict annual productivity and lambda for several species of landbirds breeding in floodplain and upland forests in the Midwestern United States. We monitored 1735 nests of 27 species; 760 nests were in the uplands and 975 were in the floodplain. Each type of forest habitat (upland and floodplain) was a source habitat for some species. Despite a relatively low proportion of regional forest cover, the majority of species had stable or increasing populations in all or some habitats, including six species of conservation concern. In our search for a simple analog for lambda, we found that only adult apparent survival, juvenile survival, and annual productivity were correlated with lambda; daily nest survival and relative abundance estimated from point counts were not. Survival and annual productivity are among the most costly demographic parameters to measure and there does not seem to be a low-cost alternative. In addition, our literature search revealed that the demographic parameters needed to model annual productivity and lambda were unavailable for several species. More collective effort across North America is needed to fill the gaps in our knowledge of demographic parameters necessary to model both annual productivity and lambda. Managers can use habitat-specific predictions of annual productivity to compare habitat quality among species and habitats for purposes of evaluating management plans.

  16. Fuzzy-GA modeling in air quality assessment.

    PubMed

    Yadav, Jyoti; Kharat, Vilas; Deshpande, Ashok

    2015-04-01

    In this paper, the authors have suggested and implemented the defined soft computing methods in air quality classification with case studies. The first study relates to the application of Fuzzy C mean (FCM) clustering method in estimating pollution status in cities of Maharashtra State, India. In this study, the computation of weighting factor using a new concept of reference group is successfully demonstrated. The authors have also investigated the efficacy of fuzzy set theoretic approach in combination with genetic algorithm in straightway describing air quality in linguistic terms with linguistic degree of certainty attached to each description using Zadeh-Deshpande (ZD) approach. Two metropolitan cities viz., Mumbai in India and New York in the USA are identified for the assessment of the pollution status due to their somewhat similar geographical features. The case studies infer that the fuzzy sets drawn on the basis of expert knowledge base for the criteria pollutants are not much different from those obtained using genetic algorithm. Pollution forecast using various methods including fuzzy time series forms an integral part of the paper.

  17. Integrated assessment of brick kiln emission impacts on air quality.

    PubMed

    Le, Hoang Anh; Oanh, Nguyen Thi Kim

    2010-12-01

    This paper presents monitoring results of daily brick kiln stack emission and the derived emission factors. Emission of individual air pollutant varied significantly during a firing batch (7 days) and between kilns. Average emission factors per 1,000 bricks were 6.35-12.3 kg of CO, 0.52-5.9 kg of SO(2) and 0.64-1.4 kg of particulate matter (PM). PM emission size distribution in the stack plume was determined using a modified cascade impactor. Obtained emission factors and PM size distribution data were used in simulation study using the Industrial Source Complex Short-Term (ISCST3) dispersion model. The model performance was successfully evaluated for the local conditions using the simultaneous ambient monitoring data in 2006 and 2007. SO(2) was the most critical pollutant, exceeding the hourly National Ambient Air Quality Standards over 63 km(2) out of the 100-km(2) modelled domain in the base case. Impacts of different emission scenarios on the ambient air quality (SO(2), PM, CO, PM dry deposition flux) were assessed.

  18. Water quality assessment of Ganga river in Bihar Region, India.

    PubMed

    Tiwary, R K; Rajak, G P; Abhishek; Mondal, M R

    2005-10-01

    A study was carried out on Ganga river in Bihar region in and around Patna to assess the impact of sewage pollution on the water quality of the river. The drain water samples from the confluence point of outfall drains to the river were collected and studied for key parameters. Parameters such as BOD, COD, TDS, TSS, total and faecal coliform (MPN) were observed high in drain water. The physicochemical analysis of Ganga river shows that the water has high TDS, TSS, BOD, and COD. The coliform bacteria were found to be alarmingly high in the river. Most of the parameters analyzed were found high near the bank in comparison to the water in the middle stream of that station. The XRF analysis of sediments of the Ganga river showed that Si, Fe, Ca, Al and K are the major elements of the Ganga sediment. The study revealed that due to discharge of untreated sewage into the Ganga, the water quality of Ganga has been severely deteriorated and the potable nature of water is being lost.

  19. Quality assessment of digested sludges produced by advanced stabilization processes.

    PubMed

    Braguglia, C M; Coors, A; Gallipoli, A; Gianico, A; Guillon, E; Kunkel, U; Mascolo, G; Richter, E; Ternes, T A; Tomei, M C; Mininni, G

    2015-05-01

    The European Union (EU) Project Routes aimed to discover new routes in sludge stabilization treatments leading to high-quality digested sludge, suitable for land application. In order to investigate the impact of different enhanced sludge stabilization processes such as (a) thermophilic digestion integrated with thermal hydrolysis pretreatment (TT), (b) sonication before mesophilic/thermophilic digestion (UMT), and (c) sequential anaerobic/aerobic digestion (AA) on digested sludge quality, a broad class of conventional and emerging organic micropollutants as well as ecotoxicity was analyzed, extending the assessment beyond the parameters typically considered (i.e., stability index and heavy metals). The stability index was improved by adding aerobic posttreatment or by operating dual-stage process but not by pretreatment integration. Filterability was worsened by thermophilic digestion, either alone (TT) or coupled with mesophilic digestion (UMT). The concentrations of heavy metals, present in ranking order Zn > Cu > Pb > Cr ~ Ni > Cd > Hg, were always below the current legal requirements for use on land and were not removed during the processes. Removals of conventional and emerging organic pollutants were greatly enhanced by performing double-stage digestion (UMT and AA treatment) compared to a single-stage process as TT; the same trend was found as regards toxicity reduction. Overall, all the digested sludges exhibited toxicity to the soil bacterium Arthrobacter globiformis at concentrations about factor 100 higher than the usual application rate of sludge to soil in Europe. For earthworms, a safety margin of factor 30 was generally achieved for all the digested samples. PMID:24903249

  20. A solution quality assessment method for swarm intelligence optimization algorithms.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Zhaojun; Wang, Gai-Ge; Zou, Kuansheng; Zhang, Jianhua

    2014-01-01

    Nowadays, swarm intelligence optimization has become an important optimization tool and wildly used in many fields of application. In contrast to many successful applications, the theoretical foundation is rather weak. Therefore, there are still many problems to be solved. One problem is how to quantify the performance of algorithm in finite time, that is, how to evaluate the solution quality got by algorithm for practical problems. It greatly limits the application in practical problems. A solution quality assessment method for intelligent optimization is proposed in this paper. It is an experimental analysis method based on the analysis of search space and characteristic of algorithm itself. Instead of "value performance," the "ordinal performance" is used as evaluation criteria in this method. The feasible solutions were clustered according to distance to divide solution samples into several parts. Then, solution space and "good enough" set can be decomposed based on the clustering results. Last, using relative knowledge of statistics, the evaluation result can be got. To validate the proposed method, some intelligent algorithms such as ant colony optimization (ACO), particle swarm optimization (PSO), and artificial fish swarm algorithm (AFS) were taken to solve traveling salesman problem. Computational results indicate the feasibility of proposed method.

  1. Water quality assessment of Ganga river in Bihar Region, India.

    PubMed

    Tiwary, R K; Rajak, G P; Abhishek; Mondal, M R

    2005-10-01

    A study was carried out on Ganga river in Bihar region in and around Patna to assess the impact of sewage pollution on the water quality of the river. The drain water samples from the confluence point of outfall drains to the river were collected and studied for key parameters. Parameters such as BOD, COD, TDS, TSS, total and faecal coliform (MPN) were observed high in drain water. The physicochemical analysis of Ganga river shows that the water has high TDS, TSS, BOD, and COD. The coliform bacteria were found to be alarmingly high in the river. Most of the parameters analyzed were found high near the bank in comparison to the water in the middle stream of that station. The XRF analysis of sediments of the Ganga river showed that Si, Fe, Ca, Al and K are the major elements of the Ganga sediment. The study revealed that due to discharge of untreated sewage into the Ganga, the water quality of Ganga has been severely deteriorated and the potable nature of water is being lost. PMID:17051921

  2. Web Page Content and Quality Assessed for Shoulder Replacement.

    PubMed

    Matthews, John R; Harrison, Caitlyn M; Hughes, Travis M; Dezfuli, Bobby; Sheppard, Joseph

    2016-01-01

    The Internet has become a major source for obtaining health-related information. This study assesses and compares the quality of information available online for shoulder replacement using medical (total shoulder arthroplasty [TSA]) and nontechnical (shoulder replacement [SR]) terminology. Three evaluators reviewed 90 websites for each search term across 3 search engines (Google, Yahoo, and Bing). Websites were grouped into categories, identified as commercial or noncommercial, and evaluated with the DISCERN questionnaire. Total shoulder arthroplasty provided 53 unique sites compared to 38 websites for SR. Of the 53 TSA websites, 30% were health professional-oriented websites versus 18% of SR websites. Shoulder replacement websites provided more patient-oriented information at 48%, versus 45% of TSA websites. In total, SR websites provided 47% (42/90) noncommercial websites, with the highest number seen in Yahoo, compared with TSA at 37% (33/90), with Google providing 13 of the 33 websites (39%). Using the nonmedical terminology with Yahoo's search engine returned the most noncommercial and patient-oriented websites. However, the quality of information found online was highly variable, with most websites being unreliable and incomplete, regardless of search term.

  3. Quantitative Assessment of Motor and Sensory/Motor Acquisition in Handicapped and Nonhandicapped Infants and Young Children. Volume IV: Application of the Procedures.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Guess, Doug; And Others

    Three studies that applied quantitative procedures to measure motor and sensory/motor acquisition among handicapped and nonhandicapped infants and children are presented. In addition, a study concerning the replication of the quantitative procedures for assessing rolling behavior is described in a fourth article. The first study, by C. Janssen,…

  4. Quantitative Assessment of Motor and Sensory/Motor Acquisition in Handicapped and Nonhandicapped Infants and Young Children. Volume III: Replication of the Procedures.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Guess, Doug; And Others

    Ten replication studies based on quantitative procedures developed to measure motor and sensory/motor skill acquisition among handicapped and nonhandicapped infants and children are presented. Each study follows the original assessment procedures, and emphasizes the stability of interobserver reliability across time, consistency in the response…

  5. Hydrogeochemistry and Water Quality Index in the Assessment of Groundwater Quality for Drinking Uses.

    PubMed

    Batabyal, Asit Kumar; Chakraborty, Surajit

    2015-07-01

    The present investigation is aimed at understanding the hydrogeochemical parameters and development of a water quality index (WQI) to assess groundwater quality of a rural tract in the northwest of Bardhaman district of West Bengal, India. Groundwater occurs at shallow depths with the maximum flow moving southeast during pre-monsoon season and south in post-monsoon period. The physicochemical analysis of groundwater samples shows the major ions in the order of HCO3>Ca>Na>Mg>Cl>SO4 and HCO3>Ca>Mg>Na>Cl>SO4 in pre- and post-monsoon periods, respectively. The groundwater quality is safe for drinking, barring the elevated iron content in certain areas. Based on WQI values, groundwater falls into one of three categories: excellent water, good water, and poor water. The high value of WQI is because of elevated concentration of iron and chloride. The majority of the area is occupied by good water in pre-monsoon and poor water in post-monsoon period.

  6. Frameworks for Assessing the Quality of Modeling and Simulation Capabilities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rider, W. J.

    2012-12-01

    The importance of assuring quality in modeling and simulation has spawned several frameworks for structuring the examination of quality. The format and content of these frameworks provides an emphasis, completeness and flow to assessment activities. I will examine four frameworks that have been developed and describe how they can be improved and applied to a broader set of high consequence applications. Perhaps the first of these frameworks was known as CSAU [Boyack] (code scaling, applicability and uncertainty) used for nuclear reactor safety and endorsed the United States' Nuclear Regulatory Commission (USNRC). This framework was shaped by nuclear safety practice, and the practical structure needed after the Three Mile Island accident. It incorporated the dominant experimental program, the dominant analysis approach, and concerns about the quality of modeling. The USNRC gave it the force of law that made the nuclear industry take it seriously. After the cessation of nuclear weapons' testing the United States began a program of examining the reliability of these weapons without testing. This program utilizes science including theory, modeling, simulation and experimentation to replace the underground testing. The emphasis on modeling and simulation necessitated attention on the quality of these simulations. Sandia developed the PCMM (predictive capability maturity model) to structure this attention [Oberkampf]. PCMM divides simulation into six core activities to be examined and graded relative to the needs of the modeling activity. NASA [NASA] has built yet another framework in response to the tragedy of the space shuttle accidents. Finally, Ben-Haim and Hemez focus upon modeling robustness and predictive fidelity in another approach. These frameworks are similar, and applied in a similar fashion. The adoption of these frameworks at Sandia and NASA has been slow and arduous because the force of law has not assisted acceptance. All existing frameworks are

  7. Automated Video Quality Assessment for Deep-Sea Video

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pirenne, B.; Hoeberechts, M.; Kalmbach, A.; Sadhu, T.; Branzan Albu, A.; Glotin, H.; Jeffries, M. A.; Bui, A. O. V.

    2015-12-01

    Video provides a rich source of data for geophysical analysis, often supplying detailed information about the environment when other instruments may not. This is especially true of deep-sea environments, where direct visual observations cannot be made. As computer vision techniques improve and volumes of video data increase, automated video analysis is emerging as a practical alternative to labor-intensive manual analysis. Automated techniques can be much more sensitive to video quality than their manual counterparts, so performing quality assessment before doing full analysis is critical to producing valid results.Ocean Networks Canada (ONC), an initiative of the University of Victoria, operates cabled ocean observatories that supply continuous power and Internet connectivity to a broad suite of subsea instruments from the coast to the deep sea, including video and still cameras. This network of ocean observatories has produced almost 20,000 hours of video (about 38 hours are recorded each day) and an additional 8,000 hours of logs from remotely operated vehicle (ROV) dives. We begin by surveying some ways in which deep-sea video poses challenges for automated analysis, including: 1. Non-uniform lighting: Single, directional, light sources produce uneven luminance distributions and shadows; remotely operated lighting equipment are also susceptible to technical failures. 2. Particulate noise: Turbidity and marine snow are often present in underwater video; particles in the water column can have sharper focus and higher contrast than the objects of interest due to their proximity to the light source and can also influence the camera's autofocus and auto white-balance routines. 3. Color distortion (low contrast): The rate of absorption of light in water varies by wavelength, and is higher overall than in air, altering apparent colors and lowering the contrast of objects at a distance.We also describe measures under development at ONC for detecting and mitigating

  8. The Quality of Local District Assessments Used in Nebraska's School-Based Teacher-Led Assessment and Reporting System (STARS)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brookhart, Susan M.

    2005-01-01

    A sample of 293 local district assessments used in the Nebraska STARS (School-based Teacher-led Assessment and Reporting System), 147 from 2004 district mathematics assessment portfolios and 146 from 2003 reading assessment portfolios, was scored with a rubric evaluating their quality. Scorers were Nebraska educators with background and training…

  9. Indigenous Community Tree Inventory: Assessment of Data Quality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fauzi, M. F.; Idris, N. H.; Din, A. H. M.; Osman, M. J.; Idris, N. H.; Ishak, M. H. I.

    2016-09-01

    The citizen science program to supplement authoritative data in tree inventory has been well implemented in various countries. However, there is a lack of study that assesses correctness and accuracy of tree data supplied by citizens. This paper addresses the issue of tree data quality supplied by semi-literate indigenous group. The aim of this paper is to assess the correctness of attributes (tree species name, height and diameter at breast height) and the accuracy of tree horizontal positioning data supplied by indigenous people. The accuracy of the tree horizontal position recorded by GNSS-enable smart phone was found to have a RMSE value of ± 8m which is not suitable to accurately locate individual tree position in tropical rainforest such as the Royal Belum State Park. Consequently, the tree species names contributed by indigenous people were only 20 to 30 percent correct as compared with the reference data. However, the combination of indigenous respondents comprising of different ages, experience and knowledge working in a group influence less attribute error in data entry and increase the use of free text rather than audio methods. The indigenous community has a big potential to engage with scientific study due to their local knowledge with the research area, however intensive training must be given to empower their skills and several challenges need to be addressed.

  10. Conventional culture for water quality assessment: is there a future?

    PubMed

    Sartory, D P; Watkins, J

    1998-12-01

    Conventional culture for the detection, enumeration and identification of micro-organisms has been the traditional tool of the microbiologist. It is, however, time-consuming and labour-intensive and confirmed results often require several days of analysis. Culture may not grow the organisms being sought and for enumeration may only detect a small proportion of the total population. However, it does have the advantage of being simple to use and relatively inexpensive. It is also a direct means of assessing cell viability. Novel fluorogenic dyes and fluorgenic and chromogenic substrates have overcome some of these problems by providing a means of rapid and specific detection and enumeration whilst removing the need for subculture and confirmation tests. Immunological tests such as ELISA have significantly reduced analysis time by providing specific target organism detection. Molecular techniques have removed the need for culture. Improvements in sensitivity, and removal of the inhibitory nature of sample matrices, have allowed analysts to detect low levels of micro-organisms but the questions of viability and comparability with cultural techniques still remain. Are we about to see a change of culture in water quality assessment, or can cultural techniques be developed that reduce analysis time to a few hours and can rapid methods be used for detecting the presence and viability of organisms?

  11. 78 FR 42928 - Draft Environmental Assessment for the Cotton Quality Research Station Land Transfer

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-07-18

    ...; ] DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Research Service Draft Environmental Assessment for the Cotton Quality... Environmental Assessment for the Cotton Quality Research Station Land Transfer. SUMMARY: In accordance with the... facilities at the Cotton Quality Research Station (CQRS) from the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS)...

  12. 42 CFR 460.134 - Minimum requirements for quality assessment and performance improvement program.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ...) Quality of life of participants. (4) Effectiveness and safety of staff-provided and contracted services... ELDERLY (PACE) PROGRAMS OF ALL-INCLUSIVE CARE FOR THE ELDERLY (PACE) Quality Assessment and Performance... 42 Public Health 4 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Minimum requirements for quality assessment...

  13. 42 CFR 460.134 - Minimum requirements for quality assessment and performance improvement program.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ...) Quality of life of participants. (4) Effectiveness and safety of staff-provided and contracted services... ELDERLY (PACE) PROGRAMS OF ALL-INCLUSIVE CARE FOR THE ELDERLY (PACE) Quality Assessment and Performance... 42 Public Health 4 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Minimum requirements for quality assessment...

  14. 42 CFR 460.134 - Minimum requirements for quality assessment and performance improvement program.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ...) Quality of life of participants. (4) Effectiveness and safety of staff-provided and contracted services... ELDERLY (PACE) PROGRAMS OF ALL-INCLUSIVE CARE FOR THE ELDERLY (PACE) Quality Assessment and Performance... 42 Public Health 4 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Minimum requirements for quality assessment...

  15. 42 CFR 460.134 - Minimum requirements for quality assessment and performance improvement program.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ...) Quality of life of participants. (4) Effectiveness and safety of staff-provided and contracted services... ELDERLY (PACE) PROGRAMS OF ALL-INCLUSIVE CARE FOR THE ELDERLY (PACE) Quality Assessment and Performance... 42 Public Health 4 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Minimum requirements for quality assessment...

  16. 42 CFR 460.134 - Minimum requirements for quality assessment and performance improvement program.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ...) Quality of life of participants. (4) Effectiveness and safety of staff-provided and contracted services... ELDERLY (PACE) PROGRAMS OF ALL-INCLUSIVE CARE FOR THE ELDERLY (PACE) Quality Assessment and Performance... 42 Public Health 4 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Minimum requirements for quality assessment...

  17. Evaluation for Basic Image Qualities Dependence on the Position in XYZ Directions and Acquisition Parameters of the Cone Beam CT for Angiography System with Flat Panel Detector.

    PubMed

    Tsuda, Norisato; Mitsui, Kota; Oda, Shinichiro

    2016-08-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of the position in XYZ directions and acquisition parameters on the basic image qualities of for cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) in an angiography system with flat panel detector. The resolution property (modulation transfer function: MTF) and the noise property (Wiener spectrum: WS) of CBCT images in X-Y plane were measured with different acquisition parameters (scan matrix number and projection number) and the effect of the position in XYZ directions. The MTFs with 1024×1024 matrix were higher than those of 512×512 matrix and decreased in the peripheral areas due to the reduction of projection number. The highest and the lowest MTFs were measured at the X-ray tube side and on the detector side of the position in X-Y plane, respectively. The WS-doubled projection number showed about 50% lesser noise level. There were differences in the Wiener spectra (WS) at the position in XYZ directions. We conclude that the resolution and the noise property of CBCT image in X-Y plane showed dependences on the position in XYZ directions and acquisition parameters of the CBCT. PMID:27546079

  18. A Review of Data Quality Assessment Methods for Public Health Information Systems

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Hong; Hailey, David; Wang, Ning; Yu, Ping

    2014-01-01

    High quality data and effective data quality assessment are required for accurately evaluating the impact of public health interventions and measuring public health outcomes. Data, data use, and data collection process, as the three dimensions of data quality, all need to be assessed for overall data quality assessment. We reviewed current data quality assessment methods. The relevant study was identified in major databases and well-known institutional websites. We found the dimension of data was most frequently assessed. Completeness, accuracy, and timeliness were the three most-used attributes among a total of 49 attributes of data quality. The major quantitative assessment methods were descriptive surveys and data audits, whereas the common qualitative assessment methods were interview and documentation review. The limitations of the reviewed studies included inattentiveness to data use and data collection process, inconsistency in the definition of attributes of data quality, failure to address data users’ concerns and a lack of systematic procedures in data quality assessment. This review study is limited by the coverage of the databases and the breadth of public health information systems. Further research could develop consistent data quality definitions and attributes. More research efforts should be given to assess the quality of data use and the quality of data collection process. PMID:24830450

  19. SU-E-I-94: Automated Image Quality Assessment of Radiographic Systems Using An Anthropomorphic Phantom

    SciTech Connect

    Wells, J; Wilson, J; Zhang, Y; Samei, E; Ravin, Carl E.

    2014-06-01

    Purpose: In a large, academic medical center, consistent radiographic imaging performance is difficult to routinely monitor and maintain, especially for a fleet consisting of multiple vendors, models, software versions, and numerous imaging protocols. Thus, an automated image quality control methodology has been implemented using routine image quality assessment with a physical, stylized anthropomorphic chest phantom. Methods: The “Duke” Phantom (Digital Phantom 07-646, Supertech, Elkhart, IN) was imaged twice on each of 13 radiographic units from a variety of vendors at 13 primary care clinics. The first acquisition used the clinical PA chest protocol to acquire the post-processed “FOR PRESENTATION” image. The second image was acquired without an antiscatter grid followed by collection of the “FOR PROCESSING” image. Manual CNR measurements were made from the largest and thickest contrast-detail inserts in the lung, heart, and abdominal regions of the phantom in each image. An automated image registration algorithm was used to estimate the CNR of the same insert using similar ROIs. Automated measurements were then compared to the manual measurements. Results: Automatic and manual CNR measurements obtained from “FOR PRESENTATION” images had average percent differences of 0.42%±5.18%, −3.44%±4.85%, and 1.04%±3.15% in the lung, heart, and abdominal regions, respectively; measurements obtained from “FOR PROCESSING” images had average percent differences of -0.63%±6.66%, −0.97%±3.92%, and −0.53%±4.18%, respectively. The maximum absolute difference in CNR was 15.78%, 10.89%, and 8.73% in the respective regions. In addition to CNR assessment of the largest and thickest contrast-detail inserts, the automated method also provided CNR estimates for all 75 contrast-detail inserts in each phantom image. Conclusion: Automated analysis of a radiographic phantom has been shown to be a fast, robust, and objective means for assessing radiographic

  20. The Effects of Training in Peer Assessment on University Students' Writing Performance and Peer Assessment Quality in an Online Environment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Xiao, Yun

    2010-01-01

    This study was designed to examine the effects of peer-assessment skill training on students' writing performance, the quality of students' feedback, the quality (validity and reliability) of student-generated scores, and the students' satisfaction with the peer assessment method in an online environment. A quasi-experimental design was employed…

  1. Groundwater-Quality Assessment, Pike County, Pennsylvania, 2007

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Senior, Lisa A.

    2009-01-01

    Pike County, a 545 square-mile area in northeastern Pennsylvania, has experienced the largest relative population growth of any county in the state from 1990 to 2000 and its population is projected to grow substantially through 2025. This growing population may result in added dependence and stresses on water resources, including the potential to reduce the quantity and degrade the quality of groundwater and associated stream base flow with changing land use. Groundwater is the main source of drinking water in the county and is derived primarily from fractured-rock aquifers (shales, siltstones, and sandstones) and some unconsolidated glacial deposits that are recharged locally from precipitation. The principal land uses in the county as of 2005 were public, residential, agricultural, hunt club/private recreational, roads, and commercial. The public lands cover a third of the county and include national park, state park, and other state lands, much of which are forested. Individual on-site wells and wastewater disposal are common in many residential areas. In 2007, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Pike County Conservation District, began a study to provide current information on groundwater quality throughout the county that will be helpful for water-resource planning. The countywide reconnaissance assessment of groundwater quality documents current conditions with existing land uses and may serve as a baseline of groundwater quality for future comparison. Twenty wells were sampled in 2007 throughout Pike County to represent groundwater quality in the principal land uses (commercial, high-density and moderate-density residential with on-site wastewater disposal, residential in a sewered area, pre-development, and undeveloped) and geologic units (five fractured-rock aquifers and one glacial unconsolidated aquifer). Analyses selected for the groundwater samples were intended to identify naturally occurring constituents from the aquifer or

  2. Characterizing eye movements during temporal and global quality assessment of h.264 compressed video sequences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mantel, Claire; Guyader, Nathalie; Ladret, Patricia; Ionescu, Gelu; Kunlin, Thomas

    2012-03-01

    Studies have shown that the deployment of visual attention is closely link to the assessment of image or video quality, though this link is not yet fully understood. The influence of rating temporal quality of compressed videos over the way an observer deploys his attention is investigated in this paper. We set-up a subjective experiment in which the eye movements of observers are recorded during three different tasks: a free-viewing task (FT), a global quality assessment task and a temporal quality assessment task. The FT acts as a reference to which we compare the eye movements during the two other tasks. As previously shown, observers assessing global quality gaze at locations dissimilar to those fixated during the FT. For temporal quality assessment, it seems that the fixated locations are closer to FT than the global quality assessment fixated locations. Our results suggest that the locations observers look at do not depend on the displayed video quality level. Quality however influences the way participants look at videos: the lower the quality, the longer they gaze at a precise location. The area fixated seems to be much smaller during the quality assessment tasks than during the FT for either perfect or poor quality level. The evolution over time of all indicators suggests that, during the first 1 or 2 seconds, the signal properties of the videos are the main attractors for the participants' eye movements. Instructions only seem to play a role afterwards on the deployment of the participants' visual attention.

  3. Automated content and quality assessment of full-motion-video for the generation of meta data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harguess, Josh

    2015-05-01

    Virtually all of the video data (and full-motion-video (FMV)) that is currently collected and stored in support of missions has been corrupted to various extents by image acquisition and compression artifacts. Additionally, video collected by wide-area motion imagery (WAMI) surveillance systems and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and similar sources is often of low quality or in other ways corrupted so that it is not worth storing or analyzing. In order to make progress in the problem of automatic video analysis, the first problem that should be solved is deciding whether the content of the video is even worth analyzing to begin with. We present a work in progress to address three types of scenes which are typically found in real-world data stored in support of Department of Defense (DoD) missions: no or very little motion in the scene, large occlusions in the scene, and fast camera motion. Each of these produce video that is generally not usable to an analyst or automated algorithm for mission support and therefore should be removed or flagged to the user as such. We utilize recent computer vision advances in motion detection and optical flow to automatically assess FMV for the identification and generation of meta-data (or tagging) of video segments which exhibit unwanted scenarios as described above. Results are shown on representative real-world video data.

  4. Assessing quality of life of self-reported rheumatic patients.

    PubMed

    Ferreira, Pedro L; Gonçalves, Sónia P; Ferreira, Lara N; Pereira, Luis N; Antunes, Patrícia; Gouveia, Nélia; Rodrigues, Ana; Canhão, Helena; Branco, Jaime

    2016-09-01

    The aims of this study were to assess the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in patients with self-reported rheumatic diseases (RD), to classify self-reported rheumatic patients in groups according to their health state and to explore the associations between health status and sociodemographic variables. Data came from the Portuguese Epidemiologic study of the RD. A sample of the Portuguese population aged 18 or more (n = 10,661) stratified by region and locality dimension was interviewed by trained interviewers and answered a standardized questionnaire that included the SF-36v1, the EQ-5D-3L, medical history, identification of potential rheumatic diseases, sociodemographic characteristics, among others. Descriptive statistics and parametric tests were used to compare HRQoL of respondents with and without RD. Comparisons with normative data from the Portuguese population were also carried out. A cluster analysis was used to classify respondents into homogeneous groups. Regression analyses were used to identify factors associated with HRQoL. Respondents with self-reported RD assigned a lower self-perception to their health status. The burden of disease was observed mainly in physical function, role physical and bodily pain. The EQ-5D-3L dimensions show similar results: the intensity of problems is significantly more evident in respondents with self-reported RD. HRQoL of respondents with self-reported RD is related to sociodemographic variables and is significantly lower when compared with the Portuguese population. Four clusters of homogeneous respondents with self-reported RD were formed and characterized according to a number of variables. Factors associated with HRQoL were identified. In conclusion, suffering from a self-reported RD has a significant impact on self-perceived health status and on the quality of life. PMID:27378230

  5. Assessing quality of life of self-reported rheumatic patients.

    PubMed

    Ferreira, Pedro L; Gonçalves, Sónia P; Ferreira, Lara N; Pereira, Luis N; Antunes, Patrícia; Gouveia, Nélia; Rodrigues, Ana; Canhão, Helena; Branco, Jaime

    2016-09-01

    The aims of this study were to assess the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in patients with self-reported rheumatic diseases (RD), to classify self-reported rheumatic patients in groups according to their health state and to explore the associations between health status and sociodemographic variables. Data came from the Portuguese Epidemiologic study of the RD. A sample of the Portuguese population aged 18 or more (n = 10,661) stratified by region and locality dimension was interviewed by trained interviewers and answered a standardized questionnaire that included the SF-36v1, the EQ-5D-3L, medical history, identification of potential rheumatic diseases, sociodemographic characteristics, among others. Descriptive statistics and parametric tests were used to compare HRQoL of respondents with and without RD. Comparisons with normative data from the Portuguese population were also carried out. A cluster analysis was used to classify respondents into homogeneous groups. Regression analyses were used to identify factors associated with HRQoL. Respondents with self-reported RD assigned a lower self-perception to their health status. The burden of disease was observed mainly in physical function, role physical and bodily pain. The EQ-5D-3L dimensions show similar results: the intensity of problems is significantly more evident in respondents with self-reported RD. HRQoL of respondents with self-reported RD is related to sociodemographic variables and is significantly lower when compared with the Portuguese population. Four clusters of homogeneous respondents with self-reported RD were formed and characterized according to a number of variables. Factors associated with HRQoL were identified. In conclusion, suffering from a self-reported RD has a significant impact on self-perceived health status and on the quality of life.

  6. Quality assessment of solar UV irradiance measured with array spectroradiometers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Egli, L.; Gröbner, J.; Hülsen, G.; Bachmann, L.; Blumthaler, M.; Dubard, J.; Khazova, M.; Kift, R.; Hoogendijk, K.; Serrano, A.; Smedley, A. R. D.; Vilaplana, J.-M.

    2015-12-01

    The reliable quantification of ultraviolet (UV) radiation at the Earth's surface requires accurate measurements of spectral global solar UV irradiance in order to determine the UV exposure to human skin and to understand long-term trends in this parameter. Array spectroradiometers are small, light, robust and cost effective instruments and are increasingly used for spectral irradiance measurements. Within the European EMRP-ENV03 project "Solar UV", new devices, guidelines, and characterization methods have been developed to improve solar UV measurements with array spectroradiometers and support to the end-user community has been provided. In order to assess the quality of 14 end-user array spectroradiometers, a solar UV intercomparison was held on the measurement platform of the World Radiation Center (PMOD/WRC) in Davos, Switzerland, from 10 to 17 July 2014. The results of the intercomparison revealed that array spectroradiometers, currently used for solar UV measurements, show a large variation in the quality of their solar UV measurements. Most of the instruments overestimate the erythema weighted UV index - in particular at low solar zenith angles - due to stray light contribution in the UV-B range. The spectral analysis of global solar UV irradiance further supported the finding that the uncertainties in the UV-B range are very large due to stray light contribution in this wavelength range. In summary, the UV index may be detected by some commercially available array spectroradiometer within 5 % compared to the world reference spectroradiometer, if well characterized and calibrated, but only for a limited range or solar zenith angle. Generally, the tested instruments are not yet suitable for solar UV measurements for the entire range between 290 to 400 nm under all atmospheric conditions.

  7. Quality assessment of solar UV irradiance measured with array spectroradiometers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Egli, Luca; Gröbner, Julian; Hülsen, Gregor; Bachmann, Luciano; Blumthaler, Mario; Dubard, Jimmy; Khazova, Marina; Kift, Richard; Hoogendijk, Kees; Serrano, Antonio; Smedley, Andrew; Vilaplana, José-Manuel

    2016-04-01

    The reliable quantification of ultraviolet (UV) radiation at the earth's surface requires accurate measurements of spectral global solar UV irradiance in order to determine the UV exposure to human skin and to understand long-term trends in this parameter. Array spectroradiometers (ASRMs) are small, light, robust and cost-effective instruments, and are increasingly used for spectral irradiance measurements. Within the European EMRP ENV03 project "Solar UV", new devices, guidelines and characterization methods have been developed to improve solar UV measurements with ASRMs, and support to the end user community has been provided. In order to assess the quality of 14 end user ASRMs, a solar UV intercomparison was held on the measurement platform of the World Radiation Center (PMOD/WRC) in Davos, Switzerland, from 10 to 17 July 2014. The results of the blind intercomparison revealed that ASRMs, currently used for solar UV measurements, show a large variation in the quality of their solar UV measurements. Most of the instruments overestimate the erythema-weighted UV index - in particular at large solar zenith angles - due to stray light contribution in the UV-B range. The spectral analysis of global solar UV irradiance further supported the finding that the uncertainties in the UV-B range are very large due to stray light contribution in this wavelength range. In summary, the UV index may be detected by some commercially available ASRMs within 5 % compared to the world reference spectroradiometer, if well characterized and calibrated, but only for a limited range of solar zenith angles. Generally, the tested instruments are not yet suitable for solar UV measurements for the entire range between 290 and 400 nm under all atmospheric conditions.

  8. IMPROVING EMISSION INVENTORIES FOR EFFECTIVE AIR-QUALITY MANAGEMENT ACROSS NORTH AMERICA - A NARSTO ASSESSMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    The NARSTO Ozone and Particulate Matter Assessments emphasized that emission inventories are critical to the success of air quality management programs and that emissions inventories in Canada, Mexico, and the United States need improvement to meet expectations for quality, timel...

  9. IMPROVING EMISSION INVENTORIES FOR EFFECTIVE AIR-QUALITY MANAGMENT ACROSS NORTH AMERICA - A NARSTO ASSESSMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    The NARSTO Ozone and Particulate Matter Assessments emphasized that emission inventories are critical to the success of air quality management programs and that emissions inventories in Canada, Mexico, and the United States need improvement to meet expectations for quality, timel...

  10. (AWMA) IMPROVING EMISSION INVENTORIES FOR EFFECTIVE AIR-QUALITY MANAGEMENT ACROSS NORTH AMERICA - A NARSTO ASSESSMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    The NARSTO Ozone and Particulate Matter Assessments emphasized that emission inventories are critical to the success of air quality management programs and that emissions inventories in Canada, Mexico, and the United States need improvement to meet expectations for quality, timel...

  11. AIR QUALITY MODELING AT NEIGHBORHOOD SCALES TO IMPROVE HUMAN EXPOSURE ASSESSMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    Air quality modeling is an integral component of risk assessment and of subsequent development of effective and efficient management of air quality. Urban areas introduce of fresh sources of pollutants into regional background producing significant spatial variability of the co...

  12. Anti-malarial drug quality in Lagos and Accra - a comparison of various quality assessments

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Two major cities in West Africa, Accra, the capital of Ghana, and Lagos, the largest city of Nigeria, have significant problems with substandard pharmaceuticals. Both have actively combated the problem in recent years, particularly by screening products on the market using the Global Pharma Health Fund e.V. Minilab® protocol. Random sampling of medicines from the two cities at least twice over the past 30 months allows a tentative assessment of whether improvements in drug quality have occurred. Since intelligence provided by investigators indicates that some counterfeit producers may be adapting products to pass Minilab tests, the results are compared with those from a Raman spectrometer and discrepancies are discussed. Methods Between mid-2007 and early-2010, samples of anti-malarial drugs were bought covertly from pharmacies in Lagos on three different occasions (October 2007, December 2008, February 2010), and from pharmacies in Accra on two different occasions (October 2007, February 2010). All samples were tested using the Minilab® protocol, which includes disintegration and active ingredient assays as well as visual inspection, and most samples were also tested by Raman spectrometry. Results In Lagos, the failure rate in the 2010 sampling fell to 29% of the 2007 finding using the Minilab® protocol, 53% using Raman spectrometry, and 46% using visual inspection. In Accra, the failure rate in the 2010 sampling fell to 54% of the 2007 finding using the Minilab® protocol, 72% using Raman spectrometry, and 90% using visual inspection. Conclusions The evidence presented shows that drug quality is probably improving in both cities, especially Lagos, since major reductions of failure rates over time occur with all means of assessment. Many more samples failed when examined by Raman spectrometry than by Minilab® protocol. The discrepancy is most likely caused by the two techniques measuring different aspects of the medication and hence the discrepancy

  13. 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

  14. Assessment of quality of life in oral cancer.

    PubMed

    Torres-Carranza, Eusebio; Infante-Cossío, Pedro; Hernández-Guisado, José María; Hens-Aumente, Elena; Gutierrez-Pérez, José Luis

    2008-11-01

    Quality of life (QL) in oral cancer patients has become one of the most important parameters to consider in the diagnosis and post-treatment follow-up. The purpose of this article has been to review the papers published that study the QL in oral cancer patients, the different QL questionnaires used, the clinical results obtained, and the systematic revisions available in the indexed literature for the last 10 years. The term QL appears as a keyword in an increasing number of articles throughout the past 10 years; however, few studies focus on oral cancer. Most of them assess all head and neck cancers, which conform to a heterogeneous group with several different features depending on location (oral cavity, oropharynx, larynx, hypopharynx, nasopharynx and salivary glands). Most studies evaluate QL in short periods of time, normally within the first year after the diagnosis. Series do not discern between different therapeutic options, and they generally center on Northern European or Northern American populations. There are few instruments translated and validated into Spanish that measure QL, a fundamental characteristic to link QL to own patients' socio-cultural parameters. Data related with QL are mostly related to patient (age, sex, co-morbidity), tumour (location, size), and treatment (surgical treatment, radiotherapy association, reconstruction, cervical dissection, and/or feeding tube). Nowadays QL's assessment is considered an essential component of an oral cancer patient as well as the survival, morbidity and years free of disease. Although many aspects related to QL in oral cancer patients have been published throughout the past 10 years, more systematic research is needed to be able to apply it on a daily basis.

  15. SSTL UK-DMC SLIM-6 data quality assessment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chander, G.; Saunier, S.; Choate, M.J.; Scaramuzza, P.L.

    2009-01-01

    Satellite data from the Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) United Kingdom (UK) Disaster Monitoring Constellation (DMC) were assessed for geometric and radiometric quality. The UK-DMC Surrey Linear Imager 6 (SLIM-6) sensor has a 32-m spatial resolution and a ground swath width of 640 km. The UK-DMC SLIM-6 design consists of a three-band imager with green, red, and near-infrared bands that are set to similar bandpass as Landsat bands 2, 3, and 4. The UK-DMC data consisted of imagery registered to Landsat orthorectified imagery produced from the GeoCover program. Relief displacements within the UK-DMC SLIM-6 imagery were accounted for by using global 1-km digital elevation models available through the Global Land One-km Base Elevation (GLOBE) Project. Positional accuracy and relative band-to-band accuracy were measured. Positional accuracy of the UK-DMC SLIM-6 imagery was assessed by measuring the imagery against digital orthophoto quadrangles (DOQs), which are designed to meet national map accuracy standards at 1:24000 scales; this corresponds to a horizontal root-mean-square accuracy of about 6 m. The UK-DMC SLIM-6 images were typically registered to within 1.01.5 pixels to the DOQ mosaic images. Several radiometric artifacts like striping, coherent noise, and flat detector were discovered and studied. Indications are that the SSTL UK-DMC SLIM-6 data have few artifacts and calibration challenges, and these can be adjusted or corrected via calibration and processing algorithms. The cross-calibration of the UK-DMC SLIM-6 and Landsat 7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus was performed using image statistics derived from large common areas observed by the two sensors. ?? 2006 IEEE.

  16. 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.

  17. [Ecological environmental quality assessment of Hangzhou urban area based on RS and GIS].

    PubMed

    Xu, Pengwei; Zhao, Duo

    2006-06-01

    In allusion to the shortage of traditional ecological environmental quality assessment, this paper studied the spatial distribution of assessing factors at a mid-small scale, and the conversion of integer character to girding assessing cells. The main assessing factors including natural environmental condition, environmental quality, natural landscape and urbanization pressure, which were classified into four types with about eleven assessing factors, were selected from RS images and GIS-spatial analyzing environmental quality vector graph. Based on GIS, a comprehensive assessment model for the ecological environmental quality in Hangzhou urban area was established. In comparison with observed urban heat island effects, the assessment results were in good agreement with the ecological environmental quality in the urban area of Hangzhou.

  18. Methods for comparing water-quality conditions among National Water-Quality Assessment Study Units, 1992-1995

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gilliom, Robert J.; Mueller, David K.; Nowell, Lisa H.

    1998-01-01

    The National Water-Quality Assessment is based on intensive investigations of stream and ground-water quality in selected major hydrologic basins (study units) of the United States. One objective of the national assessment is to comparatively evaluate water-quality conditions within and among the different study units. Methods were developed to compare the water-quality conditions of 20 study units that were studied during 1992-1995. Two approaches were taken: (1) water-quality conditions for each study unit were ranked in relation to the findings for all study units, and (2) water-quality conditions for each study unit were compared to established criteria for the protection of human health and aquatic life. Separate rankings were developed for several major characteristics of water quality by using selected combinations of measured values for individual constituents or properties. The water-quality characteristics that were evaluated for streams were nutrients and pesticides in water, organochlorine pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls in bed sediment and tissue, semivolatile organic compounds and trace elements in bed sediment, fish community degradation, and stream habitat degradation. The water-quality characteristics that were evaluated for ground water were nitrate, pesticides, volatile organic compounds, dissolved solids, and radon. The water-quality rankings are relative strictly to the distribution of conditions measured at sampling sites included in developing the method. Sites in the first 20 National Water-Quality Assessment study units include a broad range of environmental settings, but are not a statistically representative sample of the Nation. > To supplement the relative rankings, established water-quality criteria were used to indicate where particular constituents may have adverse effects, and thus merit further investigation. Established water-quality criteria, which provide consistent benchmarks for national comparisons of individual

  19. Assessment of the quality of measures of child oral health-related quality of life

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Several measures of oral health-related quality of life have been developed for children. The most frequently used are the Child Perceptions Questionnaire (CPQ), the Child Oral Impacts on Daily Performances (C-OIDP) and the Child Oral Health Impact Profile (COHIP). The aim of this study was to assess the methodological quality of the development and testing of these three measures. Methods A systematic search strategy was used to identify eligible studies published up to December 2012, using both MEDLINE and Web of Science. Titles and abstracts were read independently by two investigators and full papers retrieved where the inclusion criteria were met. Data were extracted by two teams of two investigators using a piloted protocol. The data were used to describe the development of the measures and their use against existing criteria. The methodological quality and measurement properties of the measures were assessed using standards proposed by the Consensus-based Standards for the Selection of Health Measurement Instruments (COSMIN) group. Results The search strategy yielded 653 papers, of which 417 were duplicates. Following analysis of the abstracts, 119 papers met the inclusion criteria. The majority of papers reported cross-sectional studies (n = 117) with three of longitudinal design. Fifteen studies which had used the original version of the measures in their original language were included in the COSMIN analysis. The most frequently used measure was the CPQ. Reliability and construct validity appear to be adequate for all three measures. Children were not fully involved in item generation which may compromise their content validity. Internal consistency was measured using classic test theory with no evidence of modern psychometric techniques being used to test unidimensionality of the measures included in the COSMIN analysis. Conclusion The three measures evaluated appear to be able to discriminate between groups. CPQ has been most widely

  20. 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.

  1. Early quality assessment lessens pheromone specificity in a moth.

    PubMed

    Kárpáti, Zsolt; Tasin, Marco; Cardé, Ring T; Dekker, Teun

    2013-04-30

    Pheromone orientation in moths is an exemplar of olfactory acuity. To avoid heterospecific mating, males respond to female-produced blends with high specificity and temporal resolution. A finely tuned sensory to projection neuron network secures specificity, and this network is thought to assess pheromone quality continually during orientation. We tested whether male moths do indeed evaluate each pheromone encounter and surprisingly found that male European corn borer moths instead generalize across successive encounters. Although initially highly ratio specific, once "locked on" to the pheromone plume the acceptable ratio can vary widely, and even unattractive blends can become attractive. We further found that this "mental shortcut" may be a consequence of the fact that sensory neurons exposed to frequent encounters do not reliably encode blend ratios. Neurons tuned to either of the two pheromone components adapt differentially in plumes containing the preferred blend ratio (97:3) and cause the olfactory sensory signal to "evolve," even in narrowly tuned pheromonal circuits. However, apparently the brain interprets these shifting signals as invariant "gestalts." Generalization in pheromone perception may mitigate stabilizing selection and allow introgression between sympatric strains, such as in the European corn borer, that otherwise appear isolated by pheromonal differences. Generalization may also be important in responses to general odorants, as circuits underlying these display vast sensitivity differences, complex interactions, and temporal intricacies.

  2. Quality assessment of packaged foods by optical oxygen sensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Papkovsky, Dmitri B.; O'Mahony, Fiach C.; Kerry, Joe P.; Ogurtsov, Vladimir I.

    2005-11-01

    A phase-fluorometric oxygen sensor system has been developed, which allows non-destructive measurement of residual oxygen levels in sealed containers such as packaged foods. It operates with disposable solid-state sensors incorporated in each pack, and a portable detector which interrogates with the sensors through a (semi)transparent packaging material. The system has been optimized for packaging applications and validated in small and medium scale trials with different types of food, including MAP hams, cheese, convenience foods, smoked fish, bakery. It has demonstrated high efficiency in monitoring package integrity, oxygen profiles in packs, performance of packaging process and many other research and quality control tasks, allowing control of 100% of packs. The low-cost batch-calibrated sensors have demonstrated reliability, safety, stability including direct contact with food, high efficiency in the low oxygen range. Another system, which also employs the fluorescence-based oxygen sensing approach, provides rapid assessment of microbial contamination (total viable counts) in complex samples such as food homogenates, industrial waste, environmental samples, etc. It uses soluble oxygen-sensitive probes, standard microtitter plates and fluorescence measurements on conventional plate reader to monitor growth of aerobic bacteria in small test samples (e.g. food homogenates) via their oxygen respiration. The assay provides high sample through put, miniaturization, speed, and can serve as alternative to the established methods such as agar plate colony counts and turbidimetry.

  3. Characteristic functionals in imaging and image-quality assessment: tutorial.

    PubMed

    Clarkson, Eric; Barrett, Harrison H

    2016-08-01

    Characteristic functionals are one of the main analytical tools used to quantify the statistical properties of random fields and generalized random fields. The viewpoint taken here is that a random field is the correct model for the ensemble of objects being imaged by a given imaging system. In modern digital imaging systems, random fields are not used to model the reconstructed images themselves since these are necessarily finite dimensional. After a brief introduction to the general theory of characteristic functionals, many examples relevant to imaging applications are presented. The propagation of characteristic functionals through both a binned and list-mode imaging system is also discussed. Methods for using characteristic functionals and image data to estimate population parameters and classify populations of objects are given. These methods are based on maximum likelihood and maximum a posteriori techniques in spaces generated by sampling the relevant characteristic functionals through the imaging operator. It is also shown how to calculate a Fisher information matrix in this space. These estimators and classifiers, and the Fisher information matrix, can then be used for image quality assessment of imaging systems.

  4. Rainwater harvesting: quality assessment and utilization in The Netherlands.

    PubMed

    Schets, F M; Italiaander, R; van den Berg, H H J L; de Roda Husman, A M

    2010-06-01

    The use of roof-collected rainwater as a freely available and sustainable alternative to drinking water produced by drinking water companies increases worldwide. Initially, rainwater is free of microbial contamination, but it may become contaminated by animals and humans or, alternatively, human pathogens may grow in stored rainwater resulting in a significant human health risk from infectious diseases. This three-year study demonstrated that rainwater stored in different reservoirs in The Netherlands was frequently faecally contaminated and incidentally contained potential human pathogens such as Campylobacter, Cryptosporidium, Giardia, Aeromonas hydrophila and Legionella. Analysis of samples during a period with variable weather conditions showed a correlation between rainfall intensity and faecal indicator counts and increased detection of pathogens after heavy rainfall incidents. Outside temperature had a limited effect on both the temperature and the microbiological quality of the water in the reservoirs, which did not comply with Dutch drinking water legislation and should thus not be consumed without treatment. In general, a health risk may arise from exposure to pathogens when contaminated droplets are inhaled, ingested or come into contact with the skin. Health risks may be reduced by regular cleaning of the collection, storage and transport means, but to assess their efficacy field intervention studies are required.

  5. The quality of nutrition and cancer reviews: a systematic assessment.

    PubMed

    Weed, Douglas L

    2013-01-01

    The methodological quality of published reviews of nutrition and cancer (2008-2009) and of the carcinogenicity of acrylamide (1999-2009) was systematically assessed. Each review was examined with respect to four characteristics: whether the purpose of the review was explicitly stated, whether a methods section (detailing the methods used to "weigh" the evidence) was included, whether "weight of evidence" methods were described elsewhere in the paper (e.g., in the discussion), and finally, whether references to recognized "weight of evidence" methods were included. In this study, ninety per cent of a systematically selected sample of recent reviews on nutrition and cancer published in 2008-2009 and 74% of reviews on acrylamide on cancer published in 1999-2009 were found to be methodologically troublesome or frankly unsound. Failure of peer review and editorial oversight are possible explanations, suggesting a broad lack of concern about this issue in the scientific community. If peer reviewers in the nutrition and cancer community do not require "weight of evidence" methods, then these methods may not appear in the published reviews. Similarly, if journal editors (or editorial policies) do not require methods sections in literature reviews, then these sections may not appear. The prerogative of the author(s) seems the most likely determinant of whether a systematic approach is used or not in nutrition and cancer reviews.

  6. Multispectral digital holographic microscopy with applications in water quality assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kazemzadeh, Farnoud; Jin, Chao; Yu, Mei; Amelard, Robert; Haider, Shahid; Saini, Simarjeet; Emelko, Monica; Clausi, David A.; Wong, Alexander

    2015-09-01

    Safe drinking water is essential for human health, yet over a billion people worldwide do not have access to safe drinking water. Due to the presence and accumulation of biological contaminants in natural waters (e.g., pathogens and neuro-, hepato-, and cytotoxins associated with algal blooms) remain a critical challenge in the provision of safe drinking water globally. It is not financially feasible and practical to monitor and quantify water quality frequently enough to identify the potential health risk due to contamination, especially in developing countries. We propose a low-cost, small-profile multispectral (MS) system based on Digital Holographic Microscopy (DHM) and investigate methods for rapidly capturing holographic data of natural water samples. We have developed a test-bed for an MSDHM instrument to produce and capture holographic data of the sample at different wavelengths in the visible and the near Infra-red spectral region, allowing for resolution improvement in the reconstructed images. Additionally, we have developed high-speed statistical signal processing and analysis techniques to facilitate rapid reconstruction and assessment of the MS holographic data being captured by the MSDHM instrument. The proposed system is used to examine cyanobacteria as well as Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts which remain important and difficult to treat microbiological contaminants that must be addressed for the provision of safe drinking water globally.

  7. Assessing quality of life in adult cancer survivors (QLACS).

    PubMed

    Avis, Nancy E; Smith, Kevin W; McGraw, Sarah; Smith, Roselyn G; Petronis, Vida M; Carver, Charles S

    2005-05-01

    This article describes development of a quality of life measure designed to assess issues relevant to long-term cancer survivors. In-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with 58 long-term cancer survivors to identify domains most relevant to long-term survivors (> or = 5 years post-diagnosis). Self-report items were developed from these interviews and administered to a second sample of 242 long-term survivors. Domains and items were selected from the item pool by a combination of factor analysis and criterion-based item selection. Five cancer-specific domains were identified (appearance concerns, financial problems, distress over recurrence, family-related distress, and benefits of cancer) along with seven generic QOL domains (negative feelings, positive feelings, cognitive problems, sexual problems, physical pain, fatigue, and social avoidance). Cronbach's alpha was 0.72 or greater for each domain. Correlations between domain scores and criterion measures were 0.72 or higher in all but one generic domain (social avoidance), but somewhat lower on cancer-specific domains. The new multidimensional measure has good internal consistency and validity and is appropriate for comparisons between cancer and non-cancer populations, as well as long-term follow-up of cancer patients.

  8. Early quality assessment lessens pheromone specificity in a moth

    PubMed Central

    Kárpáti, Zsolt; Tasin, Marco; Cardé, Ring T.; Dekker, Teun

    2013-01-01

    Pheromone orientation in moths is an exemplar of olfactory acuity. To avoid heterospecific mating, males respond to female-produced blends with high specificity and temporal resolution. A finely tuned sensory to projection neuron network secures specificity, and this network is thought to assess pheromone quality continually during orientation. We tested whether male moths do indeed evaluate each pheromone encounter and surprisingly found that male European corn borer moths instead generalize across successive encounters. Although initially highly ratio specific, once “locked on” to the pheromone plume the acceptable ratio can vary widely, and even unattractive blends can become attractive. We further found that this “mental shortcut” may be a consequence of the fact that sensory neurons exposed to frequent encounters do not reliably encode blend ratios. Neurons tuned to either of the two pheromone components adapt differentially in plumes containing the preferred blend ratio (97:3) and cause the olfactory sensory signal to “evolve,” even in narrowly tuned pheromonal circuits. However, apparently the brain interprets these shifting signals as invariant “gestalts.” Generalization in pheromone perception may mitigate stabilizing selection and allow introgression between sympatric strains, such as in the European corn borer, that otherwise appear isolated by pheromonal differences. Generalization may also be important in responses to general odorants, as circuits underlying these display vast sensitivity differences, complex interactions, and temporal intricacies. PMID:23589889

  9. National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) area-characterization toolbox

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Price, Curtis V.; Nakagaki, Naomi; Hitt, Kerie J.

    2010-01-01

    This is release 1.0 of the National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Area-Characterization Toolbox. These tools are designed to be accessed using ArcGIS Desktop software (versions 9.3 and 9.3.1). The toolbox is composed of a collection of custom tools that implement geographic information system (GIS) techniques used by the NAWQA Program to characterize aquifer areas, drainage basins, and sampled wells. These tools are built on top of standard functionality included in ArcGIS Desktop running at the ArcInfo license level. Most of the tools require a license for the ArcGIS Spatial Analyst extension. ArcGIS is a commercial GIS software system produced by ESRI, Inc. (http://www.esri.com). The NAWQA Area-Characterization Toolbox is not supported by ESRI, Inc. or its technical support staff. Any use of trade, product, or firm names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

  10. Damage and quality assessment in wheat by NIR hyperspectral imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Delwiche, Stephen R.; Kim, Moon S.; Dong, Yanhong

    2010-04-01

    Fusarium head blight is a fungal disease that affects the world's small grains, such as wheat and barley. Attacking the spikelets during development, the fungus causes a reduction of yield and grain of poorer processing quality. It also is a health concern because of the secondary metabolite, deoxynivalenol, which often accompanies the fungus. While chemical methods exist to measure the concentration of the mycotoxin and manual visual inspection is used to ascertain the level of Fusarium damage, research has been active in developing fast, optically based techniques that can assess this form of damage. In the current study a near-infrared (1000-1700 nm) hyperspectral image system was assembled and applied to Fusarium-damaged kernel recognition. With anticipation of an eventual multispectral imaging system design, 5 wavelengths were manually selected from a pool of 146 images as the most promising, such that when combined in pairs or triplets, Fusarium damage could be identified. We present the results of two pairs of wavelengths [(1199, 1474 nm) and (1315, 1474 nm)] whose reflectance values produced adequate separation of kernels of healthy appearance (i.e., asymptomatic condition) from kernels possessing Fusarium damage.

  11. Quality assessment of palm products upon prolonged heat treatment.

    PubMed

    Tarmizi, Azmil Haizam Ahmad; Lin, Siew Wai

    2008-01-01

    Extending the frying-life of oils is of commercial and economic importance. Due to this fact, assessment on the thermal stability of frying oils could provide considerable savings to the food processors. In this study, the physico-chemical properties of five palm products mainly palm oil, single-fractionated palm olein, double-fractionated palm olein, red palm olein and palm-based shortening during 80 hours of heating at 180 degrees C were investigated. Heating properties of these products were then compared with that of high oleic sunflower oil, which was used as reference oil. The indices applied in evaluating the quality changes of oils were free fatty acid, smoke point, p-anisidine value, tocols, polar and polymer compounds. Three palm products i.e. palm oil, single-fractionated palm olein and double-fractionated palm olein were identified to be the most stable in terms of lower formation of free fatty acid, polar and polymer compounds as well as preserving higher smoke point and tocols content compared to the other three oils. The low intensity of hydrolytic and oxidative changes due to prolonged heating, suggests that these palm products are inherently suitable for frying purposes.

  12. Sediment-quality assessment of the Lower Oconee River

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lasier, P.J.; Winger, P.V.; Shelton, J.L.; Bogenrieder, K.J.

    2004-01-01

    Sediment quality was assessed at multiple sites in the lower Oconee River, GA to identify contaminants potentially affecting the survival of an endemic ?At-Risk? species of fish, the robust redhorse (Moxostoma robustum). Five major tributaries that drain urban and agricultural watersheds enter this stretch of river and several carry permitted municipal and industrial effluents containing Cd, Cu, and Zn. Sediments for chemical analyses and toxicity tests with Hyalella azteca (Amphipoda) were collected at 12 locations that included sites above and below the major tributaries. Compared to national data bases and to the nearby Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint watershed, sediments from the Oconee River had elevated concentrations of Cr, Cu, Hg and Zn. Zinc concentrations showed a marked increase in sediment downstream of the confluence of Buffalo Creek demonstrating contributions from permitted municipal and industrial effluents discharged to that tributary. When exposed to these sediments, growth of H. azteca was significantly reduced. Amphipod growth was also reduced when exposed to sediments collected from another site due to toxicity from Cr. Sediments in the lower Oconee River appear to be impaired due to metal contamination and could pose a threat to organisms, such as the robust redhorse, that are closely associated with this matrix during their life cycle.

  13. Supporting analysis and assessments quality metrics: Utility market sector

    SciTech Connect

    Ohi, J.

    1996-10-01

    In FY96, NREL was asked to coordinate all analysis tasks so that in FY97 these tasks will be part of an integrated analysis agenda that will begin to define a 5-15 year R&D roadmap and portfolio for the DOE Hydrogen Program. The purpose of the Supporting Analysis and Assessments task at NREL is to provide this coordination and conduct specific analysis tasks. One of these tasks is to prepare the Quality Metrics (QM) for the Program as part of the overall QM effort at DOE/EERE. The Hydrogen Program one of 39 program planning units conducting QM, a process begun in FY94 to assess benefits/costs of DOE/EERE programs. The purpose of QM is to inform decisionmaking during budget formulation process by describing the expected outcomes of programs during the budget request process. QM is expected to establish first step toward merit-based budget formulation and allow DOE/EERE to get {open_quotes}most bang for its (R&D) buck.{close_quotes} In FY96. NREL coordinated a QM team that prepared a preliminary QM for the utility market sector. In the electricity supply sector, the QM analysis shows hydrogen fuel cells capturing 5% (or 22 GW) of the total market of 390 GW of new capacity additions through 2020. Hydrogen consumption in the utility sector increases from 0.009 Quads in 2005 to 0.4 Quads in 2020. Hydrogen fuel cells are projected to displace over 0.6 Quads of primary energy in 2020. In future work, NREL will assess the market for decentralized, on-site generation, develop cost credits for distributed generation benefits (such as deferral of transmission and distribution investments, uninterruptible power service), cost credits for by-products such as heat and potable water, cost credits for environmental benefits (reduction of criteria air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions), compete different fuel cell technologies against each other for market share, and begin to address economic benefits, especially employment.

  14. Reviewing the Review: An Assessment of Dissertation Reviewer Feedback Quality

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lehan, Tara; Hussey, Heather; Mika, Eva

    2016-01-01

    Throughout the dissertation process, the chair and committee members provide feedback regarding quality to help the doctoral candidate to produce the highest-quality document and become an independent scholar. Nevertheless, results of previous research suggest that overall dissertation quality generally is poor. Because much of the feedback about…

  15. Assessing the Quality of Portuguese Child Care Programs for Toddlers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barros, Silvia; Aguiar, Cecilia

    2010-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to describe the quality of toddler child care classrooms in the district of Porto, in the north of Portugal. One hundred and sixty classrooms for children between 1 and 3 years of age participated in this study. Results suggested the existence of poor average quality and absence of good-quality classrooms. Child-adult…

  16. ASSESSING WATER CLARITY AS A COMPONENT OF WATER QUALITY IN GULF OF MEXICO ESTUARIES

    EPA Science Inventory

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program (EMAP) uses water clarity as a water quality indicator for integrated assessments. After the publication of the first National Coastal Condition Report, the national water clarity reference v...

  17. How Can We Best Assess the Quality of Life of People with Dementia? The Bath Assessment of Subjective Quality of Life in Dementia (BASQID)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Trigg, Richard; Skevington, Suzanne M.; Jones, Roy W.

    2007-01-01

    Purpose: The study aim was to develop a measure of self-reported quality of life (QoL) for people with mild to moderate dementia based on their views--the Bath Assessment of Subjective Quality of Life in Dementia (BASQID). Design and Methods: We developed the measure through multiple stages. Two field tests of the measure (ns = 60 and 150)…

  18. A novel framework for assessing metadata quality in epidemiological and public health research settings

    PubMed Central

    McMahon, Christiana; Denaxas, Spiros

    2016-01-01

    Metadata are critical in epidemiological and public health research. However, a lack of biomedical metadata quality frameworks and limited awareness of the implications of poor quality metadata renders data analyses problematic. In this study, we created and evaluated a novel framework to assess metadata quality of epidemiological and public health research datasets. We performed a literature review and surveyed stakeholders to enhance our understanding of biomedical metadata quality assessment. The review identified 11 studies and nine quality dimensions; none of which were specifically aimed at biomedical metadata. 96 individuals completed the survey; of those who submitted data, most only assessed metadata quality sometimes, and eight did not at all. Our framework has four sections: a) general information; b) tools and technologies; c) usability; and d) management and curation. We evaluated the framework using three test cases and sought expert feedback. The framework can assess biomedical metadata quality systematically and robustly. PMID:27570670

  19. A manufacturing quality assessment model based-on two stages interval type-2 fuzzy logic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Purnomo, Muhammad Ridwan Andi; Helmi Shintya Dewi, Intan

    2016-01-01

    This paper presents the development of an assessment models for manufacturing quality using Interval Type-2 Fuzzy Logic (IT2-FL). The proposed model is developed based on one of building block in sustainable supply chain management (SSCM), which is benefit of SCM, and focuses more on quality. The proposed model can be used to predict the quality level of production chain in a company. The quality of production will affect to the quality of product. Practically, quality of production is unique for every type of production system. Hence, experts opinion will play major role in developing the assessment model. The model will become more complicated when the data contains ambiguity and uncertainty. In this study, IT2-FL is used to model the ambiguity and uncertainty. A case study taken from a company in Yogyakarta shows that the proposed manufacturing quality assessment model can work well in determining the quality level of production.

  20. Assessment of protein adequacy in developing countries: quality matters.

    PubMed

    Ghosh, Shibani; Suri, Devika; Uauy, Ricardo

    2012-08-01

    Dietary protein and amino acid requirement recommendations for normal "healthy" children and adults have varied considerably with 2007 FAO/WHO protein requirement estimates for children lower, but dietary essential AA requirements for adults more than doubled. Requirement estimates as presented do not account for common living conditions, which are prevalent in developing countries such as energy deficit, infection burden and added functional demands for protein and AAs. This study examined the effect of adjusting total dietary protein for quality and digestibility (PDCAAS) and of correcting current protein and AA requirements for the effect of infection and a mild energy deficit to estimate utilizable protein (total protein corrected for biological value and digestibility) and the risk/prevalence of protein inadequacy. The relationship between utilizable protein/prevalence of protein inadequacy and stunting across regions and countries was examined. Data sources (n = 116 countries) included FAO FBS (food supply), UNICEF (stunting prevalence), UNDP (GDP) and UNSTATS (IMR) and USDA nutrient tables. Statistical analyses included Pearson correlations, paired-sample/non-parametric t-tests and linear regression. Statistically significant differences were observed in risk/prevalence estimates of protein inadequacy using total protein and the current protein requirements versus utilizable protein and the adjusted protein requirements for all regions (p < 0·05). Total protein, utilizable protein, GDP per capita and total energy were each highly correlated with the prevalence of stunting. Energy, protein and utilizable protein availability were independently and negatively associated with stunting (p < 0·001), explaining 41 %, 34 % and 40 % of variation respectively. Controlling for energy, total protein was not a statistically significant factor but utilizable protein remained significant explaining~45 % of the variance (p = 0·017). Dietary utilizable protein provides a

  1. Groundwater Quality Assessment for Waste Management Area U: First Determination

    SciTech Connect

    FN Hodges; CJ Chou

    2000-08-04

    Waste Management Area U (TWA U) is located in the 200 West Area of the Hanford Site. The area includes the U Tank Farm, which contains 16 single-shell tanks and their ancillary equipment and waste systems. WMA U is regulated under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 (RCRA) as stipulated in 40 CFR Part 265, Subpart F, which is incorporated into the Washington State dangerous waste regulations (WAC 173-303400) by reference. Groundwater monitoring at WMA U has been guided by an interim status indicator evaluation program. As a result of changes in the direction of groundwater flow, background values for the WMA have been recalculated several times during its monitoring history. The most recent recalculation revealed that one of the indicator parameters, specific conductance, exceeded its background value in downgradient well 299-W19-41. This triggered a change from detection monitoring to a groundwater quality assessment program. The major contributors to the higher specific conductance are nonhazardous constituents, such as bicarbonate, calcium, chloride, magnesium, sodium and sulfate. Chromium, nitrate, and technetium-99 are present and are increasing; however, they are significantly below their drinking water standards. The objective of this study is to determine whether the increased concentrations of chromium, nitrate, and technetium-99 in groundwater are from WMA U or from an upgradient source. Interpretation of groundwater monitoring data indicates that both the nonhazardous constituents causing elevated specific conductance in groundwater and the tank waste constituents present in groundwater at the WMA are a result of surface water infiltration in the southern portion of the WMA. There is evidence that both upgradient and WMA sources contribute to the nitrate concentrations that were detected. There is no indication of an upgradient source for the chromium and technetium-99 that was detected. Therefore, a source of contamination appears to

  2. Marine water quality assessment using transplanted oyster larvae.

    PubMed

    Quiniou, F; Damiens, G; Gnassia-Barelli, M; Geffard, A; Mouneyrac, C; Budzinski, H; Roméo, M

    2007-01-01

    Active bio-monitoring in terms of biomarkers was attempted using Crassostrea gigas larvae produced in the laboratory and transplanted using special containers to two sites at the entrance (A) and inner part (P) of the harbour of Arcachon (French Atlantic Coast). The larvae were kept in the medium for 48 h. Their physiological status and their biomarker levels : acetylcholinesterase AChE, catalase CAT and glutathione S-transferase GST activities were determined together with metallothionein MT and Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances TBARS concentrations. Copper and PAH (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon) concentrations were determined in the exposed larvae and in the sediments collected under the containers. Cadmium, lead and zinc could be also analyzed in the sediments. Toxicity tests demonstrate that the larvae are in better physiological conditions in A compared to P. Larvae transplanted in the inner harbour (P) present relatively high GST activity (869.1+/-39.3 nmol min(-1)mg protein(-1)), TBARS (2.74+/-0.19 nmol mg protein(-1)), compared to those exposed at the harbour entrance (A). Copper measured in the sediments (65+/-1 mg kg(-1) d.w.) collected under the cages at P is higher than at A. Larvae placed in A present higher total PAH concentrations compared to the inner part. The data tend to reveal a lower copper and higher PAH contamination in A than in P. Therefore larvae, developing in the natural medium, show different responses according to their immersion sites. These responses, obtained within 48 h, may be related to the chemical contamination of the environment and may be used for seawater quality assessment in future studies. PMID:16859746

  3. Sperm quality assessments for endangered razorback suckers Xyrauchen Texanus

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jenkins, Jill A.; Eilts, Bruce E.; Guitreau, Amy M.; Figiel, Chester R.; Draugelis-Dale, Rassa O.; Tiersch, Terrence R.

    2011-01-01

    Flow cytometry (FCM) and computer-assisted sperm motion analysis (CASA) methods were developed and validated for use with endangered razorback suckers Xyrauchen texanus collected (n=64) during the 2006 spawning season. Sperm motility could be activated within osmolality ranges noted during milt collections (here 167–343 mOsm/kg). We hypothesized that sperm quality of milt collected into isoosmotic (302 mOsm/kg) or hyperosmotic (500 mOsm/kg) Hanks' balanced salt solution would not differ. Pre-freeze viabilities were similar between osmolalities (79%±6 (S.E.M.) and 76%±7); however, post-thaw values were greater in hyperosmotic buffer (27%±3 and 12%±2; P=0.0065), as was mitochondrial membrane potential (33%±4 and 13%±2; P=0.0048). Visual estimates of pre-freeze motility correlated with total (r=0.7589; range 23–82%) and progressive motility (r=0.7449) by CASA and were associated with greater viability (r=0.5985; Pr=-0.83; P=0.0116) and mitochondrial function (r=-0.91; P=0.0016). By FCM-based assessments of DNA integrity, whereby increased fluorochrome binding indicated more fragmentation, higher levels were negatively correlated with count (r=-0.77; Pr=-0.66; P=0.0004). Fragmentation was higher in isotonic buffer (P=0.0234). To increase reproductive capacity of natural populations, the strategy and protocols developed can serve as a template for use with other imperiled fish species, biomonitoring, and genome banking.

  4. Assessing the Utility of ICU Readmissions as a Quality Metric

    PubMed Central

    Ratcliffe, Sarah J.; Halpern, Scott D.

    2015-01-01

    BACKGROUND: ICU readmissions are associated with increased mortality and costs; however, it is unclear whether these outcomes are caused by readmissions or by residual confounding by illness severity. An assessment of temporal changes in ICU readmission in response to a specific policy change could help disentangle these possibilities. We sought to determine whether ICU readmission rates changed after 2003 Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education Resident Duty Hours reform (“reform”) and whether there were temporally corresponding changes in other ICU outcomes. METHODS: We used a difference-in-differences approach using Project IMPACT (Improved Methods of Patient Information Access of Core Clinical Tasks). Piecewise regression models estimated changes in outcomes immediately before and after reform in 274,491 critically ill medical and surgical patients in 151 community and academic US ICUs. Outcome measures included ICU readmission, ICU mortality, and in-hospital post-ICU-discharge mortality. RESULTS: In ICUs with residents, ICU readmissions increased before reform (OR, 1.5; 95% CI, 1.22-1.84; P < .01), and decreased after (OR, 0.85; 95% CI, 0.73-0.98; P = .03). This abrupt decline in ICU readmissions after reform differed significantly from an increase in readmissions observed in ICUs without residents at this time (difference-in-differences P < .01). No comparable changes in mortality were observed between ICUs with vs without residents. CONCLUSIONS: The changes in ICU readmission rates after reform, without corresponding changes in mortality, suggest that ICU readmissions are not causally related to other untoward patient outcomes. Instead, ICU readmission rates likely reflect operational aspects of care that are not patient-centered, making them less useful indicators of ICU quality. PMID:25393027

  5. Quality assessment of restorations in a population of school children.

    PubMed Central

    Bagramian, R A; Jenny, J; Woodbury, P J; Proshek, J

    1975-01-01

    An index to measure quality of dental restorative care was devised and utilized on a population of 838 Caucasian school children in a large midwestern city. Quality was measured using a four-point scale. All restorations present were considered as part of the entire mouth. Quality was tested in relation to socioeconomic status. Based on this index the problem of poor quality dental restorations is significant and not necessarily related to socioeconomic status as represented by income or education. Evidence of high quality dentistry as evidenced by stainless steel crowns, space maintainers, and orthodontic appliances was limited to children whose families reported incomes over $6,000. Further use of this quality index is recommended to improve and refine measurements in the area of dental care. PMID:1119639

  6. Aeronautical System Center's environmental compliance assessment and management program's cost-saving initiatives support the Air Force's acquisition reform initiative

    SciTech Connect

    Meanor, T.

    1999-07-01

    The Environmental Management directorate of ASC (ASC/EM) has the responsibility of providing government oversight for the Government Owned Contractor Operated Aircraft and Missile plants (GOCOs). This oversight is manifested as a landlord role where Air Force provides the funding required to maintain the plant facilities including buildings and utilities as well as environmental systems. By agreement the companies operating the plants are required to operate them in accordance with environmental law. Presently the GOCOs include Air Force Plant (AFP) 6 in Marietta Ga., AFP 4 in Fort Worth, Tx., AFP 44 in Tucson, Az., AFP 42 in Palmdale, Ca., and AFP PJKS in Denver, Co. Lockheed Martin corporation operates AFPs 4,6, PJKS and a portion of AFP 42 while AFP 44 is operated by Raytheon Missile Systems Company. Other GOCOs at AFP 42 are Northrup-Grumman, Boeing, and Cabaco, the facilities engineer. Since 1992 the Environmental Management division has conducted its Environmental Compliance Assessment and Management Program assessments (ECAMP) annually at each of the plants. Using DOD's ECAMP Team Guide and teams comprised of both Air Force and consultant engineering personnel, each plant is assessed for its environmental compliance well being. In the face of rising operational costs and diminishing budgets ASC/EM performed a comprehensive review of its ECAMP. As a result, the basic ECAMP program was improved to reduce costs without compromising on quality of the effort. The program retained its emphasis in providing a snap-shot evaluation of each Air Force plant's environmental compliance health supported by complete but tailored protocol assessments.

  7. Averaging expectancies and perceptual experiences in the assessment of quality.

    PubMed

    Dougherty, M R; Shanteau, J

    1999-03-01

    This study examines whether people integrate expectancy information with perceptual experiences when evaluating the quality of consumer products. In particular, we investigate the following three questions: (1) Are expectancy effects observed in the evaluation of consumer products? (2) Can these effects be viewed in cognitive processing terms? (3) Can a mathematical model based on the averaging of attribute information describe the effects? Participants in two experiments blindly evaluated (with the product names removed) consumer products from six sensory modalities: vision (computer printer output), tactile (paper towels), olfaction (men's cologne), taste (corn chips), auditory (audio cassette tapes), and tactile/medicinal (hand lotion). Participants in both experiments were asked to: (1) rate the overall quality of the product given arbitrary quality labels (High Quality, Medium Quality, or Low Quality); (2) rate the overall quality of the product without the labels, and (3) estimate the scale values for the quality labels alone. Group results revealed main effects of the quality labels in all product categories. The pattern of results could be described by an averaging model based on Information Integration Theory. These results have implications for placebo effects in consumer behavior and decision making.

  8. Musical quality assessment of clarinet reeds using optical holography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pinard, Fabrice; Laine, Benoit; Vach, Holger

    2003-03-01

    Vibrational modes of 24 clarinet reeds have been observed in both dry and wet conditions using holographic interferometry. Results have been compared with the ``musical quality'' of the reeds as judged by two professional clarinet players. An excellent correspondence has been demonstrated between specific vibrational behavior and musical quality. The results suggest that the presence and symmetry of a strong first torsional mode are indicative of good or very good musical quality. A second, but less stringent quality criterion is the proximity of frequencies corresponding to the second torsional and the second flexural mode. This proximity leads to the creation of mixed vibrational modes for the very best of the investigated clarinet reeds.

  9. Methods for assessing the quality of data in public health information systems: a critical review.

    PubMed

    Chen, Hong; Yu, Ping; Hailey, David; Wang, Ning

    2014-01-01

    The quality of data in public health information systems can be ensured by effective data quality assessment. In order to conduct effective data quality assessment, measurable data attributes have to be precisely defined. Then reliable and valid measurement methods for data attributes have to be used to measure each attribute. We conducted a systematic review of data quality assessment methods for public health using major databases and well-known institutional websites. 35 studies were eligible for inclusion in the study. A total of 49 attributes of data quality were identified from the literature. Completeness, accuracy and timeliness were the three most frequently assessed attributes of data quality. Most studies directly examined data values. This is complemented by exploring either data users' perception or documentation quality. However, there are limitations of current data quality assessment methods: a lack of consensus on attributes measured; inconsistent definition of the data quality attributes; a lack of mixed methods for assessing data quality; and inadequate attention to reliability and validity. Removal of these limitations is an opportunity for further improvement. PMID:25087521

  10. Methods for assessing the quality of data in public health information systems: a critical review.

    PubMed

    Chen, Hong; Yu, Ping; Hailey, David; Wang, Ning

    2014-01-01

    The quality of data in public health information systems can be ensured by effective data quality assessment. In order to conduct effective data quality assessment, measurable data attributes have to be precisely defined. Then reliable and valid measurement methods for data attributes have to be used to measure each attribute. We conducted a systematic review of data quality assessment methods for public health using major databases and well-known institutional websites. 35 studies were eligible for inclusion in the study. A total of 49 attributes of data quality were identified from the literature. Completeness, accuracy and timeliness were the three most frequently assessed attributes of data quality. Most studies directly examined data values. This is complemented by exploring either data users' perception or documentation quality. However, there are limitations of current data quality assessment methods: a lack of consensus on attributes measured; inconsistent definition of the data quality attributes; a lack of mixed methods for assessing data quality; and inadequate attention to reliability and validity. Removal of these limitations is an opportunity for further improvement.

  11. Baseline assessment of groundwater quality in Wayne County, Pennsylvania, 2014

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Senior, Lisa A.; Cravotta, III, Charles A.; Sloto, Ronald A.

    2016-06-30

    The Devonian-age Marcellus Shale and the Ordovician-age Utica Shale, geologic formations which have potential for natural gas development, underlie Wayne County and neighboring counties in northeastern Pennsylvania. In 2014, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Wayne Conservation District, conducted a study to assess baseline shallow groundwater quality in bedrock aquifers in Wayne County prior to potential extensive shale-gas development. The 2014 study expanded on previous, more limited studies that included sampling of groundwater from 2 wells in 2011 and 32 wells in 2013 in Wayne County. Eighty-nine water wells were sampled in summer 2014 to provide data on the presence of methane and other aspects of existing groundwater quality throughout the county, including concentrations of inorganic constituents commonly present at low levels in shallow, fresh groundwater but elevated in brines associated with fluids extracted from geologic formations during shale-gas development. Depths of sampled wells ranged from 85 to 1,300 feet (ft) with a median of 291 ft. All of the groundwater samples collected in 2014 were analyzed for bacteria, major ions, nutrients, selected inorganic trace constituents (including metals and other elements), radon-222, gross alpha- and gross beta-particle activity, selected man-made organic compounds (including volatile organic compounds and glycols), dissolved gases (methane, ethane, and propane), and, if sufficient methane was present, the isotopic composition of methane.Results of the 2014 study show that groundwater quality generally met most drinking-water standards, but some well-water samples had one or more constituents or properties, including arsenic, iron, pH, bacteria, and radon-222, that exceeded primary or secondary maximum contaminant levels (MCLs). Arsenic concentrations were higher than the MCL of 10 micrograms per liter (µg/L) in 4 of 89 samples (4.5 percent) with concentrations as high as 20 µg/L; arsenic

  12. 42 CFR 403.732 - Condition of participation: Quality assessment and performance improvement.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... performance improvement. 403.732 Section 403.732 Public Health CENTERS FOR MEDICARE & MEDICAID SERVICES... participation: Quality assessment and performance improvement. The RNHCI must develop, implement, and maintain a quality assessment and performance improvement program. (a) Standard: Program scope. (1) The...

  13. 42 CFR 418.58 - Condition of participation: Quality assessment and performance improvement.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... performance improvement. 418.58 Section 418.58 Public Health CENTERS FOR MEDICARE & MEDICAID SERVICES... Participation: Patient Care § 418.58 Condition of participation: Quality assessment and performance improvement... quality assessment and performance improvement program. The hospice's governing body must ensure that...

  14. 42 CFR 418.58 - Condition of participation: Quality assessment and performance improvement.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... performance improvement. 418.58 Section 418.58 Public Health CENTERS FOR MEDICARE & MEDICAID SERVICES... Participation: Patient Care § 418.58 Condition of participation: Quality assessment and performance improvement... quality assessment and performance improvement program. The hospice's governing body must ensure that...

  15. 42 CFR 438.240 - Quality assessment and performance improvement program.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 4 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Quality assessment and performance improvement... Performance Improvement Measurement and Improvement Standards § 438.240 Quality assessment and performance improvement program. (a) General rules. (1) The State must require, through its contracts, that each MCO...

  16. 42 CFR 438.240 - Quality assessment and performance improvement program.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 4 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Quality assessment and performance improvement... Performance Improvement Measurement and Improvement Standards § 438.240 Quality assessment and performance improvement program. (a) General rules. (1) The State must require, through its contracts, that each MCO...

  17. 42 CFR 403.732 - Condition of participation: Quality assessment and performance improvement.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... performance improvement. 403.732 Section 403.732 Public Health CENTERS FOR MEDICARE & MEDICAID SERVICES... participation: Quality assessment and performance improvement. The RNHCI must develop, implement, and maintain a quality assessment and performance improvement program. (a) Standard: Program scope. (1) The...

  18. Study of the Impacts of the Quality Assessment of Undergraduate Education Policy in China: Students' Perceptions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liu, Shuiyun; Yu, Hui

    2014-01-01

    This paper analyzes a higher education policy issued in China in 2002: "the Quality Assessment of Undergraduate Education Policy." It examines students' perceptions of the policy impacts and students' roles in the evaluation process by semi-structured interviews and questionnaire surveys. It reveals that the quality assessment in China…

  19. 42 CFR 403.732 - Condition of participation: Quality assessment and performance improvement.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 2 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Condition of participation: Quality assessment and... Health Care Institutions-Benefits, Conditions of Participation, and Payment § 403.732 Condition of participation: Quality assessment and performance improvement. The RNHCI must develop, implement, and maintain...

  20. 42 CFR 403.732 - Condition of participation: Quality assessment and performance improvement.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 2 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Condition of participation: Quality assessment and... Health Care Institutions-Benefits, Conditions of Participation, and Payment § 403.732 Condition of participation: Quality assessment and performance improvement. The RNHCI must develop, implement, and maintain...

  1. 42 CFR 403.732 - Condition of participation: Quality assessment and performance improvement.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 2 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Condition of participation: Quality assessment and... Health Care Institutions-Benefits, Conditions of Participation, and Payment § 403.732 Condition of participation: Quality assessment and performance improvement. The RNHCI must develop, implement, and maintain...

  2. Assessing Quality and Evaluating Performance in Higher Education: Worlds Apart or Complementary Views?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sarrico, Claudia S.; Rosa, Maria J.; Teixeira, Pedro N.; Cardoso, Margarida F.

    2010-01-01

    This paper reflects on quality assessment and performance evaluation in higher education, namely by analysing the insufficient link between those two aspects. We start by reviewing the current state of the art regarding different processes and mechanisms of quality assessment and performance evaluation and discuss some of the major issues…

  3. Applying Deming's Quality Improvement Strategies to Assessment in Higher Education. Final Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Banta, Trudy W.; And Others

    A study was done of the possible uses of Total Quality Management (TQM) for enhancing the quality and use of college outcomes assessment in postsecondary institutions in Tennessee. The study involved six meetings of a consortium of assessment coordinators in Tennessee over 3 years, and graduate and employer questionnaire development. Researchers…

  4. Quality Assessment of Undergraduate Education in China: Impact on Different Universities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liu, Shuiyun

    2013-01-01

    This research analyzes the scheme proposed to assess the quality of higher education institutions in China, namely, the Quality Assessment of Undergraduate Education (QAUE) scheme. This article aims to determine the impact of the QAUE on universities and explore the reasons that intended effects have or have not been generated in the evaluated…

  5. Perceptions of the Value of Quality Assessment in Scottish Higher Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dickinson, Keith W.; And Others

    1995-01-01

    The experience of Napier University (Scotland) with new mandatory quality assessments is examined, focusing on issues arising in the first two rounds of evaluation site visits, including defining quality; role of the lead evaluator; framework for the visit; role of the student; quality of the reports; and cost-benefit analysis. (MSE)

  6. 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.

  7. National Beef Quality Audit-2011: Survey of instrument grading assessments of beef carcass characteristics

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The instrument grading assessments for the 2011 National Beef Quality Audit evaluated seasonal trends of beef carcass quality and yield attributes over the course of the year. One week of instrument grading data, HCW, gender, USDA quality grade (QG), and yield grade (YG) factors, were collected ever...

  8. The Logic of the Thai Higher Education Sector on Quality Assessment Policy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sae-Lao, Rattana

    2013-01-01

    Although the concept of quality has been an essential part of the higher education sector, the global quest for Quality Assessment (QA hereafter) has raised attention to quality to a new level. Van Vught and Westerheijden (1994) argue that the common charateristics of QA policy include: meta-level organization to conduct external evaluation,…

  9. Assessing Educational Quality: Knowledge Production and the Role of Experts. ENQA Workshop Report 6

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Aas, Gro Hanne; Askling, Berit; Dittrich, Karl; Froestad, Wenche; Haug, Peder; Lycke, Kirsten Hofgaard; Moitus, Sirpa; Pyykko, Riitta; Sorskar, Anne Karine

    2009-01-01

    This report is a product of an European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA) Workshop "Assessing educational quality: Knowledge production and the role of experts" hosted by the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education (NOKUT) in Oslo in February, 2008. The workshop gathered representatives from higher education…

  10. Assessing Student Engagement in China: Responding to Local and Global Discourse on Raising Educational Quality

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ross, Heidi; Cen, Yuhao; Zhou, Zejun

    2011-01-01

    China's heated education policy climate in 2010 indicated an increasing national concern for improving educational quality and educational quality assessment. Despite glowing portraits of Chinese education painted by international observers, the Chinese public has expressed consistent dissatisfaction with educational quality. The inter-related…

  11. Information Quality, Its Dimension and the Basic Criteria for Assessing Information Quality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    alá, Jana; Černá, Ľubica

    2012-12-01

    Poor quality of information in modern organizations depends on many aspects. As such the size and nature of the information, human factors, organizational culture, experience and skills as a manager and other team members, technology, but also the quality of inputs including, but not least, include data quality. Applying methodology of quality control help organizations create effective management of its information. The method of quality information control depends on all those aspects. The importance of the organization should be given to dispose of an optimum amount of information in the required quality and especially to share this information. Quality information is the key to the success of the project management, but also in many other areas. Understanding the mechanics of control information management and class is essential, but it is experience that distinguishes successful information quality managers.

  12. A Model for Assessing the Quality of Websites.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    von Dran, Gisela; Zhang, Ping

    2000-01-01

    Uses Kano's Model of Quality to develop a conceptual framework regarding the quality expectations and needs of Website users and reports on empirical investigations of features in the Web environment that satisfy basic, performance, and excitement needs of customers. Suggests implications for research and Website design. (Contains 12 references.)…

  13. Validation of Student Generated Data for Assessment of Groundwater Quality

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Peckenham, John M.; Thornton, Teresa; Peckenham, Phoebe

    2012-01-01

    As part of a research project to evaluate the effects of sand and gravel mining on water quality, students were trained to analyze their own drinking water for simple quality indicators. Indicators analyzed were pH, conductivity, hardness, nitrate, chloride, and dissolved iron. Approximately 523 analyses were completed by students between 2006 and…

  14. Assessing Quality in Early Childhood Education and Care

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ishimine, Karin; Tayler, Collette

    2014-01-01

    Evaluating quality in early childhood education and care (ECEC) service internationally is increasingly important. Research to date indicates that it is "high-quality" programmes that boost and sustain children's achievement outcomes over time. There is also growing interest in the accountability of public funds used for ECEC…

  15. Quality Assessment of University Studies: Attitude of Academic Community

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Valiuskeviciute, Audrone; Druskyte, Ruta; Mikutaviciene, Inga

    2004-01-01

    The article presents the research on study quality state at three Lithuanian universities. The research was performed during the spring semester in 2003. Research participants were 669 students, 227 teachers, 126 administration officers and 359 graduates. The outcomes of the research did not aim at revealing the state of study quality in a…

  16. Auditing and assessing nutrient management for air quality.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The potential adverse effects of concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO) on the environment are a growing concern. Until recently, the effects of CAFO on air quality have received little attention. The air quality concerns of CAFO vary with the location, type of operation, and other factors....

  17. HOW GOOD ARE MY DATA? INFORMATION QUALITY ASSESSMENT METHODOLOGY

    EPA Science Inventory


    Quality assurance techniques used in software development and hardware maintenance/reliability help to ensure that data in a computerized information management system are maintained well. However, information workers may not know the quality of the data resident in their inf...

  18. Assessing the Quality of Problems in Problem-Based Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sockalingam, Nachamma; Rotgans, Jerome; Schmidt, Henk

    2012-01-01

    This study evaluated the construct validity and reliability of a newly devised 32-item problem quality rating scale intended to measure the quality of problems in problem-based learning. The rating scale measured the following five characteristics of problems: the extent to which the problem (1) leads to learning objectives, (2) is familiar, (3)…

  19. Universal PreKindergarten (UPK) Effects on Language Concept Acquisition and the Linkage to Classroom Practices and Quality

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kemp, Karen A.

    2014-01-01

    The emergence and establishment of Universal PreKindergarten (UPK) programs in New York school districts have proliferated over the past ten years; nonetheless, limited attention has been paid to the "process quality" dimensions of these programs (Mashburn, Hamre, Downer, Barbarin, Bryant, Burchinal, Early, & Howes, 2008). Existing…

  20. Water quality assessment of the Rio Conchos, Chihuahua, Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    Gutierrez, M.; Borrego, P.

    1999-07-01

    A baseline study was conducted to evaluate the overall quality of the Rio Conchos (Chihuahua, Mexico) and to identify those chemical parameters that can best represent the water quality in different segments of the river. Chemical analyses included the measurement of 62 elements at more than 100 sampling stations along the river, in addition to conventional field analyses (e.g., pH, conductivity). Concentrations of these elements are reported and water quality indicators were identified. Based on the element concentration patterns, the segment of the river in which the water quality is most endangered corresponds to that receiving irrigation drain returns near the confluence of the Rio San Pedro. Self-cleaning and dilution processes account for the improvement in water quality observed as the Rio Conchos approaches the Rio Grande.