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Sample records for activity-based costing approach

  1. Counting the costs of accreditation in acute care: an activity-based costing approach

    PubMed Central

    Mumford, Virginia; Greenfield, David; Hogden, Anne; Forde, Kevin; Westbrook, Johanna; Braithwaite, Jeffrey

    2015-01-01

    Objectives To assess the costs of hospital accreditation in Australia. Design Mixed methods design incorporating: stakeholder analysis; survey design and implementation; activity-based costs analysis; and expert panel review. Setting Acute care hospitals accredited by the Australian Council for Health Care Standards. Participants Six acute public hospitals across four States. Results Accreditation costs varied from 0.03% to 0.60% of total hospital operating costs per year, averaged across the 4-year accreditation cycle. Relatively higher costs were associated with the surveys years and with smaller facilities. At a national level these costs translate to $A36.83 million, equivalent to 0.1% of acute public hospital recurrent expenditure in the 2012 fiscal year. Conclusions This is the first time accreditation costs have been independently evaluated across a wide range of hospitals and highlights the additional cost burden for smaller facilities. A better understanding of the costs allows policymakers to assess alternative accreditation and other quality improvement strategies, and understand their impact across a range of facilities. This methodology can be adapted to assess international accreditation programmes. PMID:26351190

  2. Determination of chest x-ray cost using activity based costing approach at Penang General Hospital, Malaysia

    PubMed Central

    Atif, Muhammad; Sulaiman, Syed Azhar Syed; Shafie, Asrul Akmal; Saleem, Fahad; Ahmad, Nafees

    2012-01-01

    Background Activity based costing (ABC) is an approach to get insight of true costs and to solve accounting problems. It provides more accurate information on product cost than conventional accounting system. The purpose of this study was to identify detailed resource consumption for chest x-ray procedure. Methods Human resource cost was calculated by multiplying the mean time spent by employees doing specific activity to their per-minute salaries. The costs of consumables and clinical equipments were obtained from the procurement section of the Radiology Department. The cost of the building was calculated by multiplying the area of space used by the chest X-ray facility with the unit cost of public building department. Moreover, straight-line deprecation with a discount rate of 3% was assumed for calculation of equivalent annual costs for building and machines. Cost of electricity was calculated by multiplying number of kilo watts used by electrical appliance in the year 2010 with electricity tariff for Malaysian commercial consumers (MYR 0.31 per kWh). Results Five activities were identified which were required to develop one chest X-ray film. Human resource, capital, consumable and electricity cost was MYR 1.48, MYR 1.98, MYR 2.15 and MYR 0.04, respectively. Total cost of single chest X-ray was MYR 5.65 (USD 1.75). Conclusion By applying ABC approach, we can have more detailed and precise estimate of cost for specific activity or service. Choice of repeating a chest X-ray can be based on our findings, when cost is a limiting factor. PMID:22891098

  3. Improving hospital cost accounting with activity-based costing.

    PubMed

    Chan, Y C

    1993-01-01

    In this article, activity-based costing, an approach that has proved to be an improvement over the conventional costing system in product costing, is introduced. By combining activity-based costing with standard costing, health care administrators can better plan and control the costs of health services provided while ensuring that the organization's bottom line is healthy. PMID:8444618

  4. The cost of an upper gastroduodenal endoscopy: an activity-based approach.

    PubMed

    Crott, Ralph; Makris, Nicholaos; Barkun, Alan; Fallone, Carlo

    2002-07-01

    The cost of medical procedures is often unknown, but is nevertheless crucial for setting reimbursement and health care policies. The cost of an upper gastroduodenal endoscopy was investigated in ambulatory adults in a large academic hospital in the province of Quebec, from the perspective of the hospital. An activity-based costing methodology was used to break down the procedure into a number of priory tasks, to which resources used at the department level (labour, equipment, materials) were allocated. The direct cost of performing an endoscopy ranged from $62 for an unsedated, unbiopsied patient to $89 for a sedated, biopsied patient. Not included in this amount were separate reimbursement fees of $15 for biopsy analysis and the $50 professional fee for the performing physician, which are charged directly to the Ministry of Health. Incorporating overall, general hospital fixed overhead costs raises the cost of the procedure substantially, by $41, as does the use of nonreusable biopsy forceps, which adds about $63 to the total cost of the procedure. Given the high proportion of overall, hospital-wide, overhead costs in the total cost of the procedure, allocation methods of these overhead costs in current hospital accounting systems should be improved to obtain a more precise estimate of the full cost of upper gastroduodenal endoscopy. PMID:12177726

  5. Why activity-based costing works.

    PubMed

    Gabram, S G; Mendola, R A; Rozenfeld, J; Gamelli, R L

    1997-01-01

    With advancing technology and the quest for delineating the true cost of a procedure or diagnostic test, cost accounting techniques are being re-explored in the health care setting. Activity-based costing (ABC), adopted from other businesses, is one such example that has applications in the health industry. The purpose of this paper is to enhance the understanding of health care costs among physician providers, emphasizing a new approach--activity-based costing. PMID:10169347

  6. Activity-based costing saves on supply distribution costs.

    PubMed

    1997-10-01

    Activity-based costing is coming, but is your organization ready? A few pioneering hospitals are already reaping the operational and economic benefits of activity-based costing in their materials management, and now the VHA purchasing alliance is offering this costing option to its 1,200 hospital members. The concept is simple, so why aren't there more takers? Here are the details on this pragmatic pricing approach that could save your facility plenty. PMID:10178010

  7. Using activity-based costing in surgery.

    PubMed

    Grandlich, Cheryl

    2004-01-01

    ACTIVITY-BASED COSTING is an accounting technique that allows organizations to determine actual costs associated with their services based on the resources they consume. THIS TECHNIQUE can be used in a variety of ways, including targeting high-cost activities, forecasting financial baselines, and supporting resource allocation. FOUR STEPS should be followed when applying activity-based costing to surgical procedures. THIS ARTICLE explores how Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital, Milwaukee, used activity-based costing. PMID:14763586

  8. Activity-based costing for electric utilities

    SciTech Connect

    Croyle, D.R.; Schapiro, I.A.; Keglevic, P.M. )

    1992-08-01

    This EPRI report is a primer'' on Activity-Based Costing (ABC). ABC is a cost management aproach which can make an important contribution to understanding and controlling the changing costs in the electric utility industry. It is a method for attributing costs to activities, products and services by better understanding the underlying factors which drive those costs. ABC can help utility managers make better decisions through the application of more accurate process and product cost information and a fuller understanding of which activities add value and which do not. Armed with such information, utility managers are better equipped to address many of the strategic and operating decisions which they routinely face. The report introduces the ABC concept and approach to utility managers and offers insights into how ABC can be and is being used to control costs and improve strategic and operating decisions in electric utilities and other industries. The report (1) describes the ABC approach, (2) discusses the value of ABC to elecuic utilities, (3) identifies potential applications of ABC to current utility issues, (4) describes a step-by-step approach to developing and implementing ABC in the utility environment, and (5) presents a survey of more than 30 electric utilities and several detailed case studies of electric utilities and other companies who have adopted and are using ABC.

  9. Comprehensive cost analysis of sentinel node biopsy in solid head and neck tumors using a time-driven activity-based costing approach.

    PubMed

    Crott, Ralph; Lawson, Georges; Nollevaux, Marie-Cécile; Castiaux, Annick; Krug, Bruno

    2016-09-01

    Head and neck cancer (HNC) is predominantly a locoregional disease. Sentinel lymph node (SLN) biopsy offers a minimally invasive means of accurately staging the neck. Value in healthcare is determined by both outcomes and the costs associated with achieving them. Time-driven activity-based costing (TDABC) may offer more precise estimates of the true cost. Process maps were developed for nuclear medicine, operating room and pathology care phases. TDABC estimates the costs by combining information about the process with the unit cost of each resource used. Resource utilization is based on observation of care and staff interviews. Unit costs are calculated as a capacity cost rate, measured as a Euros/min (2014), for each resource consumed. Multiplying together the unit costs and resource quantities and summing across all resources used will produce the average cost for each phase of care. Three time equations with six different scenarios were modeled based on the type of camera, the number of SLN and the type of staining used. Total times for different SLN scenarios vary between 284 and 307 min, respectively, with a total cost between 2794 and 3541€. The unit costs vary between 788€/h for the intraoperative evaluation with a gamma-probe and 889€/h for a preoperative imaging with a SPECT/CT. The unit costs for the lymphadenectomy and the pathological examination are, respectively, 560 and 713€/h. A 10 % increase of time per individual activity generates only 1 % change in the total cost. TDABC evaluates the cost of SLN in HNC. The total costs across all phases which varied between 2761 and 3744€ per standard case. PMID:27170361

  10. Activity-Based Costing: A Cost Management Tool.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Turk, Frederick J.

    1993-01-01

    In college and university administration, overhead costs are often charged to programs indiscriminately, whereas the support activities that underlie those costs remain unanalyzed. It is time for institutions to decrease ineffective use of resources. Activity-based management attributes costs more accurately and can improve efficiency. (MSE)

  11. Evaluation of activity-based costing versus resource-based relative value costing.

    PubMed

    Berlin, Mark F; Smith, Tommy H

    2004-01-01

    Activity-based costing (ABC) and relative value units costing (RVU) are two approaches that a practice manager can use to determine the cost of physician services. Each costing approach has features that provide distinction as well as differentiation in the cost estimates that are estimated. This paper will provide cost estimates under each approach along with cost estimates under a hybrid approach that merges features from each costing approach known as the ABC-RVU costing technique. A comparison of the results will be provided. PMID:15018372

  12. Applying activity-based costing in long-term care.

    PubMed

    Wodchis, W P

    1998-01-01

    As greater numbers of the elderly use health services, and as health care costs climb, effective financial tracking is essential. Cost management in health care can benefit if costs are linked to the care activities where they are incurred. Activity-based costing (ABC) provides a useful approach. The framework aligns costs (inputs), through activities (process), to outputs and outcomes. It allocates costs based on client care needs rather than management structure. The ABC framework was tested in a residential care facility and in supportive housing apartments. The results demonstrate the feasibility and advantages of ABC for long term care agencies, including community-based care. PMID:10339203

  13. Activity-Based Costing Systems for Higher Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Day, Dennis H.

    1993-01-01

    Examines traditional costing models utilized in higher education and pinpoints shortcomings related to proper identification of costs. Describes activity-based costing systems as a superior alternative for cost identification, measurement, and allocation. (MLF)

  14. Activity-based costing for electric utilities. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Croyle, D.R.; Schapiro, I.A.; Keglevic, P.M.

    1992-08-01

    This EPRI report is a ``primer`` on Activity-Based Costing (ABC). ABC is a cost management aproach which can make an important contribution to understanding and controlling the changing costs in the electric utility industry. It is a method for attributing costs to activities, products and services by better understanding the underlying factors which drive those costs. ABC can help utility managers make better decisions through the application of more accurate process and product cost information and a fuller understanding of which activities add value and which do not. Armed with such information, utility managers are better equipped to address many of the strategic and operating decisions which they routinely face. The report introduces the ABC concept and approach to utility managers and offers insights into how ABC can be and is being used to control costs and improve strategic and operating decisions in electric utilities and other industries. The report (1) describes the ABC approach, (2) discusses the value of ABC to elecuic utilities, (3) identifies potential applications of ABC to current utility issues, (4) describes a step-by-step approach to developing and implementing ABC in the utility environment, and (5) presents a survey of more than 30 electric utilities and several detailed case studies of electric utilities and other companies who have adopted and are using ABC.

  15. The case for implementing activity based costing.

    PubMed

    Monge, Paul H; Bolinger-Perez, Nicole; Boysen, Kent

    2012-01-01

    ABC identifies profitable volumes to give managers information to better manage volumes. Managers must balance the demand for service while maintaining a reasonable profit margin. Disparate systems work extremely well for their intended purposes, but they do not communicate with one another. The strength of the data they hold individually may be leveraged when implementing ABC methodology. Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota implemented a pilot of ABC to evaluate CT services where there is a high volume, multiple service location for cost comparison, variety of patient acuity and service mix, and large capital investments.The goal was to reveal the actual cost of CT services at the procedural level. PMID:23270120

  16. Activity-based costing and its application in a Turkish university hospital.

    PubMed

    Yereli, Ayşe Necef

    2009-03-01

    Resource management in hospitals is of increasing importance in today's global economy. Traditional accounting systems have become inadequate for managing hospital resources and accurately determining service costs. Conversely, the activity-based costing approach to hospital accounting is an effective cost management model that determines costs and evaluates financial performance across departments. Obtaining costs that are more accurate can enable hospitals to analyze and interpret costing decisions and make more accurate budgeting decisions. Traditional and activity-based costing approaches were compared using a cost analysis of gall bladder surgeries in the general surgery department of one university hospital in Manisa, Turkey. PMID:19269382

  17. A New Activity-Based Financial Cost Management Method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qingge, Zhang

    The standard activity-based financial cost management model is a new model of financial cost management, which is on the basis of the standard cost system and the activity-based cost and integrates the advantages of the two. It is a new model of financial cost management with more accurate and more adequate cost information by taking the R&D expenses as the accounting starting point and after-sale service expenses as the terminal point and covering the whole producing and operating process and the whole activities chain and value chain aiming at serving the internal management and decision.

  18. Time-Driven Activity-Based Costing in Emergency Medicine.

    PubMed

    Yun, Brian J; Prabhakar, Anand M; Warsh, Jonathan; Kaplan, Robert; Brennan, John; Dempsey, Kyle E; Raja, Ali S

    2016-06-01

    Value in emergency medicine is determined by both patient-important outcomes and the costs associated with achieving them. However, measuring true costs is challenging. Without an understanding of costs, emergency department (ED) leaders will be unable to determine which interventions might improve value for their patients. Although ongoing research may determine which outcomes are meaningful, an accurate costing system is also needed. This article reviews current costing mechanisms in the ED and their pitfalls. It then describes how time-driven activity-based costing may be superior to these current costing systems. Time-driven activity-based costing, in addition to being a more accurate costing system, can be used for process improvements in the ED. PMID:26365921

  19. The utilization of activity-based cost accounting in hospitals.

    PubMed

    Emmett, Dennis; Forget, Robert

    2005-01-01

    Healthcare costs are being examined on all fronts. Healthcare accounts for 11% of the gross national product and will continue to rise as the "babyboomers" reach retirement age. While ascertaining costs is important, most research shows that costing methods have not been implemented in hospitals. This study is concerned with the use of costing methods; particularly activity-based cost accounting. A mail survey of CFOs was undertaken to determine the type of cost accounting method they use. In addition, they were asked whether they were aware of activity-based cost accounting and whether they had implemented it or were planning to implement it. Only 71.8% were aware of it and only 4.7% had implemented it. In addition, only 52% of all hospitals report using any cost accounting systems. Education needs to ensure that all healthcare executives are cognizant of activity-based accounting and its importance in determining costs. Only by determining costs can hospitals strive to contain them. PMID:16201419

  20. Using activity-based costing to guide strategic decision making.

    PubMed

    Dowless, R M

    1997-06-01

    Activity-based costing (ABC) is not widely used in the healthcare industry. Some healthcare provider organizations are considering ABC, however, because of its potential to improve resource management and thereby maximize efficiency. ABC supports better pricing practices through more accurate costing and can be used to identify underutilized resources as well as associated costs that can be reduced. ABC can be a useful tool for determining the cost of unused capacity and for making strategic management decisions that will reduce costs. PMID:10167847

  1. Activity-Based Costing in the After Press Services Industry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shevasuthisilp, Suntichai; Punsathitwong, Kosum

    2009-10-01

    This research was conducted to apply activity-based costing (ABC) in an after press service company in Chiang Mai province, Thailand. The company produces all of its products by one-stop service (such as coating, stitching, binding, die cutting, and gluing). All products are made to order, and have different sizes and patterns. A strategy of low price is used to compete in the marketplace. After cost analysis, the study found that the company has high overhead (36.5% of total cost). The company's problem is its use of traditional cost accounting, which has low accuracy in assigning overhead costs. If management uses this information when pricing customer orders, losses may occur because real production costs may be higher than the selling price. Therefore, the application of ABC in cost analysis can help executives receive accurate cost information; establish a sound pricing strategy; and improve the manufacturing process by determining work activities which have excessively high production costs. According to this research, 6 out of 56 items had a production cost higher than the selling price, leading to losses of 123,923 baht per year. Methods used to solve this problem were: reducing production costs; establishing suitable prices; and creating a sales promotion with lower prices for customers whose orders include processes involving unused capacity. These actions will increase overall sales of the company, and allow more efficient use of its machinery.

  2. Applying activity-based costing to the nuclear medicine unit.

    PubMed

    Suthummanon, Sakesun; Omachonu, Vincent K; Akcin, Mehmet

    2005-08-01

    Previous studies have shown the feasibility of using activity-based costing (ABC) in hospital environments. However, many of these studies discuss the general applications of ABC in health-care organizations. This research explores the potential application of ABC to the nuclear medicine unit (NMU) at a teaching hospital. The finding indicates that the current cost averages 236.11 US dollars for all procedures, which is quite different from the costs computed by using ABC. The difference is most significant with positron emission tomography scan, 463 US dollars (an increase of 96%), as well as bone scan and thyroid scan, 114 US dollars (a decrease of 52%). The result of ABC analysis demonstrates that the operational time (machine time and direct labour time) and the cost of drugs have the most influence on cost per procedure. Clearly, to reduce the cost per procedure for the NMU, the reduction in operational time and cost of drugs should be analysed. The result also indicates that ABC can be used to improve resource allocation and management. It can be an important aid in making management decisions, particularly for improving pricing practices by making costing more accurate. It also facilitates the identification of underutilized resources and related costs, leading to cost reduction. The ABC system will also help hospitals control costs, improve the quality and efficiency of the care they provide, and manage their resources better. PMID:16102243

  3. Cost Analysis of MRI Services in Iran: An Application of Activity Based Costing Technique

    PubMed Central

    Bayati, Mohsen; Mahboub Ahari, Alireza; Badakhshan, Abbas; Gholipour, Mahin; Joulaei, Hassan

    2015-01-01

    Background: Considerable development of MRI technology in diagnostic imaging, high cost of MRI technology and controversial issues concerning official charges (tariffs) have been the main motivations to define and implement this study. Objectives: The present study aimed to calculate the unit-cost of MRI services using activity-based costing (ABC) as a modern cost accounting system and to fairly compare calculated unit-costs with official charges (tariffs). Materials and Methods: We included both direct and indirect costs of MRI services delivered in fiscal year 2011 in Shiraz Shahid Faghihi hospital. Direct allocation method was used for distribution of overhead costs. We used micro-costing approach to calculate unit-cost of all different MRI services. Clinical cost data were retrieved from the hospital registering system. Straight-line method was used for depreciation cost estimation. To cope with uncertainty and to increase the robustness of study results, unit costs of 33 MRI services was calculated in terms of two scenarios. Results: Total annual cost of MRI activity center (AC) was calculated at USD 400,746 and USD 532,104 based on first and second scenarios, respectively. Ten percent of the total cost was allocated from supportive departments. The annual variable costs of MRI center were calculated at USD 295,904. Capital costs measured at USD 104,842 and USD 236, 200 resulted from the first and second scenario, respectively. Existing tariffs for more than half of MRI services were above the calculated costs. Conclusion: As a public hospital, there are considerable limitations in both financial and administrative databases of Shahid Faghihi hospital. Labor cost has the greatest share of total annual cost of Shahid Faghihi hospital. The gap between unit costs and tariffs implies that the claim for extra budget from health providers may not be relevant for all services delivered by the studied MRI center. With some adjustments, ABC could be implemented in MRI

  4. Using time-driven activity-based costing to identify value improvement opportunities in healthcare.

    PubMed

    Kaplan, Robert S; Witkowski, Mary; Abbott, Megan; Guzman, Alexis Barboza; Higgins, Laurence D; Meara, John G; Padden, Erin; Shah, Apurva S; Waters, Peter; Weidemeier, Marco; Wertheimer, Sam; Feeley, Thomas W

    2014-01-01

    As healthcare providers cope with pricing pressures and increased accountability for performance, they should be rededicating themselves to improving the value they deliver to their patients: better outcomes and lower costs. Time-driven activity-based costing offers the potential for clinicians to redesign their care processes toward that end. This costing approach, however, is new to healthcare and has not yet been systematically implemented and evaluated. This article describes early time-driven activity-based costing work at several leading healthcare organizations in the United States and Europe. It identifies the opportunities they found to improve value for patients and demonstrates how this costing method can serve as the foundation for new bundled payment reimbursement approaches. PMID:25647962

  5. The ABCs of Activity-Based Costing: A Cost Containment and Reallocation Tool.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Turk, Frederick J.

    1992-01-01

    This article describes activity-based costing (ABC) and how this tool may help management understand the costs of major activities and identify possible alternatives. Also discussed are the traditional costing systems used by higher education and ways of applying ABC to higher education. (GLR)

  6. A new costing model in hospital management: time-driven activity-based costing system.

    PubMed

    Öker, Figen; Özyapıcı, Hasan

    2013-01-01

    Traditional cost systems cause cost distortions because they cannot meet the requirements of today's businesses. Therefore, a new and more effective cost system is needed. Consequently, time-driven activity-based costing system has emerged. The unit cost of supplying capacity and the time needed to perform an activity are the only 2 factors considered by the system. Furthermore, this system determines unused capacity by considering practical capacity. The purpose of this article is to emphasize the efficiency of the time-driven activity-based costing system and to display how it can be applied in a health care institution. A case study was conducted in a private hospital in Cyprus. Interviews and direct observations were used to collect the data. The case study revealed that the cost of unused capacity is allocated to both open and laparoscopic (closed) surgeries. Thus, by using the time-driven activity-based costing system, managers should eliminate the cost of unused capacity so as to obtain better results. Based on the results of the study, hospital management is better able to understand the costs of different surgeries. In addition, managers can easily notice the cost of unused capacity and decide how many employees to be dismissed or directed to other productive areas. PMID:23364414

  7. Activity-based costing for clinical paths. An example to improve clinical cost & efficiency.

    PubMed

    Asadi, M J; Baltz, W A

    1996-01-01

    How much does this medical service or surgical procedure cost the hospital to provide? What is the most efficient clinical pathway that maximizes the quality of patient care while minimizing costs? More and more hospitals are discovering that they don't have solid answers to these critically important questions. In an age of managed care and capitation, however, it is imperative for management to know if the patient care services they provide are making or losing money-and by how much. This article discusses how a powerful new tool called activity-based costing (ABC) can be used to help hospitals accurately determine patient care costs. We show how to build a model that combines both clinical and financial data to measure how efficiently the operation allocates human, material and capital resources to provide its services. The modeling approach described in this article can be used to better analyze a wide range of important operational and financial issues, including: How to efficiently allocate resources, and what resources will be needed as patient demand changes-ideal for operational management and planning; How efficiently activities and processes are performed to meet patient needs-effective for measuring performance and improving quality; Determining clinical pathway profitability-essential for understanding where you're making or losing money; Cycle time, throughput and the impact of resource capacity constraints-critical for meeting patient demand; Costs of idle capacity-important for using resources more efficiently. We will illustrate with an example how this modeling technique can be used to develop and implement efficient clinical pathways. PMID:8982988

  8. Activity-based resource allocation: a system for predicting nursing costs.

    PubMed

    Crockett, M J; DiBlasi, M; Flaherty, P; Sampson, K

    1997-01-01

    As hospital-based managers are being confronted with changing patterns of reimbursement, ranging from revenue generating to cost management, it is imperative that hospitals know the exact nursing costs associated with the actual care delivered to specific patients. Nursing care has traditionally been bundled into the room rate for patients. This approach is extremely limiting when facilities are negotiating per diem rates and capitated rate contracts. At Braintree Hospital Rehabilitation Network, the nursing department has developed and implemented an activity-based management system to determine the actual cost of nursing care provided to each patient. This approach, which differentiates nursing costs accurately by diagnostic group and by intensity of nursing care, has contributed to the hospital's success in negotiating individual patient contracts with insurers in the managed care environment that increasingly focuses on costs and outcomes. Another result has been to enhance the accuracy of the network's cost accounting system. PMID:9416189

  9. Application of the Activity-Based Costing Method for Unit-Cost Calculation in a Hospital

    PubMed Central

    Javid, Mahdi; Hadian, Mohammad; Ghaderi, Hossein; Ghaffari, Shahram; Salehi, Masoud

    2016-01-01

    Background: Choosing an appropriate accounting system for hospital has always been a challenge for hospital managers. Traditional cost system (TCS) causes cost distortions in hospital. Activity-based costing (ABC) method is a new and more effective cost system. Objective: This study aimed to compare ABC with TCS method in calculating the unit cost of medical services and to assess its applicability in Kashani Hospital, Shahrekord City, Iran. Methods: This cross-sectional study was performed on accounting data of Kashani Hospital in 2013. Data on accounting reports of 2012 and other relevant sources at the end of 2012 were included. To apply ABC method, the hospital was divided into several cost centers and five cost categories were defined: wage, equipment, space, material, and overhead costs. Then activity centers were defined. ABC method was performed into two phases. First, the total costs of cost centers were assigned to activities by using related cost factors. Then the costs of activities were divided to cost objects by using cost drivers. After determining the cost of objects, the cost price of medical services was calculated and compared with those obtained from TCS. Results: The Kashani Hospital had 81 physicians, 306 nurses, and 328 beds with the mean occupancy rate of 67.4% during 2012. Unit cost of medical services, cost price of occupancy bed per day, and cost per outpatient service were calculated. The total unit costs by ABC and TCS were respectively 187.95 and 137.70 USD, showing 50.34 USD more unit cost by ABC method. ABC method represented more accurate information on the major cost components. Conclusion: By utilizing ABC, hospital managers have a valuable accounting system that provides a true insight into the organizational costs of their department. PMID:26234974

  10. Operations Assessment of Launch Vehicle Architectures using Activity Based Cost Models

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ruiz-Torres, Alex J.; McCleskey, Carey

    2000-01-01

    The growing emphasis on affordability for space transportation systems requires the assessment of new space vehicles for all life cycle activities, from design and development, through manufacturing and operations. This paper addresses the operational assessment of launch vehicles, focusing on modeling the ground support requirements of a vehicle architecture, and estimating the resulting costs and flight rate. This paper proposes the use of Activity Based Costing (ABC) modeling for this assessment. The model uses expert knowledge to determine the activities, the activity times and the activity costs based on vehicle design characteristics. The approach provides several advantages to current approaches to vehicle architecture assessment including easier validation and allowing vehicle designers to understand the cost and cycle time drivers.

  11. A tutorial on activity-based costing of electronic health records.

    PubMed

    Federowicz, Marie H; Grossman, Mila N; Hayes, Bryant J; Riggs, Joseph

    2010-01-01

    As the American Recovery and Restoration Act of 2009 allocates $19 billion to health information technology, it will be useful for health care managers to project the true cost of implementing an electronic health record (EHR). This study presents a step-by-step guide for using activity-based costing (ABC) to estimate the cost of an EHR. ABC is a cost accounting method with a "top-down" approach for estimating the cost of a project or service within an organization. The total cost to implement an EHR includes obvious costs, such as licensing fees, and hidden costs, such as impact on productivity. Unlike other methods, ABC includes all of the organization's expenditures and is less likely to miss hidden costs. Although ABC is used considerably in manufacturing and other industries, it is a relatively new phenomenon in health care. ABC is a comprehensive approach that the health care field can use to analyze the cost-effectiveness of implementing EHRs. In this article, ABC is applied to a health clinic that recently implemented an EHR, and the clinic is found to be more productive after EHR implementation. This methodology can help health care administrators assess the impact of a stimulus investment on organizational performance. PMID:20042937

  12. Activity-based costing via an information system: an application created for a breast imaging center.

    PubMed

    Hawkins, H; Langer, J; Padua, E; Reaves, J

    2001-06-01

    Activity-based costing (ABC) is a process that enables the estimation of the cost of producing a product or service. More accurate than traditional charge-based approaches, it emphasizes analysis of processes, and more specific identification of both direct and indirect costs. This accuracy is essential in today's healthcare environment, in which managed care organizations necessitate responsible and accountable costing. However, to be successfully utilized, it requires time, effort, expertise, and support. Data collection can be tedious and expensive. By integrating ABC with information management (IM) and systems (IS), organizations can take advantage of the process orientation of both, extend and improve ABC, and decrease resource utilization for ABC projects. In our case study, we have examined the process of a multidisciplinary breast center. We have mapped the constituent activities and established cost drivers. This information has been structured and included in our information system database for subsequent analysis. PMID:11442093

  13. Using activity-based costing and theory of constraints to guide continuous improvement in managed care.

    PubMed

    Roybal, H; Baxendale, S J; Gupta, M

    1999-01-01

    Activity-based costing and the theory of constraints have been applied successfully in many manufacturing organizations. Recently, those concepts have been applied in service organizations. This article describes the application of activity-based costing and the theory of constraints in a managed care mental health and substance abuse organization. One of the unique aspects of this particular application was the integration of activity-based costing and the theory of constraints to guide process improvement efforts. This article describes the activity-based costing model and the application of the theory of constraint's focusing steps with an emphasis on unused capacities of activities in the organization. PMID:10350791

  14. Understanding Time-driven Activity-based Costing.

    PubMed

    Sharan, Alok D; Schroeder, Gregory D; West, Michael E; Vaccaro, Alexander R

    2016-03-01

    Transitioning to a value-based health care system will require providers to increasingly scrutinize their outcomes and costs. Although there has been a great deal of effort to understand outcomes, cost accounting in health care has been a greater challenge. Currently the cost accounting methods used by hospitals and providers are based off a fee-for-service system. As resources become increasingly scarce and the health care system attempts to understand which services provide the greatest value, it will be critically important to understand the true costs of delivering a service. An understanding of the true costs of a particular service will help providers make smarter decisions on how to allocate and utilize resources as well as determine which activities are nonvalue added. Achieving value will require providers to have a greater focus on accurate outcome data as well as better methods of cost accounting. PMID:26889988

  15. Corporate cost of occupational accidents: an activity-based analysis.

    PubMed

    Rikhardsson, Pall M; Impgaard, Martin

    2004-03-01

    The systematic accident cost analysis (SACA) project was carried out during 2001 by The Aarhus School of Business and PricewaterhouseCoopers Denmark with financial support from The Danish National Working Environment Authority. Its focused on developing and testing a method for evaluating occupational costs of companies for use by occupational health and safety professionals. The method was tested in nine Danish companies within three different industry sectors and the costs of 27 selected occupational accidents in these companies were calculated. One of the main conclusions is that the SACA method could be used in all of the companies without revisions. The evaluation of accident cost showed that 2/3 of the costs of occupational accidents are visible in the Danish corporate accounting systems reviewed while 1/3 is hidden from management view. The highest cost of occupational accidents for a company with 3.600 employees was estimated to approximately US$ 682.000. The paper includes an introduction regarding accident cost analysis in companies, a presentation of the SACA project methodology and the SACA method itself, a short overview of some of the results of the SACA project and a conclusion. Further information about the project is available at http://www.asb.dk/saca. PMID:14642872

  16. The Role of Activity Based Costing (ABC) in Educational Support Services: A White Paper.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Edds, Daniel B.

    Many front-line managers who are assuming more financial responsibility for their organizations find traditional cost accounting inadequate for their needs and are turning to Activity Based Costing (ABC). ABC is not a financial reporting system to serve the needs of regulatory agencies, but a tool that tracks costs from the general ledger…

  17. Activity-Based Costing in User Services of an Academic Library.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ellis-Newman, Jennifer

    2003-01-01

    The rationale for using Activity-Based Costing (ABC) in a library is to allocate indirect costs to products and services based on the factors that most influence them. This paper discusses the benefits of ABC to library managers and explains the steps involved in implementing ABC in the user services area of an Australian academic library.…

  18. Towards the use of ontologies for activity-based costing in healthcare organizations.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Anand

    2006-01-01

    Activity-based costing is a methodology which provides a basis for healthcare cost optimization. A robust formal representation of such activities is needed in order to be able to draw inferences as to the costs involved in a reliable manner. An introduction to the basic ontological distinctions involved in such a representation and to the complications one faces in carrying out the task is presented in this paper. PMID:17108573

  19. The impact of activity based cost accounting on health care capital investment decisions.

    PubMed

    Greene, J K; Metwalli, A

    2001-01-01

    For the future survival of the rural hospitals in the U.S., there is a need to make sound financial decisions. The Activity Based Cost Accounting (ABC) provides more accurate and detailed cost information to make an informed capital investment decision taking into consideration all the costs and revenue reimbursement from third party payors. The paper analyzes, evaluates and compares two scenarios of acquiring capital equipment and attempts to show the importance of utilizing the ABC method in making a sound financial decision as compared to the traditional cost method. PMID:11794757

  20. Using activity-based costing to track resource use in group practices.

    PubMed

    Zeller, T L; Siegel, G; Kaciuba, G; Lau, A H

    1999-09-01

    Research shows that understanding how resources are consumed can help group practices control costs. An American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons study used an activity-based costing (ABC) system to measure how resources are consumed in providing medical services. Teams of accounting professors observed 18 diverse orthopedic surgery practices. The researchers identified 17 resource-consuming business processes performed by nonphysician office staff. They measured resource consumption by assigning costs to each process according to how much time is spent on related work activities. When group practices understand how their resources are being consumed, they can reduce costs and optimize revenues by making adjustments in how administrative and clinical staff work. PMID:11066706

  1. Activity-based costing in the operating room at Valley View Hospital.

    PubMed

    Baker, J J; Boyd, G F

    1997-01-01

    This article presents an example of how one hospital reports the results of activity-based costing (ABC). It examines the composition and supporting assumptions of an ABC report for a particular procedure in the operating room (OR). It describes management uses of the information generated. It comments upon how the continuous quality improvement (CQI) is synchronized with the ABC reporting. PMID:9327354

  2. Critical analysis of the Hanford spent nuclear fuel project activity based cost estimate

    SciTech Connect

    Warren, R.N.

    1998-09-29

    In 1997, the SNFP developed a baseline change request (BCR) and submitted it to DOE-RL for approval. The schedule was formally evaluated to have a 19% probability of success [Williams, 1998]. In December 1997, DOE-RL Manager John Wagoner approved the BCR contingent upon a subsequent independent review of the new baseline. The SNFP took several actions during the first quarter of 1998 to prepare for the independent review. The project developed the Estimating Requirements and Implementation Guide [DESH, 1998] and trained cost account managers (CAMS) and other personnel involved in the estimating process in activity-based cost (ABC) estimating techniques. The SNFP then applied ABC estimating techniques to develop the basis for the December Baseline (DB) and documented that basis in Basis of Estimate (BOE) books. These BOEs were provided to DOE in April 1998. DOE commissioned Professional Analysis, Inc. (PAI) to perform a critical analysis (CA) of the DB. PAI`s review formally began on April 13. PAI performed the CA, provided three sets of findings to the SNFP contractor, and initiated reconciliation meetings. During the course of PAI`s review, DOE directed the SNFP to develop a new baseline with a higher probability of success. The contractor transmitted the new baseline, which is referred to as the High Probability Baseline (HPB), to DOE on April 15, 1998 [Williams, 1998]. The HPB was estimated to approach a 90% confidence level on the start of fuel movement [Williams, 1998]. This high probability resulted in an increased cost and a schedule extension. To implement the new baseline, the contractor initiated 26 BCRs with supporting BOES. PAI`s scope was revised on April 28 to add reviewing the HPB and the associated BCRs and BOES.

  3. Clinical process analysis and activity-based costing at a heart center.

    PubMed

    Ridderstolpe, Lisa; Johansson, Andreas; Skau, Tommy; Rutberg, Hans; Ahlfeldt, Hans

    2002-08-01

    Cost studies, productivity, efficiency, and quality of care measures, the links between resources and patient outcomes, are fundamental issues for hospital management today. This paper describes the implementation of a model for process analysis and activity-based costing (ABC)/management at a Heart Center in Sweden as a tool for administrative cost information, strategic decision-making, quality improvement, and cost reduction. A commercial software package (QPR) containing two interrelated parts, "ProcessGuide and CostControl," was used. All processes at the Heart Center were mapped and graphically outlined. Processes and activities such as health care procedures, research, and education were identified together with their causal relationship to costs and products/services. The construction of the ABC model in CostControl was time-consuming. However, after the ABC/management system was created, it opened the way for new possibilities including process and activity analysis, simulation, and price calculations. Cost analysis showed large variations in the cost obtained for individual patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) surgery. We conclude that a process-based costing system is applicable and has the potential to be useful in hospital management. PMID:12118815

  4. Application of activity-based costing (ABC) for a Peruvian NGO healthcare provider.

    PubMed

    Waters, H; Abdallah, H; Santillán, D

    2001-01-01

    This article describes the application of activity-based costing (ABC) to calculate the unit costs of the services for a health care provider in Peru. While traditional costing allocates overhead and indirect costs in proportion to production volume or to direct costs, ABC assigns costs through activities within an organization. ABC uses personnel interviews to determine principal activities and the distribution of individual's time among these activities. Indirect costs are linked to services through time allocation and other tracing methods, and the result is a more accurate estimate of unit costs. The study concludes that applying ABC in a developing country setting is feasible, yielding results that are directly applicable to pricing and management. ABC determines costs for individual clinics, departments and services according to the activities that originate these costs, showing where an organization spends its money. With this information, it is possible to identify services that are generating extra revenue and those operating at a loss, and to calculate cross subsidies across services. ABC also highlights areas in the health care process where efficiency improvements are possible. Conclusions about the ultimate impact of the methodology are not drawn here, since the study was not repeated and changes in utilization patterns and the addition of new clinics affected applicability of the results. A potential constraint to implementing ABC is the availability and organization of cost information. Applying ABC efficiently requires information to be readily available, by cost category and department, since the greatest benefits of ABC come from frequent, systematic application of the methodology in order to monitor efficiency and provide feedback for management. The article concludes with a discussion of the potential applications of ABC in the health sector in developing countries. PMID:11326572

  5. The use of activity-based cost estimation as a management tool for cultural change

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mandell, Humboldt; Bilby, Curt

    1991-01-01

    It will be shown that the greatest barrier to American exploration of the planet Mars is not the development of the technology needed to deliver humans and return them safely to earth. Neither is it the cost of such an undertaking, as has been previously suggested, although certainly, such a venture may not be inexpensive by some measures. The predicted costs of exploration have discouraged serious political dialog on the subject. And, in fact, even optimistic projections of the NASA budget do not contain the resources required, under the existing development and management paradigm, for human space exploration programs. It will be demonstrated that the perception of the costs of such a venture, and the cultural responses to the perceptions are factors inhibiting American exploration of the moon and the planet Mars. Cost models employed in the aerospace industry today correctly mirror the history of past space programs, and as such, are representative of the existing management and development paradigms. However, if, under this current paradigm no major exploration programs are feasible, then cost analysis methods based in the past may not have great utility in exploring the needed cultural changes. This paper explores the use of a new type of model, the activity based cost model, which will treat management style as an input variable, in a sense providing a tool whereby a complete, affordable program might be designed, including both the technological and management aspects.

  6. [Activity and cost analysis in surgical pathology. Experience of a French university laboratory using the activity-based costing method].

    PubMed

    Bellocq, J P; Biron, N; Kessler, S; Penaud, M; Faujour, V; Ospel, J; Supper, E; Barthel, A; Roussel, J F; Méchine-Neuville, A; Marcellin, L; Lang-Avérous, G; Chenard, M P

    2001-06-01

    Good self-knowledge enables us to have a well- reasoned adaptation to our environment. Starting from this precept based on simple common sense, activity and cost analysis, when applied to medical departments in a university hospital setting, represents a necessary phase in their scientific progression and in the continuation of their university vocation. This is all the more true given the present climate of economic and organizational restructuring of medical facilities. This paper relates the experience of a French surgical pathology department which was assessed for cost effectiveness using the Activity-Based Costing (ABC) method in 1999. This method, which originated in the business world and of which the general concepts are presented here, has given us a keener understanding of the diverse processes involved, their costs and how these costs are arrived at. Moreover, this method has identified the proportion of costs imputable to diagnostic work and of those linked to work specific to a university hospital, in particular teaching and research and development. The results can then be used for a clearer analysis of the figures required by prescribers and health care funding agencies, and, within the department, to enhance perception of work carried out by the entire staff in order to initiate a new type of management centered on activity (Activity-Based Management). Adaptable to any medical department, whatever its organizational structure, independent of the significance of any given code letter and regardless of the rating method used to grade activities, the ABC method also allows for comparisons between structures of a similar nature. The thoughts it inspires on economic performance must take into account the rules of good medical practice, the imperatives of quality assurance, the need for "breathing space" which are indispensable to research and a humanist conception of working relations. PMID:11468559

  7. Tissue plasminogen activator-based clot busting: Controlled delivery approaches

    PubMed Central

    El-Sherbiny, Ibrahim M.; Elkholi, Islam E.; Yacoub, Magdi H.

    2014-01-01

    Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death worldwide. Thrombosis, the formation of blood clot (thrombus) in the circulatory system obstructing the blood flow, is one of the main causes behind various ischemic arterial syndromes such as ischemic stroke and myocardial infarction, as well as vein syndromes such as deep vein thrombosis, and consequently, pulmonary emboli. Several thrombolytic agents have been developed for treating thrombosis, the most common being tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), administrated systemically or locally via IV infusion directly proximal to the thrombus, with the aim of restoring and improving the blood flow. TPA triggers the dissolution of thrombi by inducing the conversion of plasminogen to protease plasmin followed by fibrin digestion that eventually leads to clot lysis. Although tPA provides powerful thrombolytic activity, it has many shortcomings, including poor pharmacokinetic profiles, impairment of the reestablishment of normal coronary flow, and impairment of hemostasis, leading to life-threatening bleeding consequences. The bleeding consequence is ascribed to the ability of tPA to circulate throughout the body and therefore can lysis all blood clots in the circulation system, even the good ones that prevent the bleeding and promote injury repair. This review provides an overview of the different delivery approaches for tPA including: liposomes, ultrasound-triggered thrombolysis, anti-fibrin antibody-targeted tPA, camouflaged-tPA, tpA-loaded microcarriers, and nano-modulated delivery approaches. PMID:25780787

  8. Extending simulation modeling to activity-based costing for clinical procedures.

    PubMed

    Glick, N D; Blackmore, C C; Zelman, W N

    2000-04-01

    A simulation model was developed to measure costs in an Emergency Department setting for patients presenting with possible cervical-spine injury who needed radiological imaging. Simulation, a tool widely used to account for process variability but typically focused on utilization and throughput analysis, is being introduced here as a realistic means to perform an activity-based-costing (ABC) analysis, because traditional ABC methods have difficulty coping with process variation in healthcare. Though the study model has a very specific application, it can be generalized to other settings simply by changing the input parameters. In essence, simulation was found to be an accurate and viable means to conduct an ABC analysis; in fact, the output provides more complete information than could be achieved through other conventional analyses, which gives management more leverage with which to negotiate contractual reimbursements. PMID:10895422

  9. Activity-based cost management. Part II: Applied to a respiratory protection program.

    PubMed

    Brandt, M T; Levine, S P; Smith, D G; Ettinger, H J; Gallimore, B F

    1998-05-01

    To demonstrate the relevance of activity-based cost management (ABCM) for the occupational and environmental health community, the investigators used data generated by an ABCM model of a respiratory protection program (RPP) to develop options for solving a business problem. The RPP manager in this hypothetical but realistic business scenario is faced with a 25% budget cut and a 10% increase in demand for RPP services. The manager's dilemma is to maintain the integrity of the RPP while absorbing a significant budget cut. Various cost savings options are developed, and the assumptions under which these options operate are presented. It is emphasized that the RPP manager's primary responsibility is to assure worker health and safety by first understanding the technical issues, merits, and implications of any cost-cutting option that may be considered. It is argued that only then should the manager consider the financial merits of the possible solutions to this business problem. In this way worker health and safety, and environmental protection goals, can continue to be achieved in an economic climate of cost cutting and downsizing. PMID:9622907

  10. Time-Driven Activity-Based Costing for Inter-Library Services: A Case Study in a University

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pernot, Eli; Roodhooft, Filip; Van den Abbeele, Alexandra

    2007-01-01

    Although the true costs of inter-library loans (ILL) are unknown, universities increasingly rely on them to provide better library services at lower costs. Through a case study, we show how to perform a time-driven activity-based costing analysis of ILL and provide evidence of the benefits of such an analysis.

  11. Time-driven activity-based costing in an outpatient clinic environment: development, relevance and managerial impact.

    PubMed

    Demeere, Nathalie; Stouthuysen, Kristof; Roodhooft, Filip

    2009-10-01

    Healthcare managers are continuously urged to provide better patient services at a lower cost. To cope with these cost pressures, healthcare management needs to improve its understanding of the relevant cost drivers. Through a case study, we show how to perform a time-driven activity-based costing of five outpatient clinic's departments and provide evidence of the benefits of such an analysis. PMID:19505741

  12. Activity-Based Approach for Teaching Aqueous Solubility, Energy, and Entropy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Eisen, Laura; Marano, Nadia; Glazier, Samantha

    2014-01-01

    We describe an activity-based approach for teaching aqueous solubility to introductory chemistry students that provides a more balanced presentation of the roles of energy and entropy in dissolution than is found in most general chemistry textbooks. In the first few activities, students observe that polar substances dissolve in water, whereas…

  13. Optimal Medical Equipment Maintenance Service Proposal Decision Support System combining Activity Based Costing (ABC) and the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP).

    PubMed

    da Rocha, Leticia; Sloane, Elliot; M Bassani, Jose

    2005-01-01

    This study describes a framework to support the choice of the maintenance service (in-house or third party contract) for each category of medical equipment based on: a) the real medical equipment maintenance management system currently used by the biomedical engineering group of the public health system of the Universidade Estadual de Campinas located in Brazil to control the medical equipment maintenance service, b) the Activity Based Costing (ABC) method, and c) the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) method. Results show the cost and performance related to each type of maintenance service. Decision-makers can use these results to evaluate possible strategies for the categories of equipment. PMID:17281912

  14. Status of costing hospital nursing work within Australian casemix activity-based funding policy.

    PubMed

    Heslop, Liza

    2012-02-01

    Australia has a long history of patient level costing initiated when casemix funding was implemented in several states in the early 1990s. Australia includes, to some extent, hospital payment based on nursing intensity adopted within casemix funding policy and the Diagnostic Related Group system. Costing of hospital nursing services in Australia has not changed significantly in the last few decades despite widespread introduction of casemix funding policy at the state level. Recent Commonwealth of Australia National Health Reform presents change to the management of the delivery of health care including health-care costing. There is agreement for all Australian jurisdictions to progress to casemix-based activity funding. Within this context, nurse costing infrastructure presents contemporary issues and challenges. An assessment is made of the progress of costing nursing services within casemix funding models in Australian hospitals. Valid and reliable Australian-refined nursing service weights might overcome present cost deficiencies and limitations. PMID:22257324

  15. A Versatile, Traceless C-H Activation-Based Approach for the Synthesis of Heterocycles.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Shuguang; Wang, Jinhu; Zhang, Feifei; Song, Chao; Zhu, Jin

    2016-05-20

    A versatile, traceless C-H activation-based approach for the synthesis of diversified heterocycles is reported. Rh(III)-catalyzed, N-amino-directed C-H alkenylation generates either olefination products or indoles (in situ annulation) in an atom- and step-economic manner at room temperature. The remarkable reactivity endowed by this directing group enables scale-up of the reaction to a 10 g scale at a very low catalyst loading (0.01 mol %/0.1 mol %). Ex situ annulation of olefination product provides entry into an array of heterocycles. PMID:27135982

  16. Linking cost control measures to health care services by using activity-based information.

    PubMed

    Hoyt, R E; Lay, C M

    1995-11-01

    Canada's health care institutions are under pressure to limit expenditures, maintain or increase productivity, and assimilate new technology. Even though more than 75% of hospital operating expenditures are controllable, according to a study by the Economic Council of Canada, cost systems are needed to provided essential management information. The new Canadian Management Information System (MIS) Guidelines for health care are designed to provide accurate cost measurement of patient treatment and to help managers evaluate the impact of planned program changes on areas of operational responsibility. Other potential benefits of implementing the MIS guidelines include correcting dysfunctional funding of health care units with benchmarking and setting high reporting standards for resource use at the patient level (MIS, 1991). This paper focuses on one important aspect of bringing these costs under control by examining the relation between cost deviations (variances) and underlying cost drivers. Our discussion will lead to the conclusion that incompatibility of DRG methodology and traditional cost accounting models may be an important source of cost variability within diagnostically-related disease groupings. PMID:10153271

  17. How can activity-based costing methodology be performed as a powerful tool to calculate costs and secure appropriate patient care?

    PubMed

    Lin, Blossom Yen-Ju; Chao, Te-Hsin; Yao, Yuh; Tu, Shu-Min; Wu, Chun-Ching; Chern, Jin-Yuan; Chao, Shiu-Hsiung; Shaw, Keh-Yuong

    2007-04-01

    Previous studies have shown the advantages of using activity-based costing (ABC) methodology in the health care industry. The potential values of ABC methodology in health care are derived from the more accurate cost calculation compared to the traditional step-down costing, and the potentials to evaluate quality or effectiveness of health care based on health care activities. This project used ABC methodology to profile the cost structure of inpatients with surgical procedures at the Department of Colorectal Surgery in a public teaching hospital, and to identify the missing or inappropriate clinical procedures. We found that ABC methodology was able to accurately calculate costs and to identify several missing pre- and post-surgical nursing education activities in the course of treatment. PMID:17489499

  18. [Clinical study using activity-based costing to assess cost-effectiveness of a wound management system utilizing modern dressings in comparison with traditional wound care].

    PubMed

    Ohura, Takehiko; Sanada, Hiromi; Mino, Yoshio

    2004-01-01

    In recent years, the concept of cost-effectiveness, including medical delivery and health service fee systems, has become widespread in Japanese health care. In the field of pressure ulcer management, the recent introduction of penalty subtraction in the care fee system emphasizes the need for prevention and cost-effective care of pressure ulcer. Previous cost-effectiveness research on pressure ulcer management tended to focus only on "hardware" costs such as those for pharmaceuticals and medical supplies, while neglecting other cost aspects, particularly those involving the cost of labor. Thus, cost-effectiveness in pressure ulcer care has not yet been fully established. To provide true cost effectiveness data, a comparative prospective study was initiated in patients with stage II and III pressure ulcers. Considering the potential impact of the pressure reduction mattress on clinical outcome, in particular, the same type of pressure reduction mattresses are utilized in all the cases in the study. The cost analysis method used was Activity-Based Costing, which measures material and labor cost aspects on a daily basis. A reduction in the Pressure Sore Status Tool (PSST) score was used to measure clinical effectiveness. Patients were divided into three groups based on the treatment method and on the use of a consistent algorithm of wound care: 1. MC/A group, modern dressings with a treatment algorithm (control cohort). 2. TC/A group, traditional care (ointment and gauze) with a treatment algorithm. 3. TC/NA group, traditional care (ointment and gauze) without a treatment algorithm. The results revealed that MC/A is more cost-effective than both TC/A and TC/NA. This suggests that appropriate utilization of modern dressing materials and a pressure ulcer care algorithm would contribute to reducing health care costs, improved clinical results, and, ultimately, greater cost-effectiveness. PMID:14999922

  19. Validation of housing standards addressing accessibility: exploration of an activity-based approach.

    PubMed

    Helle, Tina; Iwarsson, Susanne; Brandt, Ase

    2014-10-01

    The aim was to explore the use of an activity-based approach to determine the validity of a set of housing standards addressing accessibility. This included examination of the frequency and the extent of accessibility problems among older people with physical functional limitations who used no mobility device (n = 10) or who used a wheelchair (n = 10) or a rollator (n = 10). The setting was a kitchen designed according to present housing standards. The participants prepared lunch in the kitchen. Accessibility problems were assessed by observation and self-report. Differences between the three participant groups were examined. Performing well-known kitchen activities was associated with accessibility problems for all three participant groups, in particular those using a wheelchair. The overall validity of the housing standards examined was poor. Observing older people interacting with realistic environments while performing real everyday activities seems to be an appropriate method for assessing accessibility problems. PMID:24652904

  20. An approach to rescheduling activities based on determination of priority and disruptivity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sponsler, Jeffrey L.; Johnston, Mark D.

    1990-01-01

    A constraint-based scheduling system called SPIKE is being used to create long term schedules for the Hubble Space Telescope. Feedback for the spacecraft or from other ground support systems may invalidate some scheduling decisions and those activities concerned must be reconsidered. A function rescheduling priority is defined which for a given activity performs a heuristic analysis and produces a relative numerical value which is used to rank all such entities in the order that they should be rescheduled. A function disruptivity is also defined that is used to place a relative numeric value on how much a pre-existing schedule would be changed in order to reschedule an activity. Using these functions, two algorithms (a stochastic neural network approach and an exhaustive search approach) are proposed to find the best place to reschedule an activity. Prototypes were implemented and preliminary testing reveals that the exhaustive technique produces only marginally better results at much greater computational cost.

  1. MAI (Multi-Dimensional Activity Based Integrated Approach): A Strategy for Cognitive Development of the Learners at the Elementary Stage

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Basantia, Tapan Kumar; Panda, B. N.; Sahoo, Dukhabandhu

    2012-01-01

    Cognitive development of the learners is the prime task of each and every stage of our school education and its importance especially in elementary state is quite worth mentioning. Present study investigated the effectiveness of a new and innovative strategy (i.e., MAI (multi-dimensional activity based integrated approach)) for the development of…

  2. Activity-Based Approach to Authentic Learning in a Vocational Institute

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Choo, Chan Bee

    2007-01-01

    With emphasis on developing competence in students, an activity-based learning environment, inspired by constructivist and situated learning theories, was piloted in the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) to improve student learning experience. The new learning environment, developed for a Lifeskills module (Career Development and Planning),…

  3. Comparison of the Ministry of Health’s tariffs with the cost of radiology services using the activity-based costing method

    PubMed Central

    Kalhor, Rohollah; Amini, Saeed; Emami, Majid; Kakasoltani, Keivan; Rhamani, Nasim; Kalhor, Leila

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Efficient use of resources in organizations is one of the most important duties of managers. Appropriate allocation of resources can help managers to do this well. The aim of this study was to determine the cost of radiology services and to compare it with governmental tariffs (introduced by the Ministry of Health in Iran). Methods This was a descriptive and applied study that was conducted using the retrospective approach. First, activity centers were identified on the basis of five main groups of hospital activities. Then, resources and resource drivers, activities, and hospital activity drivers were identified. At the next step, the activities related to the delivery of radiology process were identified. Last, through allocation of activities cost to the cost objects, the cost price of 66 services that were delivered in the radiology department were calculated. The data were collected by making checklists, using the hospital’s information system, observations, and interviews. Finally, the data were analyzed using the non-parametric Wilcoxon test, Microsoft Excel, and SPSS software, version 18. Results The findings showed that from the total cost of wages, materials, and overhead obtained, the unit cost of the 66 cost objects (delivered services) in the Radiology Department were calculated using the ABC method (Price of each unit of Nephrostogram obtained $15.8 and Cystogram obtained $18.4). The Kolmogorov-Smirnov test indicated that the distribution of data of cost price using the ABC method was not normal (p = 0.000). The Wilcoxon test showed that there was a significant difference between the cost of services and the tariff of radiology services (p = 0.000). Conclusions The cost of delivered services in radiology departments was significantly higher than approved tariffs of the Ministry of Health, which can have a negative impact on the quality of services. PMID:27054013

  4. Systematic Approach to Better Understanding Integration Costs

    SciTech Connect

    Stark, Gregory B.

    2015-09-01

    This research presents a systematic approach to evaluating the costs of integrating new generation and operational procedures into an existing power system, and the methodology is independent of the type of change or nature of the generation. The work was commissioned by the U.S. Department of Energy and performed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to investigate three integration cost-related questions: (1) How does the addition of new generation affect a system's operational costs, (2) How do generation mix and operating parameters and procedures affect costs, and (3) How does the amount of variable generation (non-dispatchable wind and solar) impact the accuracy of natural gas orders? A detailed operational analysis was performed for seven sets of experiments: variable generation, large conventional generation, generation mix, gas prices, fast-start generation, self-scheduling, and gas supply constraints. For each experiment, four components of integration costs were examined: cycling costs, non-cycling VO&M costs, fuel costs, and reserves provisioning costs. The investigation was conducted with PLEXOS production cost modeling software utilizing an updated version of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers 118-bus test system overlaid with projected operating loads from the Western Electricity Coordinating Council for the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, Puget Sound Energy, and Public Service Colorado in the year 2020. The test system was selected in consultation with an industry-based technical review committee to be a reasonable approximation of an interconnection yet small enough to allow the research team to investigate a large number of scenarios and sensitivity combinations. The research should prove useful to market designers, regulators, utilities, and others who want to better understand how system changes can affect production costs.

  5. Educational Costs.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Arnold, Robert

    Problems in educational cost accounting and a new cost accounting approach are described in this paper. The limitations of the individualized cost (student units) approach and the comparative cost approach (in the form of fund-function-object) are illustrated. A new strategy, an activity-based system of accounting, is advocated. Borrowed from…

  6. Cost Analysis of Selected Patient Categories within a Dermatology Department Using an ABC Approach

    PubMed Central

    Papadaki, Šárka; Popesko, Boris

    2016-01-01

    Background: Present trends in hospital management are facilitating the utilization of more accurate costing methods, which potentially results in superior cost-related information and improved managerial decision-making. However, the Activity-Based Costing method (ABC), which was designed for cost allocation purposes in the 1980s, is not widely used by healthcare organizations. This study analyzes costs related to selected categories of patients, those suffering from psoriasis, varicose ulcers, eczema and other conditions, within a dermatology department at a Czech regional hospital. Methods: The study was conducted in a hospital department where both inpatient and outpatient care are offered. Firstly, the diseases treated at the department were identified. Further costs were determined for each activity using ABC. The study utilized data from managerial and financial accounting, as well as data obtained through interviews with departmental staff. Using a defined cost-allocation procedure makes it possible to determine the cost of an individual patient with a given disease more accurately than via traditional costing procedures. Results: The cost analysis focused on the differences between the costs related to individual patients within the selected diagnoses, variations between inpatient and outpatient treatments and the costs of activities performed by the dermatology department. Furthermore, comparing the costs identified through this approach and the revenue stemming from the health insurance system is an option. Conclusions: Activity-Based Costing is more accurate and relevant than the traditional costing method. The outputs of ABC provide an abundance of additional information for managers. The benefits of this research lie in its practically-tested outputs, resulting from calculating the costs of hospitalization, which could prove invaluable to persons involved in hospital management and decision-making. The study also defines the managerial implications of

  7. Low cost approach to Mars Pathfinder

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spear, Anthony J.

    1995-10-01

    Mars Pathfinder, launching in December '96 and landing in July '97, will demo a low cost delivery system to the surface of Mars. Historically, spacecraft that orbit or land on a distant body carry a large amount of fuel for braking. Mars Pathfinder, thrusting only for navigation, enters directly into the Martian atmosphere, aerobrakes with its aeroshell, deploys a parachute at 10 km above the surface and, within 100 m off the surface, ignites solid rockets for final braking prior to deployment of air bags which cushion touchdown. After landing, petals open to upright the lander, exposing solar panels to the sun. Even though the lander and rover are expected to last longer, the major objectives of Mars Pathfinder, demonstrating EDL (Entry, Descent, Landing) and lander-rover surface operations, will occur within the first few days, at which time panoramic images of the surface will be transmitted and the rover will be deployed to conduct both mobility tests and rock composition measurements. While Mars Pathfinder is primarily an engineering demo, it accomplishes a focused, exciting set of science investigations with a stereo, multi-color lander imager; atmospheric instrumentation, used as a weather station after landing; and the rover with cameras and the APXS (Alpha Proton X-ray Spectrometer). This paper features Mars Pathfinder's approach to innovative and cost effective mission accomplishment, under a development cost cap. Mars Pathfinder is pathfinding a new way of doing business at NASA and JPL for small, low cost, Discovery class missions.

  8. Time-driven activity-based costing of multivessel coronary artery bypass grafting across national boundaries to identify improvement opportunities: study protocol

    PubMed Central

    Erhun, F; Mistry, B; Platchek, T; Milstein, A; Narayanan, V G; Kaplan, R S

    2015-01-01

    Introduction Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery is a well-established, commonly performed treatment for coronary artery disease—a disease that affects over 10% of US adults and is a major cause of morbidity and mortality. In 2005, the mean cost for a CABG procedure among Medicare beneficiaries in the USA was $32 201±$23 059. The same operation reportedly costs less than $2000 to produce in India. The goals of the proposed study are to (1) identify the difference in the costs incurred to perform CABG surgery by three Joint Commission accredited hospitals with reputations for high quality and efficiency and (2) characterise the opportunity to reduce the cost of performing CABG surgery. Methods and analysis We use time-driven activity-based costing (TDABC) to quantify the hospitals’ costs of producing elective, multivessel CABG. TDABC estimates the costs of a given clinical service by combining information about the process of patient care delivery (specifically, the time and quantity of labour and non-labour resources utilised to perform each activity) with the unit cost of each resource used to provide the care. Resource utilisation was estimated by constructing CABG process maps for each site based on observation of care and staff interviews. Unit costs were calculated as a capacity cost rate, measured as a $/min, for each resource consumed in CABG production. Multiplying together the unit costs and resource quantities and summing across all resources used will produce the average cost of CABG production at each site. We will conclude by conducting a variance analysis of labour costs to reveal opportunities to bend the cost curve for CABG production in the USA. Ethics and dissemination All our methods were exempted from review by the Stanford Institutional Review Board. Results will be published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at scientific meetings. PMID:26307621

  9. School District Program Cost Accounting: An Alternative Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hentschke, Guilbert C.

    1975-01-01

    Discusses the value for school districts of a program cost accounting system and examines different approaches to generating program cost data, with particular emphasis on the "cost allocation to program system" (CAPS) and the traditional "transaction-based system." (JG)

  10. Evaluation of economic efficiencies in clinical retina practice: activity-based cost analysis and modeling to determine impacts of changes in patient management

    PubMed Central

    Murray, Timothy G; Tornambe, Paul; Dugel, Pravin; Tong, Kuo Bianchini

    2011-01-01

    Background The purpose of this study is to report the use of activity-based cost analysis to identify areas of practice efficiencies and inefficiencies within a large academic retinal center and a small single-specialty group. This analysis establishes a framework for evaluating rapidly shifting clinical practices (anti-vascular endothelial growth factor therapy, microincisional vitrectomy surgery) and incorporating changing reimbursements for care delivery (intravitreal injections, optical coherence tomography [OCT]) to determine the impact on practice profitability. Pro forma modeling targeted the impact of declining reimbursement for OCT imaging and intravitreal injection using a strategy that incorporates activity-based cost analysis into a direct evaluation schema for clinical operations management. Methods Activity-based costing analyses were performed at two different types of retinal practices in the US, ie, a small single-specialty group practice and an academic hospital-based practice (Bascom Palmer Eye Institute). Retrospective claims data were utilized to identify all procedures performed and billed, submitted charges, allowed charges, and net collections from each of these two practices for the calendar years 2005–2006 and 2007–2008. A pro forma analysis utilizing current reimbursement profiles was performed to determine the impact of altered reimbursement on practice profitability. All analyses were performed by a third party consulting firm. Results The small single-specialty group practice outperformed the academic hospital-based practice on almost all markers of efficiency. In the academic hospital-based practice, only four service lines were profitable, ie, nonlaser surgery, laser surgery, non-OCT diagnostics, and injections. Profit margin varied from 62% for nonlaser surgery to 1% for intravitreal injections. Largest negative profit contributions were associated with office visits and OCT imaging. Conclusion Activity-based cost analysis is a

  11. Value in Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery Health Care: the Role of Time-driven Activity-based Cost Accounting (TDABC) and Standardized Clinical Assessment and Management Plans (SCAMPs).

    PubMed

    Waters, Peter M

    2015-01-01

    The continuing increases in health care expenditures as well as the importance of providing safe, effective, timely, patient-centered care has brought government and commercial payer pressure on hospitals and providers to document the value of the care they deliver. This article introduces work at Boston Children's Hospital on time-driven activity-based accounting to determine cost of care delivery; combined with Systemic Clinical Assessment and Management Plans to reduce variation and improve outcomes. The focus so far has been on distal radius fracture care for children and adolescents. PMID:26049304

  12. Approach to nitinol power plant cost analysis

    SciTech Connect

    McNichols, J.L. Jr.; Cory, J.S.; Curtis, E.H.

    1982-11-01

    The objective of this paper is tof provide a method for cost evaluation of low grade thermal energy conversion by Nitinol power plants. To accomplish this objective Nitinol power plant costs are subdivided int those which can be obtained through conventional cost analysis, and those which are associated with the Nitino heat engine and are not subject to conventional analysis. Analytic expressions are provided for the Nitinol heat engine capital costs and Nitinol replacement costs in terms of Nitinol performance, heat engine configuration, plant operating factors, material costs, and the cost of capital. Nitinol working material factors are identified that require further definition before firm and reliable costs can be determined. Where data are lacking, plausible assumptions and estimates are utilized tof perform a first-cut analysis. It is found that the Nitinol heat engine capital costs per unit power generating capacity are approximately $0.15/W, and that the cost of produced energy for the Nitinol heat engine portion of the power plant is approximately 0.74 /kWh, includin operation, maintenance, Nitinol replacements and the cost of capital for the heat engine. It is concluded tha Nitinol power plants for the conversion of low grade thermal energy may have a significant economical advantage over conventionally fueled power plants.

  13. The JPL Cost Risk Analysis Approach that Incorporates Engineering Realism

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Harmon, Corey C.; Warfield, Keith R.; Rosenberg, Leigh S.

    2006-01-01

    This paper discusses the JPL Cost Engineering Group (CEG) cost risk analysis approach that accounts for all three types of cost risk. It will also describe the evaluation of historical cost data upon which this method is based. This investigation is essential in developing a method that is rooted in engineering realism and produces credible, dependable results to aid decision makers.

  14. Evaluating Reliability: A Cost-Effectiveness Approach.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hogan, Andrew

    1986-01-01

    This study derives the economic costs of misclassification in nursing home patient classification systems. These costs are then used as weights to estimate the reliability of a functional assessment instrument. Results suggest that reliability must be redefined and remeasured with each substantively new application of an assessment instrument.…

  15. Cost Information and Formula Funding: New Approaches.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Allen, Richard H., Ed.; Topping, James R., Ed.

    A report based on a conference on the impact of cost information on statewide budgeting and planning is presented. The conference was organized around case-study reports on the use of cost information in higher education budgeting in Florida, Indiana, Washington, and Wisconsin. Rather than publishing convention proceedings, the case studies were…

  16. An approach to software cost estimation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcgarry, F.; Page, J.; Card, D.; Rohleder, M.; Church, V.

    1984-01-01

    A general procedure for software cost estimation in any environment is outlined. The basic concepts of work and effort estimation are explained, some popular resource estimation models are reviewed, and the accuracy of source estimates is discussed. A software cost prediction procedure based on the experiences of the Software Engineering Laboratory in the flight dynamics area and incorporating management expertise, cost models, and historical data is described. The sources of information and relevant parameters available during each phase of the software life cycle are identified. The methodology suggested incorporates these elements into a customized management tool for software cost prediction. Detailed guidelines for estimation in the flight dynamics environment developed using this methodology are presented.

  17. Modeling complexity in pathologist workload measurement: the Automatable Activity-Based Approach to Complexity Unit Scoring (AABACUS).

    PubMed

    Cheung, Carol C; Torlakovic, Emina E; Chow, Hung; Snover, Dale C; Asa, Sylvia L

    2015-03-01

    Pathologists provide diagnoses relevant to the disease state of the patient and identify specific tissue characteristics relevant to response to therapy and prognosis. As personalized medicine evolves, there is a trend for increased demand of tissue-derived parameters. Pathologists perform increasingly complex analyses on the same 'cases'. Traditional methods of workload assessment and reimbursement, based on number of cases sometimes with a modifier (eg, the relative value unit (RVU) system used in the United States), often grossly underestimate the amount of work needed for complex cases and may overvalue simple, small biopsy cases. We describe a new approach to pathologist workload measurement that aligns with this new practice paradigm. Our multisite institution with geographically diverse partner institutions has developed the Automatable Activity-Based Approach to Complexity Unit Scoring (AABACUS) model that captures pathologists' clinical activities from parameters documented in departmental laboratory information systems (LISs). The model's algorithm includes: 'capture', 'export', 'identify', 'count', 'score', 'attribute', 'filter', and 'assess filtered results'. Captured data include specimen acquisition, handling, analysis, and reporting activities. Activities were counted and complexity units (CUs) generated using a complexity factor for each activity. CUs were compared between institutions, practice groups, and practice types and evaluated over a 5-year period (2008-2012). The annual load of a clinical service pathologist, irrespective of subspecialty, was ∼40,000 CUs using relative benchmarking. The model detected changing practice patterns and was appropriate for monitoring clinical workload for anatomical pathology, neuropathology, and hematopathology in academic and community settings, and encompassing subspecialty and generalist practices. AABACUS is objective, can be integrated with an LIS and automated, is reproducible, backwards compatible

  18. Supplemental/Replacement: An Alternative Approach to Excess Costs.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hartman, William T.

    1990-01-01

    This article proposes a new operational definition of excess cost in determining state and federal funding for special education. The new approach is based on programs and services rather than accounting calculations of the difference between special education cost per student and regular education cost per student. (Author/DB)

  19. Counting Costs: A Social Science Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Foster, Harold D.

    1978-01-01

    The author briefly outlines a socially-based accounting system which evaluates not only economic but also social and aesthetic variables in arriving at a quantification of the benefits and costs of any action or failure to act. This system is designed to provide an additional tool in decision-making. (Author/MA)

  20. Systematic Approach to Better Understanding Integration Costs: Preprint

    SciTech Connect

    Stark, Gregory B.

    2015-09-28

    When someone mentions integration costs, thoughts of the costs of integrating renewable generation into an existing system come to mind. We think about how variability and uncertainty can increase power system cycling costs as increasing amounts of wind or solar generation are incorporated into the generation mix. However, seldom do we think about what happens to system costs when new baseload generation is added to an existing system or when generation self-schedules. What happens when a highly flexible combined-cycle plant is added? Do system costs go up, or do they go down? Are other, non-cycling, maintenance costs impacted? In this paper we investigate six technologies and operating practices--including VG, baseload generation, generation mix, gas prices, self-scheduling, and fast-start generation--and how changes in these areas can impact a system's operating costs. This paper provides a working definition of integration costs and four components of variable costs. It describes the study approach and how a production cost modeling-based method was used to determine the cost effects, and, as a part of the study approach section, it describes the test system and data used for the comparisons. Finally, it presents the research findings, and, in closing, suggests three areas for future work.

  1. A top-down approach to heliostat cost reduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Larmuth, James N.; Landamn, Willem A.; Gauché, Paul

    2016-05-01

    The Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) has funded a South African central receiver collector technology development project, called Helio100. The project aims to provide South Africa's first commercially viable heliostat technology, which is both low in cost and offers high local content potential. A top-down approach is employed for heliostat cost reduction. This approach incorporates interlinked tools which move from high level cost analyses based on qualitative data during early stages of conceptual design, to detailed quantitative analyses in the final stages of design. Low cost heliostat designs are realized by the incorporation of both a top-down and bottom-up method. The current H100 design results in heliostat costs of 155/m2 at 20 000 units p.a. while further industrialisation results in heliostat costs of 126/m2 at 20 000 units.

  2. Flipping the Calculus Classroom: A Cost-Effective Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Young, Andrea

    2015-01-01

    This article discusses a cost-effective approach to flipping the calculus classroom. In particular, the emphasis is on low-cost choices, both monetarily and with regards to faculty time, that make the daunting task of flipping a course manageable for a single instructor. Student feedback and overall impressions are also presented.

  3. Theoretical, Methodological, and Empirical Approaches to Cost Savings: A Compendium

    SciTech Connect

    M Weimar

    1998-12-10

    This publication summarizes and contains the original documentation for understanding why the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) privatization approach provides cost savings and the different approaches that could be used in calculating cost savings for the Tank Waste Remediation System (TWRS) Phase I contract. The initial section summarizes the approaches in the different papers. The appendices are the individual source papers which have been reviewed by individuals outside of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the TWRS Program. Appendix A provides a theoretical basis for and estimate of the level of savings that can be" obtained from a fixed-priced contract with performance risk maintained by the contractor. Appendix B provides the methodology for determining cost savings when comparing a fixed-priced contractor with a Management and Operations (M&O) contractor (cost-plus contractor). Appendix C summarizes the economic model used to calculate cost savings and provides hypothetical output from preliminary calculations. Appendix D provides the summary of the approach for the DOE-Richland Operations Office (RL) estimate of the M&O contractor to perform the same work as BNFL Inc. Appendix E contains information on cost growth and per metric ton of glass costs for high-level waste at two other DOE sites, West Valley and Savannah River. Appendix F addresses a risk allocation analysis of the BNFL proposal that indicates,that the current approach is still better than the alternative.

  4. Estimating the Costs of Educating Handicapped Children: A Resource-Cost Model Approach--Summary Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hartman, William T.

    The purpose of this study was to develop an appropriate methodology and use it to estimate the costs of providing appropriate special education programs and services for all school-aged handicapped children in the U.S. in 1980-81. A resource-cost model approach was selected, based on a mathematical formulation of the relationships among students,…

  5. MESA - A new approach to low cost scientific spacecraft

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keyes, G. W.; Case, C. M.

    1982-09-01

    Today, the greatest obstacle to science and exploration in space is its cost. The present investigation is concerned with approaches for reducing this cost. Trends in the scientific spacecraft market are examined, and a description is presented for the MESA space platform concept. The cost drivers are considered, taking into account planning, technical aspects, and business factors. It is pointed out that the primary function of the MESA concept is to provide a satellite system at the lowest possible price. In order to reach this goal an attempt is made to benefit from all of the considered cost drivers. It is to be tried to work with the customer early in the mission analysis stage in order to assist in finding the right compromise between mission cost and return. A three phase contractual arrangement is recommended for MESA platforms. The phases are related to mission feasibility, specification definition, and design and development. Modular kit design promotes flexibility at low cost.

  6. Cost approach of health care entity intangible asset valuation.

    PubMed

    Reilly, Robert F

    2012-01-01

    In the valuation synthesis and conclusion process, the analyst should consider the following question: Does the selected valuation approach(es) and method(s) accomplish the analyst's assignment? Also, does the selected valuation approach and method actually quantify the desired objective of the intangible asset analysis? The analyst should also consider if the selected valuation approach and method analyzes the appropriate bundle of legal rights. The analyst should consider if there were sufficient empirical data available to perform the selected valuation approach and method. The valuation synthesis should consider if there were sufficient data available to make the analyst comfortable with the value conclusion. The valuation analyst should consider if the selected approach and method will be understandable to the intended audience. In the valuation synthesis and conclusion, the analyst should also consider which approaches and methods deserve the greatest consideration with respect to the intangible asset's RUL. The intangible asset RUL is a consideration of each valuation approach. In the income approach, the RUL may affect the projection period for the intangible asset income subject to either yield capitalization or direct capitalization. In the cost approach, the RUL may affect the total amount of obsolescence, if any, from the estimate cost measure (that is, the intangible reproduction cost new or replacement cost new). In the market approach, the RUL may effect the selection, rejection, and/or adjustment of the comparable or guideline intangible asset sale and license transactional data. The experienced valuation analyst will use professional judgment to weight the various value indications to conclude a final intangible asset value, based on: The analyst's confidence in the quantity and quality of available data; The analyst's level of due diligence performed on that data; The relevance of the valuation method to the intangible asset life cycle stage and

  7. New Approaches in Reuseable Booster System Life Cycle Cost Modeling

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zapata, Edgar

    2013-01-01

    This paper presents the results of a 2012 life cycle cost (LCC) study of hybrid Reusable Booster Systems (RBS) conducted by NASA Kennedy Space Center (KSC) and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). The work included the creation of a new cost estimating model and an LCC analysis, building on past work where applicable, but emphasizing the integration of new approaches in life cycle cost estimation. Specifically, the inclusion of industry processes/practices and indirect costs were a new and significant part of the analysis. The focus of LCC estimation has traditionally been from the perspective of technology, design characteristics, and related factors such as reliability. Technology has informed the cost related support to decision makers interested in risk and budget insight. This traditional emphasis on technology occurs even though it is well established that complex aerospace systems costs are mostly about indirect costs, with likely only partial influence in these indirect costs being due to the more visible technology products. Organizational considerations, processes/practices, and indirect costs are traditionally derived ("wrapped") only by relationship to tangible product characteristics. This traditional approach works well as long as it is understood that no significant changes, and by relation no significant improvements, are being pursued in the area of either the government acquisition or industry?s indirect costs. In this sense then, most launch systems cost models ignore most costs. The alternative was implemented in this LCC study, whereby the approach considered technology and process/practices in balance, with as much detail for one as the other. This RBS LCC study has avoided point-designs, for now, instead emphasizing exploring the trade-space of potential technology advances joined with potential process/practice advances. Given the range of decisions, and all their combinations, it was necessary to create a model of the original model

  8. New Approaches in Reusable Booster System Life Cycle Cost Modeling

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zapata, Edgar

    2013-01-01

    This paper presents the results of a 2012 life cycle cost (LCC) study of hybrid Reusable Booster Systems (RBS) conducted by NASA Kennedy Space Center (KSC) and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). The work included the creation of a new cost estimating model and an LCC analysis, building on past work where applicable, but emphasizing the integration of new approaches in life cycle cost estimation. Specifically, the inclusion of industry processes/practices and indirect costs were a new and significant part of the analysis. The focus of LCC estimation has traditionally been from the perspective of technology, design characteristics, and related factors such as reliability. Technology has informed the cost related support to decision makers interested in risk and budget insight. This traditional emphasis on technology occurs even though it is well established that complex aerospace systems costs are mostly about indirect costs, with likely only partial influence in these indirect costs being due to the more visible technology products. Organizational considerations, processes/practices, and indirect costs are traditionally derived ("wrapped") only by relationship to tangible product characteristics. This traditional approach works well as long as it is understood that no significant changes, and by relation no significant improvements, are being pursued in the area of either the government acquisition or industry?s indirect costs. In this sense then, most launch systems cost models ignore most costs. The alternative was implemented in this LCC study, whereby the approach considered technology and process/practices in balance, with as much detail for one as the other. This RBS LCC study has avoided point-designs, for now, instead emphasizing exploring the trade-space of potential technology advances joined with potential process/practice advances. Given the range of decisions, and all their combinations, it was necessary to create a model of the original model

  9. Thresholds for the cost-effectiveness of interventions: alternative approaches.

    PubMed

    Marseille, Elliot; Larson, Bruce; Kazi, Dhruv S; Kahn, James G; Rosen, Sydney

    2015-02-01

    Many countries use the cost-effectiveness thresholds recommended by the World Health Organization's Choosing Interventions that are Cost-Effective project (WHO-CHOICE) when evaluating health interventions. This project sets the threshold for cost-effectiveness as the cost of the intervention per disability-adjusted life-year (DALY) averted less than three times the country's annual gross domestic product (GDP) per capita. Highly cost-effective interventions are defined as meeting a threshold per DALY averted of once the annual GDP per capita. We argue that reliance on these thresholds reduces the value of cost-effectiveness analyses and makes such analyses too blunt to be useful for most decision-making in the field of public health. Use of these thresholds has little theoretical justification, skirts the difficult but necessary ranking of the relative values of locally-applicable interventions and omits any consideration of what is truly affordable. The WHO-CHOICE thresholds set such a low bar for cost-effectiveness that very few interventions with evidence of efficacy can be ruled out. The thresholds have little value in assessing the trade-offs that decision-makers must confront. We present alternative approaches for applying cost-effectiveness criteria to choices in the allocation of health-care resources. PMID:25883405

  10. Design optimization for cost and quality: The robust design approach

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Unal, Resit

    1990-01-01

    Designing reliable, low cost, and operable space systems has become the key to future space operations. Designing high quality space systems at low cost is an economic and technological challenge to the designer. A systematic and efficient way to meet this challenge is a new method of design optimization for performance, quality, and cost, called Robust Design. Robust Design is an approach for design optimization. It consists of: making system performance insensitive to material and subsystem variation, thus allowing the use of less costly materials and components; making designs less sensitive to the variations in the operating environment, thus improving reliability and reducing operating costs; and using a new structured development process so that engineering time is used most productively. The objective in Robust Design is to select the best combination of controllable design parameters so that the system is most robust to uncontrollable noise factors. The robust design methodology uses a mathematical tool called an orthogonal array, from design of experiments theory, to study a large number of decision variables with a significantly small number of experiments. Robust design also uses a statistical measure of performance, called a signal-to-noise ratio, from electrical control theory, to evaluate the level of performance and the effect of noise factors. The purpose is to investigate the Robust Design methodology for improving quality and cost, demonstrate its application by the use of an example, and suggest its use as an integral part of space system design process.

  11. Applying electrical utility least-cost approach to transportation planning

    SciTech Connect

    McCoy, G.A.; Growdon, K.; Lagerberg, B.

    1994-09-01

    Members of the energy and environmental communities believe that parallels exist between electrical utility least-cost planning and transportation planning. In particular, the Washington State Energy Strategy Committee believes that an integrated and comprehensive transportation planning process should be developed to fairly evaluate the costs of both demand-side and supply-side transportation options, establish competition between different travel modes, and select the mix of options designed to meet system goals at the lowest cost to society. Comparisons between travel modes are also required under the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA). ISTEA calls for the development of procedures to compare demand management against infrastructure investment solutions and requires the consideration of efficiency, socioeconomic and environmental factors in the evaluation process. Several of the techniques and approaches used in energy least-cost planning and utility peak demand management can be incorporated into a least-cost transportation planning methodology. The concepts of avoided plants, expressing avoidable costs in levelized nominal dollars to compare projects with different on-line dates and service lives, the supply curve, and the resource stack can be directly adapted from the energy sector.

  12. Activity-Based Management System Implementation in Higher Education Institution: Benefits and Challenges

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ismail, Noor Azizi

    2010-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to discuss how activity-based costing (ABC) technique can be applied in the context of higher education institutions. It also discusses the obstacles and challenges to the successful implementation of activity-based management (ABM) in the higher education environment. Design/methodology/approach: This paper…

  13. Quantifying the direct transfer costs of common brushtail possum dispersal using least-cost modelling: a combined cost-surface and accumulated-cost dispersal kernel approach.

    PubMed

    Etherington, Thomas R; Perry, George L W; Cowan, Phil E; Clout, Mick N

    2014-01-01

    Dispersal costs need to be quantified from empirical data and incorporated into dispersal models to improve our understanding of the dispersal process. We are interested in quantifying how landscape features affect the immediately incurred direct costs associated with the transfer of an organism from one location to another. We propose that least-cost modelling is one method that can be used to quantify direct transfer costs. By representing the landscape as a cost-surface, which describes the costs associated with traversing different landscape features, least-cost modelling is often applied to measure connectivity between locations in accumulated-cost units that are a combination of both the distance travelled and the costs traversed. However, we take an additional step by defining an accumulated-cost dispersal kernel, which describes the probability of dispersal in accumulated-cost units. This novel combination of cost-surface and accumulated-cost dispersal kernel enables the transfer stage of dispersal to incorporate the effects of landscape features by modifying the direction of dispersal based on the cost-surface and the distance of dispersal based on the accumulated-cost dispersal kernel. We apply this approach to the common brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) within the North Island of New Zealand, demonstrating how commonly collected empirical dispersal data can be used to calibrate a cost-surface and associated accumulated-cost dispersal kernel. Our results indicate that considerable improvements could be made to the modelling of the transfer stage of possum dispersal by using a cost-surface and associated accumulated-cost dispersal kernel instead of a more traditional straight-line distance based dispersal kernel. We envisage a variety of ways in which the information from this novel combination of a cost-surface and accumulated-cost dispersal kernel could be gainfully incorporated into existing dispersal models. This would enable more realistic

  14. Quantifying the Direct Transfer Costs of Common Brushtail Possum Dispersal using Least-Cost Modelling: A Combined Cost-Surface and Accumulated-Cost Dispersal Kernel Approach

    PubMed Central

    Etherington, Thomas R.; Perry, George L. W.; Cowan, Phil E.; Clout, Mick N.

    2014-01-01

    Dispersal costs need to be quantified from empirical data and incorporated into dispersal models to improve our understanding of the dispersal process. We are interested in quantifying how landscape features affect the immediately incurred direct costs associated with the transfer of an organism from one location to another. We propose that least-cost modelling is one method that can be used to quantify direct transfer costs. By representing the landscape as a cost-surface, which describes the costs associated with traversing different landscape features, least-cost modelling is often applied to measure connectivity between locations in accumulated-cost units that are a combination of both the distance travelled and the costs traversed. However, we take an additional step by defining an accumulated-cost dispersal kernel, which describes the probability of dispersal in accumulated-cost units. This novel combination of cost-surface and accumulated-cost dispersal kernel enables the transfer stage of dispersal to incorporate the effects of landscape features by modifying the direction of dispersal based on the cost-surface and the distance of dispersal based on the accumulated-cost dispersal kernel. We apply this approach to the common brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) within the North Island of New Zealand, demonstrating how commonly collected empirical dispersal data can be used to calibrate a cost-surface and associated accumulated-cost dispersal kernel. Our results indicate that considerable improvements could be made to the modelling of the transfer stage of possum dispersal by using a cost-surface and associated accumulated-cost dispersal kernel instead of a more traditional straight-line distance based dispersal kernel. We envisage a variety of ways in which the information from this novel combination of a cost-surface and accumulated-cost dispersal kernel could be gainfully incorporated into existing dispersal models. This would enable more realistic

  15. Approaches to the design of low-cost HUD systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wisely, Paul L.; Bleha, Willaim P.

    2014-06-01

    Since their inception during the Second World War in the simple gyro reflector gun sights of combat aircraft such as the Supermarine Spitfire, HUDs have been developed to achieve ever greater capability and performance, initially in military applications but in the final quarter of the last century for civil applications. With increased performance and capability came increased complexity and an attendant steady increase in cost such that HUDs in civil applications are only to be found in some large passenger and high end business jets. The physical volume of current solutions also has a significant impact on where they may be fitted and this paper discusses techniques and approaches to reduce the volume and costs associated with HUD implementation thereby making the operational and safety benefits of HUD available to a broader range of applications in lower cost airframes.

  16. A Novel Approach for a Low-Cost Deployable Antenna

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Amend, Chris; Nurnberger, Michael; Oppenheimer, Paul; Koss, Steve; Purdy, Bill

    2010-01-01

    The Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) has designed, built, and fully qualified a low cost, low Passive Intermodulation (PIM) 12-foot (3.66-m) diameter deployable ultra high frequency (UHF) antenna for the Tacsat-4 program. The design utilized novel approaches in reflector material and capacitive coupling techniques. This paper discusses major design trades, unique design characteristics, and lessons learned from the development of the Tacsat 4 deployable antenna. This antenna development was sponsored by the Office of Naval Research.

  17. An evolutionary morphological approach for software development cost estimation.

    PubMed

    Araújo, Ricardo de A; Oliveira, Adriano L I; Soares, Sergio; Meira, Silvio

    2012-08-01

    In this work we present an evolutionary morphological approach to solve the software development cost estimation (SDCE) problem. The proposed approach consists of a hybrid artificial neuron based on framework of mathematical morphology (MM) with algebraic foundations in the complete lattice theory (CLT), referred to as dilation-erosion perceptron (DEP). Also, we present an evolutionary learning process, called DEP(MGA), using a modified genetic algorithm (MGA) to design the DEP model, because a drawback arises from the gradient estimation of morphological operators in the classical learning process of the DEP, since they are not differentiable in the usual way. Furthermore, an experimental analysis is conducted with the proposed model using five complex SDCE problems and three well-known performance metrics, demonstrating good performance of the DEP model to solve SDCE problems. PMID:22560678

  18. Cost estimation: An expert-opinion approach. [cost analysis of research projects using the Delphi method (forecasting)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Buffalano, C.; Fogleman, S.; Gielecki, M.

    1976-01-01

    A methodology is outlined which can be used to estimate the costs of research and development projects. The approach uses the Delphi technique a method developed by the Rand Corporation for systematically eliciting and evaluating group judgments in an objective manner. The use of the Delphi allows for the integration of expert opinion into the cost-estimating process in a consistent and rigorous fashion. This approach can also signal potential cost-problem areas. This result can be a useful tool in planning additional cost analysis or in estimating contingency funds. A Monte Carlo approach is also examined.

  19. Assessing the Costs of Adequacy in California Public Schools: A Cost Function Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Imazeki, Jennifer

    2008-01-01

    In this study, a cost function is used to estimate the costs for California districts to meet the achievement goals set out for them by the state. I calculate estimates of base costs (i.e., per pupil costs in a district with relatively low levels of student need) and marginal costs (i.e., the additional costs associated with specific student…

  20. Simple low-cost miniaturization approach for pharmaceutical nanocrystals production.

    PubMed

    Romero, Gregori B; Keck, Cornelia M; Müller, Rainer H

    2016-03-30

    Systematic screening for optimal formulation composition and production parameters for nanosuspensions consumes a lot of time and also drug material when performed at lab scale. Therefore, a cost-effective miniaturized scale top down approach for nanocrystals production by wet bead milling was developed. The final set-up consisted of 3 magnetic stirring bars placed vertically one over the other in a 2 mL glass vial and agitated by a common magnetic stirring plate. All of the tested actives (cyclosporin A, resveratrol, hesperitin, ascorbyl palmitate, apigenin and hesperidin) could be converted to nanosuspensions. For 4 of them, the particles sizes achieved were smaller than previously reported on the literature (around 90 nm for cyclosporin A; 50 nm for hesperitin; 160 nm for ascorbyl palmitate and 80 nm for apigenin). The "transferability" of the data collect by the miniaturized method was evaluated comparing the production at larger scale using both wet bead milling and high pressure homogenization. Transferable information obtained from the miniaturized scale is minimum achievable size, improvements in size reduction by reduction of beads size, diminution kinetics and potentially occurring instabilities during processing. The small scale batches also allow identification of optimal stabilizer types and concentrations. The batch size is 0.5 mL, requiring approximately 50 mg or 5 mg of drug (5% and 1% suspension, respectively). Thus, a simple, accessible, low-cost miniaturized scale method for the production of pharmaceutical nanocrystals was established. PMID:26642945

  1. Cost model validation: a technical and cultural approach

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hihn, J.; Rosenberg, L.; Roust, K.; Warfield, K.

    2001-01-01

    This paper summarizes how JPL's parametric mission cost model (PMCM) has been validated using both formal statistical methods and a variety of peer and management reviews in order to establish organizational acceptance of the cost model estimates.

  2. A market approach to better care at lower cost.

    PubMed

    Antos, Joseph

    2015-11-01

    The Affordable Care Act expanded health insurance coverage in the United States but did little to address the structural problems that plague the U.S. health care system. Controlling cost while maintaining or improving access to quality care requires a more fundamental reform based on market principles. Such an approach means aligning the financial incentives of patients and providers to promote smarter spending. It also requires better information and more flexible regulation to promote well-functioning competitive markets. Key elements of these reforms include setting reasonable limits on subsidies for Medicare, Medicaid, and private health insurance; modernizing the Medicare program and adopting reforms that promote competition between traditional Medicare and Medicare Advantage; allowing greater flexibility for states in running their Medicaid programs; enacting smarter regulations to protect consumers without imposing greater inefficiency on the health market; and promoting more direct consumer involvement in all phases of their health and health care. These changes will challenge academic medical centers as a new era of creativity and competition emerges in the health care market. PMID:26375266

  3. Parts and Components Reliability Assessment: A Cost Effective Approach

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lee, Lydia

    2009-01-01

    System reliability assessment is a methodology which incorporates reliability analyses performed at parts and components level such as Reliability Prediction, Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA) and Fault Tree Analysis (FTA) to assess risks, perform design tradeoffs, and therefore, to ensure effective productivity and/or mission success. The system reliability is used to optimize the product design to accommodate today?s mandated budget, manpower, and schedule constraints. Stand ard based reliability assessment is an effective approach consisting of reliability predictions together with other reliability analyses for electronic, electrical, and electro-mechanical (EEE) complex parts and components of large systems based on failure rate estimates published by the United States (U.S.) military or commercial standards and handbooks. Many of these standards are globally accepted and recognized. The reliability assessment is especially useful during the initial stages when the system design is still in the development and hard failure data is not yet available or manufacturers are not contractually obliged by their customers to publish the reliability estimates/predictions for their parts and components. This paper presents a methodology to assess system reliability using parts and components reliability estimates to ensure effective productivity and/or mission success in an efficient manner, low cost, and tight schedule.

  4. Ethical objections against including life-extension costs in cost-effectiveness analysis: a consistent approach.

    PubMed

    Gandjour, Afschin; Müller, Dirk

    2014-10-01

    One of the major ethical concerns regarding cost-effectiveness analysis in health care has been the inclusion of life-extension costs ("it is cheaper to let people die"). For this reason, many analysts have opted to rule out life-extension costs from the analysis. However, surprisingly little has been written in the health economics literature regarding this ethical concern and the resulting practice. The purpose of this work was to present a framework and potential solution for ethical objections against life-extension costs. This work found three levels of ethical concern: (i) with respect to all life-extension costs (disease-related and -unrelated); (ii) with respect to disease-unrelated costs only; and (iii) regarding disease-unrelated costs plus disease-related costs not influenced by the intervention. Excluding all life-extension costs for ethical reasons would require-for reasons of consistency-a simultaneous exclusion of savings from reducing morbidity. At the other extreme, excluding only disease-unrelated life-extension costs for ethical reasons would require-again for reasons of consistency-the exclusion of health gains due to treatment of unrelated diseases. Therefore, addressing ethical concerns regarding the inclusion of life-extension costs necessitates fundamental changes in the calculation of cost effectiveness. PMID:25027546

  5. Review of aerospace engineering cost modelling: The genetic causal approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Curran, R.; Raghunathan, S.; Price, M.

    2004-11-01

    The primary intention of this paper is to review the current state of the art in engineering cost modelling as applied to aerospace. This is a topic of current interest and in addressing the literature, the presented work also sets out some of the recognised definitions of cost that relate to the engineering domain. The paper does not attempt to address the higher-level financial sector but rather focuses on the costing issues directly relevant to the engineering process, primarily those of design and manufacture. This is of more contemporary interest as there is now a shift towards the analysis of the influence of cost, as defined in more engineering related terms; in an attempt to link into integrated product and process development (IPPD) within a concurrent engineering environment. Consequently, the cost definitions are reviewed in the context of the nature of cost as applicable to the engineering process stages: from bidding through to design, to manufacture, to procurement and ultimately, to operation. The linkage and integration of design and manufacture is addressed in some detail. This leads naturally to the concept of engineers influencing and controlling cost within their own domain rather than trusting this to financers who have little control over the cause of cost. In terms of influence, the engineer creates the potential for cost and in a concurrent environment this requires models that integrate cost into the decision making process.

  6. A Patient-specific Approach to Hospital Cost Accounting

    PubMed Central

    Macdonald, Larry K.; Reuter, Louis F.

    1973-01-01

    The hospital facilities and manpower used for the various procedures of a delivery suite are identified and measured as the basis for determining individual patient costs. The method of measuring staff and facility requirements, including the “cost of readiness” and the cost of inherent inefficiencies, generates detailed information that can be used in determining utilization ranges for budgeting decisions, for planning space needs, for personnel scheduling, and for patient billing. PMID:4269322

  7. Commercial agencies and surrogate motherhood: a transaction cost approach.

    PubMed

    Galbraith, Mhairi; McLachlan, Hugh V; Swales, J Kim

    2005-03-01

    In this paper we investigate the legal arrangements involved in UK surrogate motherhood from a transaction-cost perspective. We outline the specific forms the transaction costs take and critically comment on the way in which the UK institutional and organisational arrangements at present adversely influence transaction costs. We then focus specifically on the potential role of surrogacy agencies and look at UK and US evidence on commercial and voluntary agencies. Policy implications follow. PMID:15889679

  8. The REFSAT approach to low-cost GPS terminals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sennott, J. W.; Choudhury, A. K.; Taylor, R. E.

    1979-01-01

    A concept utilizing a geostationary reference satellite (REFSAT) that broadcasts navigation aiding signals to low cost civil user terminals which employ the constellation of 24 NAVSTAR Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites for position determination is described. The signal acquisition, tracking and position fixing properties of such low cost, dual channel, L-band, civil user receiver designed to receive both GPS navigation and REFSAT navigation aiding signals is presented. REFSAT reduces the cost of user equipment.

  9. Full Costing of Business Programs: Benefits and Caveats

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Simmons, Cynthia; Wright, Michael; Jones, Vernon

    2006-01-01

    Purpose: To suggest an approach to program costing that includes the approaches and concepts developed in activity based costing. Design/methodology/approach: The paper utilizes a hypothetical case study of an Executive MBA program as a means of illustrating the suggested approach to costing. Findings: The paper illustrates both the benefits of…

  10. The Cost Effectiveness of 22 Approaches for Raising Student Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yeh, Stuart S.

    2010-01-01

    Review of cost-effectiveness studies suggests that rapid assessment is more cost effective with regard to student achievement than comprehensive school reform (CSR), cross-age tutoring, computer-assisted instruction, a longer school day, increases in teacher education, teacher experience or teacher salaries, summer school, more rigorous math…

  11. Earth Observatory Satellite system definition study. Report 4: Low cost management approach and recommendations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1974-01-01

    An analysis of low cost management approaches for the development of the Earth Observatory Satellite (EOS) is presented. The factors of the program which tend to increase costs are identified. The NASA/Industry interface is stressed to show how the interface can be improved to produce reduced program costs. Techniques and examples of cost reduction which can be applied to the EOS program are tabulated. Specific recommendations for actions to be taken to reduce costs in prescribed areas are submitted.

  12. Calculation of the Average Cost per Case of Dengue Fever in Mexico Using a Micro-Costing Approach

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Introduction The increasing burden of dengue fever (DF) in the Americas, and the current epidemic in previously unaffected countries, generate major costs for national healthcare systems. There is a need to quantify the average cost per DF case. In Mexico, few data are available on costs, despite DF being endemic in some areas. Extrapolations from studies in other countries may prove unreliable and are complicated by the two main Mexican healthcare systems (the Secretariat of Health [SS] and the Mexican Social Security Institute [IMSS]). The present study aimed to generate specific average DF cost-per-case data for Mexico using a micro-costing approach. Methods Expected medical costs associated with an ideal management protocol for DF (denoted ´ideal costs´) were compared with the medical costs of current treatment practice (denoted ´real costs´) in 2012. Real cost data were derived from chart review of DF cases and interviews with patients and key personnel from 64 selected hospitals and ambulatory care units in 16 states for IMSS and SS. In both institutions, ideal and real costs were estimated using the program, actions, activities, tasks, inputs (PAATI) approach, a micro-costing technique developed by us. Results Clinical pathways were obtained for 1,168 patients following review of 1,293 charts. Ideal and real costs for SS patients were US$165.72 and US$32.60, respectively, in the outpatient setting, and US$587.77 and US$490.93, respectively, in the hospital setting. For IMSS patients, ideal and real costs were US$337.50 and US$92.03, respectively, in the outpatient setting, and US$2,042.54 and US$1,644.69 in the hospital setting. Conclusions The markedly higher ideal versus real costs may indicate deficiencies in the actual care of patients with DF. It may be necessary to derive better estimates with micro-costing techniques and compare the ideal protocol with current practice when calculating these costs, as patients do not always receive optimal care

  13. The Influence of an Activity-Based Explicit Approach on the Turkish Prospective Science Teachers' Conceptions of the Nature of Science

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Celik, Suat; Bayrakceken, Samih

    2012-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of an activity-based explicit nature of science (NOS) instruction undertaken in the context of a "Science, Technology and Society" course on the prospective science teachers' (PSTs') understandings of NOS. In this course, social science based inquiry activities were used to as a context to lead…

  14. Low-Cost Approaches to Deep Space Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Squibb, G. F.; Edwards, C. D.; Schober, W. R.; Hooke, A. J.; Tai, W. S.; Pollmeier, V. M.

    2000-01-01

    The past decade has brought about a radical transformation in NASA's planetary exploration program. At the beginning of this decade, NASA was focused on the Cassini mission to Saturn. Following on the heels of the successful Voyager and Galileo missions, Cassini represents the culmination of an evolution towards successively larger, more complex, and more expensive spacecraft. The Cassini spacecraft weighs in at over 5 metric tons, and carries an entry probe and a sophisticated suite of sensors supporting 27 different science investigations enabling a comprehensive scientific investigation of Saturn with a single spacecraft. The cost of this spacecraft exceeded $2B, including the cost of the large Titan IV launch vehicle. During Cassini development, NASA realized that it could no longer afford these "flagship" missions, and the agency moved aggressively towards a "faster, better, cheaper" design philosophy of focused science goals and simpler, rapidly-developed spacecraft, allowing much more frequent launches of smaller, lower-cost missions. The Mars Global Surveyor, launched in November 1996, is an example of this new paradigm. Developed in less than 3-years, MGS is only one-fifth the mass of Cassini, and only cost on the order of $220M. The reduced spacecraft mass allows use of the smaller, lower cost Delta launch vehicle. Currently in orbit about Mars, MGS carries a focused suite of six science instruments that are currently returning high-resolution remote sensing of the Martian surface. The future calls for continued even more aggressive mass and cost targets. Examples of these next-generation goals are embodied in the Mars Micromission spacecraft concept, targeted for launch in 2003. With a mass of only 200kg, this lightweight bus can be tailored to carry a variety of payloads to Mars or other inner-planet destinations. The design of the Micromission spacecraft enable them to be launched at extremely low cost as a secondary "piggyback" payload.

  15. Cost-Effective Marine Protection--A Pragmatic Approach.

    PubMed

    Oinonen, Soile; Hyytiäinen, Kari; Ahlvik, Lassi; Laamanen, Maria; Lehtoranta, Virpi; Salojärvi, Joona; Virtanen, Jarno

    2016-01-01

    This paper puts forward a framework for probabilistic and holistic cost-effectiveness analysis to provide support in selecting the least-cost set of measures to reach a multidimensional environmental objective. Following the principles of ecosystem-based management, the framework includes a flexible methodology for deriving and populating criteria for effectiveness and costs and analyzing complex ecological-economic trade-offs under uncertainty. The framework is applied in the development of the Finnish Programme of Measures (PoM) for reaching the targets of the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). The numerical results demonstrate that substantial cost savings can be realized from careful consideration of the costs and multiple effects of management measures. If adopted, the proposed PoM would yield improvements in the state of the Baltic Sea, but the overall objective of the MSFD would not be reached by the target year of 2020; for various environmental and administrative reasons, it would take longer for most measures to take full effect. PMID:26751965

  16. Cost-Effective Marine Protection - A Pragmatic Approach

    PubMed Central

    Oinonen, Soile; Hyytiäinen, Kari; Ahlvik, Lassi; Laamanen, Maria; Lehtoranta, Virpi; Salojärvi, Joona; Virtanen, Jarno

    2016-01-01

    This paper puts forward a framework for probabilistic and holistic cost-effectiveness analysis to provide support in selecting the least-cost set of measures to reach a multidimensional environmental objective. Following the principles of ecosystem-based management, the framework includes a flexible methodology for deriving and populating criteria for effectiveness and costs and analyzing complex ecological-economic trade-offs under uncertainty. The framework is applied in the development of the Finnish Programme of Measures (PoM) for reaching the targets of the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). The numerical results demonstrate that substantial cost savings can be realized from careful consideration of the costs and multiple effects of management measures. If adopted, the proposed PoM would yield improvements in the state of the Baltic Sea, but the overall objective of the MSFD would not be reached by the target year of 2020; for various environmental and administrative reasons, it would take longer for most measures to take full effect. PMID:26751965

  17. Depth of manual dismantling analysis: a cost-benefit approach.

    PubMed

    Achillas, Ch; Aidonis, D; Vlachokostas, Ch; Karagiannidis, A; Moussiopoulos, N; Loulos, V

    2013-04-01

    This paper presents a decision support tool for manufacturers and recyclers towards end-of-life strategies for waste electrical and electronic equipment. A mathematical formulation based on the cost benefit analysis concept is herein analytically described in order to determine the parts and/or components of an obsolete product that should be either non-destructively recovered for reuse or be recycled. The framework optimally determines the depth of disassembly for a given product, taking into account economic considerations. On this basis, it embeds all relevant cost elements to be included in the decision-making process, such as recovered materials and (depreciated) parts/components, labor costs, energy consumption, equipment depreciation, quality control and warehousing. This tool can be part of the strategic decision-making process in order to maximize profitability or minimize end-of-life management costs. A case study to demonstrate the models' applicability is presented for a typical electronic product in terms of structure and material composition. Taking into account the market values of the pilot product's components, the manual disassembly is proven profitable with the marginal revenues from recovered reusable materials to be estimated at 2.93-23.06 €, depending on the level of disassembly. PMID:23374400

  18. Approaches to Costing Adult Literacy Programmes, Especially in Africa

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carr-Hill, Roy; Roberts, Fiona; Currie, Elizabeth

    2010-01-01

    Background: This study was originally prepared for the African Inter-Ministerial Conference on Literacy (September 2007) with the objective of analysing the costs of successful adult literacy programmes run both by government ministries, as well as international and national non-governmental organisations. Objectives: This study aims to increase…

  19. What Does a College Degree Cost? Comparing Approaches to Measuring "Cost Per Degree". Delta Cost Project White Paper Series

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnson, Nate

    2009-01-01

    What does it cost to provide a bachelor's-level education? This question arises with increasing frequency and urgency as pressure mounts on policymakers and education leaders to increase the education attainment level in the United States, to "Double the Numbers" in some cases. At the same time, the two traditional sources of financing--state…

  20. A simplified fuel control approach for low cost aircraft gas turbines.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gold, H.

    1973-01-01

    Cost reduction in aircraft turbine engines may be obtained through performance reductions that are acceptable for ranges that are considerably shorter than the range for which current and costly engines were developed. Cost reduction in the fuel control for these cost engines must be achieved without significant performance reduction. This paper describes a fuel control approach that appears to meet this requirement and reviews the work that has been performed on it over the past few years.

  1. External costs of coastal beach pollution: an hedonic approach

    SciTech Connect

    Wilman, E.A.

    1984-01-01

    A technique for inputing a monetary value to the loss in beach recreational services that would result from a hypothetical oil spill in the Georges Bank area combines an oil-spill risk analysis model with a hedonic pricing model of the market for tourist accommodations on Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard. The estimate of beach pollution costs associated with offshore oil development allows a rational judgment of whether the benefits of developing offshore oil outweigh the costs. The method is an effort to improve the economic efficiency of coastal zone management. The report concludes with a discussion of the many sources of uncertainty and suggestions for overcoming them. Five appendices present information on the models, variables, questionnaire responses, beaches, and factor patterns. 7 figures, 27 tables.

  2. Different approaches to estimating transition costs in the electric- utility industry

    SciTech Connect

    Baxter, L.W.

    1995-10-01

    The term ``transition costs`` describes the potential revenue shortfall (or welfare loss) a utility (or other actor) may experience through government-initiated deregulation of electricity generation. The potential for transition costs arises whenever a regulated industry is subject to competitive market forces as a result of explicit government action. Federal and state proposals to deregulate electricity generation sparked a national debate on transition costs in the electric-utility industry. Industry-wide transition cost estimates range from about $20 billion to $500 billion. Such disparate estimates raise important questions on estimation methods for decision makers. This report examines different approaches to estimating transition costs. The study has three objectives. First, we discuss the concept of transition cost. Second, we identify the major cost categories included in transition cost estimates and summarize the current debate on which specific costs are appropriately included in these estimates. Finally, we identify general and specific estimation approaches and assess their strengths and weaknesses. We relied primarily on the evidentiary records established at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the California Public Utilities Commission to identify major cost categories and specific estimation approaches. We also contacted regulatory commission staffs in ten states to ascertain estimation activities in each of these states. We refined a classification framework to describe and assess general estimation options. We subsequently developed and applied criteria to describe and assess specific estimation approaches proposed by federal regulators, state regulators, utilities, independent power companies, and consultants.

  3. Low Cost Manufacturing Approach of High Temperature PMC Components

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kannmacher, Kevin

    1997-01-01

    The overall objective is to develop a satisfactory sheet molding compound (SMC) of a high temperature polyimide, such as PMR-11-50, VCAP-75, or NB2-76, and to develop compression molding processing parameters for a random, chopped fiber, high temperature, sheet molding compound that will be more affordable than the traditional hand lay-up fabrication methods. Compression molding will reduce manufacturing costs of composites by: (1) minimizing the conventional machining required after fabrication due to the use of full 360 deg matched tooling, (2) reducing fabrication time by minimizing the intensive hand lay-up operations associated with individual ply fabrication techniques, such as ply orientation and ply count and (3) possibly reducing component mold time by advanced B-staging prior to molding. This program is an integral part of Allison's T406/AE engine family's growth plan, which will utilize technologies developed under NASA's Sub-sonic Transport (AST) programs, UHPTET initiatives, and internally through Allison's IR&D projects. Allison is aggressively pursuing this next generation of engines, with both commercial and military applications, by reducing the overall weight of the engine through the incorporation of advanced, lightweight, high temperature materials, such as polymer matrix composites. This infusion of new materials into the engine is also a major factor in reducing engine cost because it permits the use of physically smaller structural components to achieve the same thrust levels as the generation that it replaced. A lighter, more efficient propulsion system translates to a substantial cost and weight savings to an airframe's structure.

  4. An Industrial Engineering Approach to Cost Containment of Pharmacy Education.

    PubMed

    Duncan, Wendy; Bottenberg, Michelle; Chase, Marilea; Chesnut, Renae; Clarke, Cheryl; Schott, Kathryn; Torry, Ronald; Welty, Tim

    2015-11-25

    A 2-semester project explored employing teams of fourth-year industrial engineering students to optimize some of our academic management processes. Results included significant cost savings and increases in efficiency, effectiveness, and student and faculty satisfaction. While we did not adopt all of the students' recommendations, we did learn some important lessons. For example, an initial investment of time in developing a mutually clear understanding of the problems, constraints, and goals maximizes the value of industrial engineering analysis and recommendations. Overall, industrial engineering was a valuable tool for optimizing certain academic management processes. PMID:26839421

  5. An Industrial Engineering Approach to Cost Containment of Pharmacy Education

    PubMed Central

    Bottenberg, Michelle; Chase, Marilea; Chesnut, Renae; Clarke, Cheryl; Schott, Kathryn; Torry, Ronald; Welty, Tim

    2015-01-01

    A 2-semester project explored employing teams of fourth-year industrial engineering students to optimize some of our academic management processes. Results included significant cost savings and increases in efficiency, effectiveness, and student and faculty satisfaction. While we did not adopt all of the students’ recommendations, we did learn some important lessons. For example, an initial investment of time in developing a mutually clear understanding of the problems, constraints, and goals maximizes the value of industrial engineering analysis and recommendations. Overall, industrial engineering was a valuable tool for optimizing certain academic management processes. PMID:26839421

  6. Novel approach for low-cost muzzle flash detection system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Voskoboinik, Asher

    2008-04-01

    A low-cost muzzle flash detection based on CMOS sensor technology is proposed. This low-cost technology makes it possible to detect various transient events with characteristic times between dozens of microseconds up to dozens of milliseconds while sophisticated algorithms successfully separate them from false alarms by utilizing differences in geometrical characteristics and/or temporal signatures. The proposed system consists of off-the-shelf smart CMOS cameras with built-in signal and image processing capabilities for pre-processing together with allocated memory for storing a buffer of images for further post-processing. Such a sensor does not require sending giant amounts of raw data to a real-time processing unit but provides all calculations in-situ where processing results are the output of the sensor. This patented CMOS muzzle flash detection concept exhibits high-performance detection capability with very low false-alarm rates. It was found that most false-alarms due to sun glints are from sources at distances of 500-700 meters from the sensor and can be distinguished by time examination techniques from muzzle flash signals. This will enable to eliminate up to 80% of falsealarms due to sun specular reflections in the battle field. Additional effort to distinguish sun glints from suspected muzzle flash signal is made by optimization of the spectral band in Near-IR region. The proposed system can be used for muzzle detection of small arms, missiles and rockets and other military applications.

  7. [The cost of cancer in France: macroeconomic and microeconomic approaches, evolution towards a prospective payment system].

    PubMed

    Perrier, Lionel; Borella, Laurent; Philip, Thierry

    2003-11-01

    In this article we have reviewed the cost of cancer in France, based on a literature review. The cost of the treatment of cancer is estimated to be 10 thousand million euros for 75,000 lives saved annually. The increasing number of economic evaluations of cancer use both a macro economic approach, based on DRG data, and a micro economic approach, based on cost result analysis. These cost studies provide the elements for a decision aid in the context of social demands, budget constraints and the evolution towards a DRG's prospective payment system which characterises present organisation of health care in France. PMID:14706905

  8. The high cost of diarrhoeal illness for urban slum households–a cost-recovery approach: a cohort study

    PubMed Central

    Patel, Ronak B; Stoklosa, Hanni; Shitole, Shrutika; Shitole, Tejal; Sawant, Kiran; Nanarkar, Mahesh; Subbaraman, Ramnath; Ridpath, Alison; Patil-Deshmuk, Anita

    2013-01-01

    Objectives Rapid urbanisation has often meant that public infrastructure has not kept pace with growth leading to urban slums with poor access to water and sanitation and high rates of diarrhoea with greater household costs due to illness. This study sought to determine the monetary cost of diarrhoea to urban slum households in Kaula Bandar slum in Mumbai, India. The study also tested the hypotheses that the cost of water and sanitation infrastructure may be surpassed by the cumulative costs of diarrhoea for households in an urban slum community. Design A cohort study using a baseline survey of a random sample followed by a systematic longitudinal household survey. The baseline survey was administered to a random sample of households. The systematic longitudinal survey was administered to every available household in the community with a case of diarrhoea for a period of 5 weeks. Participants Every household in Kaula Bandar was approached for the longitudinal survey and all available and consenting adults were included. Results The direct cost of medical care for having at least one person in the household with diarrhoea was 205 rupees. Other direct costs brought total expenses to 291 rupees. Adding an average loss of 55 rupees per household from lost wages and monetising lost productivity from homemakers gave a total loss of 409 rupees per household. During the 5-week study period, this community lost an estimated 163 600 rupees or 3635 US dollars due to diarrhoeal illness. Conclusions The lack of basic water and sanitation infrastructure is expensive for urban slum households in this community. Financing approaches that transfer that cost to infrastructure development to prevent illness may be feasible. These findings along with the myriad of unmeasured benefits of preventing diarrhoeal illness add to pressing arguments for investment in basic water and sanitation infrastructure. PMID:23558731

  9. Economic burden of road traffic injuries: a micro-costing approach.

    PubMed

    Riewpaiboon, Arthorn; Piyauthakit, Piyanuch; Chaikledkaew, Usa

    2008-11-01

    This study aimed to determine the economic burden incurred from road traffic injuries in Thailand. It was designed as a prevalence-based cost-of-illness analysis from a societal perspective, employing a micro-costing bottom-up approach. It covered direct medical cost, direct non-medical cost, and indirect cost or productivity loss. Productivity loss covers the costs of work absence or death due to road traffic injuries suffered by persons of working age. We collected data on road traffic injuries and resource utilization which occurred in the fiscal year 2004. A simple random sampling was used to select 200 patients for analysis. The average cost of road traffic injuries per patient was USD 2,596 at 2004 prices. This can be divided into direct cost (USD 102, or 4%) and indirect cost (USD 2,494, or 96%). From these results, we can see that the indirect cost far outweighed the direct cost. To base decisions regarding road safety campaigns on savings of direct costs, particularly direct medical costs, is inadequate. Therefore, data on the complete cost of illness should be taken into account in the planning and creation of a road safety policy. PMID:19062706

  10. A Cost Effective System Design Approach for Critical Space Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Abbott, Larry Wayne; Cox, Gary; Nguyen, Hai

    2000-01-01

    NASA-JSC required an avionics platform capable of serving a wide range of applications in a cost-effective manner. In part, making the avionics platform cost effective means adhering to open standards and supporting the integration of COTS products with custom products. Inherently, operation in space requires low power, mass, and volume while retaining high performance, reconfigurability, scalability, and upgradability. The Universal Mini-Controller project is based on a modified PC/104-Plus architecture while maintaining full compatibility with standard COTS PC/104 products. The architecture consists of a library of building block modules, which can be mixed and matched to meet a specific application. A set of NASA developed core building blocks, processor card, analog input/output card, and a Mil-Std-1553 card, have been constructed to meet critical functions and unique interfaces. The design for the processor card is based on the PowerPC architecture. This architecture provides an excellent balance between power consumption and performance, and has an upgrade path to the forthcoming radiation hardened PowerPC processor. The processor card, which makes extensive use of surface mount technology, has a 166 MHz PowerPC 603e processor, 32 Mbytes of error detected and corrected RAM, 8 Mbytes of Flash, and I Mbytes of EPROM, on a single PC/104-Plus card. Similar densities have been achieved with the quad channel Mil-Std-1553 card and the analog input/output cards. The power management built into the processor and its peripheral chip allows the power and performance of the system to be adjusted to meet the requirements of the application, allowing another dimension to the flexibility of the Universal Mini-Controller. Unique mechanical packaging allows the Universal Mini-Controller to accommodate standard COTS and custom oversized PC/104-Plus cards. This mechanical packaging also provides thermal management via conductive cooling of COTS boards, which are typically

  11. Mars Relay Spacecraft: A Low-Cost Approach

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    SvitekT, .; King, J.; Fulton, R.; McOmber, R.; Hastrup, R.; Miller, A.

    1995-01-01

    The next phase of Mars exploration will utilize numerous globally distributed small low-cost devices including landers penetrators microrovers and balloons. Direct-to-Earth communications links if required for these landers will drive the lander design for two reasons: a) mass and complexity needed for a steerable high-gain antenna and b) power requirements for a high-power amplifier (i.e. solar panel and battery mass). Total mass of the direct link hardware for several recent small-lander designs exceeded the mass of the scientific payload. Alternatively if communications are via a Mars-orbiting relay spacecraft resource requirements for the local UHF communication link are comparatively trivial: a simple whip antenna and less than 1 watt power. Clearly using a Mars relay spacecraft (MRS) is the preferred option if the MRS mission can be accomplished in an affordable and robust way. Our paper describes a point design for such a mission launched in the s001 or 2003 opportunity.

  12. Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA): A Practical and Cost Effective Approach

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lee, Lydia L.; Ingegneri, Antonino J.; Djam, Melody

    2006-01-01

    The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) is the first mission of the Robotic Lunar Exploration Program (RLEP), a space exploration venture to the Moon, Mars and beyond. The LRO mission includes spacecraft developed by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) and seven instruments built by GSFC, Russia, and contractors across the nation. LRO is defined as a measurement mission, not a science mission. It emphasizes the overall objectives of obtaining data to facilitate returning mankind safely to the Moon in preparation for an eventual manned mission to Mars. As the first mission in response to the President's commitment of the journey of exploring the solar system and beyond: returning to the Moon in the next decade, then venturing further into the solar system, ultimately sending humans to Mars and beyond, LRO has high-visibility to the public but limited resources and a tight schedule. This paper demonstrates how NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Mission project office incorporated reliability analyses in assessing risks and performing design tradeoffs to ensure mission success. Risk assessment is performed using NASA Procedural Requirements (NPR) 8705.5 - Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA) Procedures for NASA Programs and Projects to formulate probabilistic risk assessment (PRA). As required, a limited scope PRA is being performed for the LRO project. The PRA is used to optimize the mission design within mandated budget, manpower, and schedule constraints. The technique that LRO project office uses to perform PRA relies on the application of a component failure database to quantify the potential mission success risks. To ensure mission success in an efficient manner, low cost and tight schedule, the traditional reliability analyses, such as reliability predictions, Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA), and Fault Tree Analysis (FTA), are used to perform PRA for the large system of LRO with more than 14,000 piece parts and over 120 purchased or contractor

  13. A Systems Approach for Massachusetts Schools. Study of School Building Costs. Summary Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Abramson, Paul, Ed.

    This report details a method by which the cost of school building construction in Massachusetts could be substantially reduced. A special study committee concluded that a systems approach to school building would cut costs and produce buildings of better quality and greater flexibility. It recommended the creation of a Statewide corporation to…

  14. Estimating dietary costs of low-income women in California: A comparison of two approaches

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Objective: Compare two approaches for estimating individual daily diet costs in a population of low-income women in California. Design: Cost estimates based on time-intensive Method 1 (three 24-h recalls and associated food prices on receipts) were compared with estimates using a lesser intensive M...

  15. A bottom-up approach to estimating cost elements of REDD+ pilot projects in Tanzania

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Several previous global REDD+ cost studies have been conducted, demonstrating that payments for maintaining forest carbon stocks have significant potential to be a cost-effective mechanism for climate change mitigation. These studies have mostly followed highly aggregated top-down approaches without estimating the full range of REDD+ costs elements, thus underestimating the actual costs of REDD+. Based on three REDD+ pilot projects in Tanzania, representing an area of 327,825 ha, this study explicitly adopts a bottom-up approach to data assessment. By estimating opportunity, implementation, transaction and institutional costs of REDD+ we develop a practical and replicable methodological framework to consistently assess REDD+ cost elements. Results Based on historical land use change patterns, current region-specific economic conditions and carbon stocks, project-specific opportunity costs ranged between US$ -7.8 and 28.8 tCOxxxx for deforestation and forest degradation drivers such as agriculture, fuel wood production, unsustainable timber extraction and pasture expansion. The mean opportunity costs for the three projects ranged between US$ 10.1 – 12.5 tCO2. Implementation costs comprised between 89% and 95% of total project costs (excluding opportunity costs) ranging between US$ 4.5 - 12.2 tCO2 for a period of 30 years. Transaction costs for measurement, reporting, verification (MRV), and other carbon market related compliance costs comprised a minor share, between US$ 0.21 - 1.46 tCO2. Similarly, the institutional costs comprised around 1% of total REDD+ costs in a range of US$ 0.06 – 0.11 tCO2. Conclusions The use of bottom-up approaches to estimate REDD+ economics by considering regional variations in economic conditions and carbon stocks has been shown to be an appropriate approach to provide policy and decision-makers robust economic information on REDD+. The assessment of opportunity costs is a crucial first step to provide information on the

  16. easySTORM: a robust, lower-cost approach to localisation and TIRF microscopy.

    PubMed

    Kwakwa, Kwasi; Savell, Alexander; Davies, Timothy; Munro, Ian; Parrinello, Simona; Purbhoo, Marco A; Dunsby, Chris; Neil, Mark A A; French, Paul M W

    2016-09-01

    TIRF and STORM microscopy are super-resolving fluorescence imaging modalities for which current implementations on standard microscopes can present significant complexity and cost. We present a straightforward and low-cost approach to implement STORM and TIRF taking advantage of multimode optical fibres and multimode diode lasers to provide the required excitation light. Combined with open source software and relatively simple protocols to prepare samples for STORM, including the use of Vectashield for non-TIRF imaging, this approach enables TIRF and STORM imaging of cells labelled with appropriate dyes or expressing suitable fluorescent proteins to become widely accessible at low cost. PMID:27592533

  17. Performance evaluation of cost-based vs. fuzzy-logic-based prediction approaches in PRIDE

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kootbally, Z.; Schlenoff, C.; Madhavan, R.; Foufou, S.

    2008-04-01

    PRIDE (PRediction In Dynamic Environments) is a hierarchical multi-resolutional framework for moving object prediction. PRIDE incorporates multiple prediction algorithms into a single, unifying framework. To date, we have applied this framework to predict the future location of autonomous vehicles during on-road driving. In this paper, we describe two different approaches to compute long-term predictions (on the order of seconds into the future) within PRIDE. The first is a cost-based approach that uses a discretized set of vehicle motions and costs associated with states and actions to compute probabilities of vehicle motion. The cost-based approach is the first prediction approach we have been using within PRIDE. The second is a fuzzy-logic-based approach that deals with the pervasive presence of uncertainty in the environment to negotiate complex traffic situations. Using the high-fidelity physics-based framework for the Unified System for Automation and Robot Simulation (USARSim), we will compare the performance of the two approaches in different driving situations at traffic intersections. Consequently, we will show how the two approaches complement each other and how their combination performs better than the cost-based approach only.

  18. A Project Management Approach to Using Simulation for Cost Estimation on Large, Complex Software Development Projects

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mizell, Carolyn; Malone, Linda

    2007-01-01

    It is very difficult for project managers to develop accurate cost and schedule estimates for large, complex software development projects. None of the approaches or tools available today can estimate the true cost of software with any high degree of accuracy early in a project. This paper provides an approach that utilizes a software development process simulation model that considers and conveys the level of uncertainty that exists when developing an initial estimate. A NASA project will be analyzed using simulation and data from the Software Engineering Laboratory to show the benefits of such an approach.

  19. A prevalence-based approach to societal costs occurring in consequence of child abuse and neglect

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Traumatization in childhood can result in lifelong health impairment and may have a negative impact on other areas of life such as education, social contacts and employment as well. Despite the frequent occurrence of traumatization, which is reflected in a 14.5 percent prevalence rate of severe child abuse and neglect, the economic burden of the consequences is hardly known. The objective of this prevalence-based cost-of-illness study is to show how impairment of the individual is reflected in economic trauma follow-up costs borne by society as a whole in Germany and to compare the results with other countries’ costs. Methods From a societal perspective trauma follow-up costs were estimated using a bottom-up approach. The literature-based prevalence rate includes emotional, physical and sexual abuse as well as physical and emotional neglect in Germany. Costs are derived from individual case scenarios of child endangerment presented in a German cost-benefit-analysis. A comparison with trauma follow-up costs in Australia, Canada and the USA is based on purchasing power parity. Results The annual trauma follow-up costs total to a margin of EUR 11.1 billion for the lower bound and to EUR 29.8 billion for the upper bound. This equals EUR 134.84 and EUR 363.58, respectively, per capita for the German population. These results conform to the ones obtained from cost studies conducted in Australia (lower bound) and Canada (upper bound), whereas the result for the United States is much lower. Conclusion Child abuse and neglect result in trauma follow-up costs of economically relevant magnitude for the German society. Although the result is well in line with other countries’ costs, the general lack of data should be fought in order to enable more detailed future studies. Creating a reliable cost data basis in the first place can pave the way for long-term cost savings. PMID:23158382

  20. Economic Evaluation of Mental Health Interventions: A Guide to Costing Approaches.

    PubMed

    Shearer, James; McCrone, Paul; Romeo, Renee

    2016-07-01

    Costing approaches in the economic evaluation of mental health interventions are complicated by the broad societal impacts of mental health, and the multidisciplinary nature of mental health interventions. This paper aims to provide a practical guide to costing approaches across a wide range of care inputs and illness consequences relevant to the treatment of mental health. The resources needed to deliver mental health interventions are highly variable and depend on treatment settings (institutional, community), treatment providers (medical, non-medical) and formats (individual, group, electronic). Establishing the most appropriate perspective is crucial when assessing the costs associated with a particular mental health problem or when evaluating interventions to treat them. We identify five key cost categories (social care, informal care, production losses, crime and education) impacted by mental health and discuss contemporary issues in resource use measurement and valuation, including data sources and resource use instruments. PMID:26922076

  1. A low-cost inertial smoothing system for landing approach guidance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Niessen, F. R.

    1973-01-01

    Accurate position and velocity information with low noise content for instrument approaches and landings is required for both control and display applications. In a current VTOL automatic instrument approach and landing research program, radar-derived landing guidance position reference signals, which are noisy, have been mixed with acceleration information derived from low-cost onboard sensors to provide high-quality position and velocity information. An in-flight comparison of signal quality and accuracy has shown good agreement between the low-cost inertial smoothing system and an aided inertial navigation system. Furthermore, the low-cost inertial smoothing system has been proven to be satisfactory in control and display system applications for both automatic and pilot-in-the-loop instrument approaches and landings.

  2. A low cost commercial approach to space systems development and operations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonner, T. F.; Faget, M. A.; Allen, J. P.; Langstaff, D. H.

    In recent years a number of factors have led to increased attention to the lowering of costs for space flight systems and the operation of those systems. To that end Space Industries Inc. (SII), a small commercial space company based in Houston, Tex., is employing proven methods derived from over three decades of space flight development and space operations. These methods are based on a philosophy that is cost-sensitive focused with a primary objective to drive the cost of space systems and their operations down to the lowest level practical, consistent with the mission objectives, acceptable risk and safety considerations. This approach involves a process of: (1) addressing the basic requirements in the simplest and most cost effective manner, i.e. limit new development wherever possible, maximize use of proven and existing technology and eliminate non-essential requirements; (2) incorporation of proven industrial practices where possible, i.e. focus on performance envelopes (not on restrictive, specific and detailed specifications) and streamline program management, documentation, testing and other procedures; and (3) delivery of the "best" price, i.e. maximum customer utility at minimum cost with emphasis on customer service. The overriding factor, and indeed the most important aspect of the low cost commercial approach, is the willingness to accept greater risks to achieve all of the user's objectives. Our development approach is customer focused with emphasis on fully understanding the customer needs while striving constantly to limit new development requirements and, consequently, additional costs. This approach involves a process of designing for operations, i.e. low operation and life-cycle costs, while ensuring a reliability level consistent with customer budget constraints, mission objectives and safety consideration. In executing this low cost, customer-focused approach, we strive to maintain minimal overheads, simple interfaces, reduced documentation

  3. The common engine concept for ALS application - A cost reduction approach

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bair, E. K.; Schindler, C. M.

    1989-01-01

    Future launch systems require the application of propulsion systems which have been designed and developed to meet mission model needs while providing high degrees of reliability and cost effectiveness. Vehicle configurations which utilize different propellant combinations for booster and core stages can benefit from a common engine approach where a single engine design can be configured to operate on either set of propellants and thus serve as either a booster or core engine. Engine design concepts and mission application for a vehicle employing a common engine are discussed. Engine program cost estimates were made and cost savings, over the design and development of two unique engines, estimated.

  4. The comparative cost-effectiveness of an equity-focused approach to child survival, health, and nutrition: a modelling approach.

    PubMed

    Carrera, Carlos; Azrack, Adeline; Begkoyian, Genevieve; Pfaffmann, Jerome; Ribaira, Eric; O'Connell, Thomas; Doughty, Patricia; Aung, Kyaw Myint; Prieto, Lorena; Rasanathan, Kumanan; Sharkey, Alyssa; Chopra, Mickey; Knippenberg, Rudolf

    2012-10-13

    Progress on child mortality and undernutrition has seen widening inequities and a concentration of child deaths and undernutrition in the most deprived communities, threatening the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. Conversely, a series of recent process and technological innovations have provided effective and efficient options to reach the most deprived populations. These trends raise the possibility that the perceived trade-off between equity and efficiency no longer applies for child health--that prioritising services for the poorest and most marginalised is now more effective and cost effective than mainstream approaches. We tested this hypothesis with a mathematical-modelling approach by comparing the cost-effectiveness in terms of child deaths and stunting events averted between two approaches (from 2011-15 in 14 countries and one province): an equity-focused approach that prioritises the most deprived communities, and a mainstream approach that is representative of current strategies. We combined some existing models, notably the Marginal Budgeting for Bottlenecks Toolkit and the Lives Saved Tool, to do our analysis. We showed that, with the same level of investment, disproportionately higher effects are possible by prioritising the poorest and most marginalised populations, for averting both child mortality and stunting. Our results suggest that an equity-focused approach could result in sharper decreases in child mortality and stunting and higher cost-effectiveness than mainstream approaches, while reducing inequities in effective intervention coverage, health outcomes, and out-of-pocket spending between the most and least deprived groups and geographic areas within countries. Our findings should be interpreted with caution due to uncertainties around some of the model parameters and baseline data. Further research is needed to address some of these gaps in the evidence base. Strategies for improving child nutrition and survival, however

  5. Application of Bayesian Approach to Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of Antiviral Treatments in Chronic Hepatitis B

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Hua; Huo, Mingdong; Chao, Jianqian; Liu, Pei

    2016-01-01

    Background Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a major problem for public health; timely antiviral treatment can significantly prevent the progression of liver damage from HBV by slowing down or stopping the virus from reproducing. In the study we applied Bayesian approach to cost-effectiveness analysis, using Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) simulation methods for the relevant evidence input into the model to evaluate cost-effectiveness of entecavir (ETV) and lamivudine (LVD) therapy for chronic hepatitis B (CHB) in Jiangsu, China, thus providing information to the public health system in the CHB therapy. Methods Eight-stage Markov model was developed, a hypothetical cohort of 35-year-old HBeAg-positive patients with CHB was entered into the model. Treatment regimens were LVD100mg daily and ETV 0.5 mg daily. The transition parameters were derived either from systematic reviews of the literature or from previous economic studies. The outcome measures were life-years, quality-adjusted lifeyears (QALYs), and expected costs associated with the treatments and disease progression. For the Bayesian models all the analysis was implemented by using WinBUGS version 1.4. Results Expected cost, life expectancy, QALYs decreased with age. Cost-effectiveness increased with age. Expected cost of ETV was less than LVD, while life expectancy and QALYs were higher than that of LVD, ETV strategy was more cost-effective. Costs and benefits of the Monte Carlo simulation were very close to the results of exact form among the group, but standard deviation of each group indicated there was a big difference between individual patients. Conclusions Compared with lamivudine, entecavir is the more cost-effective option. CHB patients should accept antiviral treatment as soon as possible as the lower age the more cost-effective. Monte Carlo simulation obtained costs and effectiveness distribution, indicate our Markov model is of good robustness. PMID:27574976

  6. Preparation and validation of low cost microfluidic chips using a shrinking approach.

    PubMed

    Focaroli, S; Mazzitelli, S; Falconi, M; Luca, G; Nastruzzi, C

    2014-10-21

    The present paper describes the production of microfluidic chips using an approach based on shrinkable biocompatible polymers (i.e. agarose) for the production of size controlled microfluidic channels. In addition, all steps of chip production were carried out using an inexpensive approach that uses low cost chemicals and equipment. The produced chips were then validated by producing monodisperse polymeric microparticles for drug delivery and hydrogel microfibers for cell embedding. PMID:25144915

  7. From Physical Process to Economic Cost - Integrated Approaches of Landslide Risk Assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klose, M.; Damm, B.

    2014-12-01

    The nature of landslides is complex in many respects, with landslide hazard and impact being dependent on a variety of factors. This obviously requires an integrated assessment for fundamental understanding of landslide risk. Integrated risk assessment, according to the approach presented in this contribution, implies combining prediction of future landslide occurrence with analysis of landslide impact in the past. A critical step for assessing landslide risk in integrated perspective is to analyze what types of landslide damage affected people and property in which way and how people contributed and responded to these damage types. In integrated risk assessment, the focus is on systematic identification and monetization of landslide damage, and analytical tools that allow deriving economic costs from physical landslide processes are at the heart of this approach. The broad spectrum of landslide types and process mechanisms as well as nonlinearity between landslide magnitude, damage intensity, and direct costs are some main factors explaining recent challenges in risk assessment. The two prevailing approaches for assessing the impact of landslides in economic terms are cost survey (ex-post) and risk analysis (ex-ante). Both approaches are able to complement each other, but yet a combination of them has not been realized so far. It is common practice today to derive landslide risk without considering landslide process-based cause-effect relationships, since integrated concepts or new modeling tools expanding conventional methods are still widely missing. The approach introduced in this contribution is based on a systematic framework that combines cost survey and GIS-based tools for hazard or cost modeling with methods to assess interactions between land use practices and landslides in historical perspective. Fundamental understanding of landslide risk also requires knowledge about the economic and fiscal relevance of landslide losses, wherefore analysis of their

  8. A low cost real-time motion tracking approach using webcam technology

    PubMed Central

    Krishnan, Chandramouli; Washabaugh, Edward P.; Seetharaman, Yogesh

    2014-01-01

    Physical therapy is an important component of gait recovery for individuals with locomotor dysfunction. There is a growing body of evidence that suggests that incorporating a motor learning task through visual feedback of movement trajectory is a useful approach to facilitate therapeutic outcomes. Visual feedback is typically provided by recording the subject’s limb movement patterns using a three-dimensional motion capture system and displaying it in real-time using customized software. However, this approach can seldom be used in the clinic because of the technical expertise required to operate this device and the cost involved in procuring a three-dimensional motion capture system. In this paper, we describe a low cost two-dimensional real-time motion tracking approach using a simple webcam and an image processing algorithm in LabVIEW Vision Assistant. We also evaluated the accuracy of this approach using a high precision robotic device (Lokomat) across various walking speeds. Further, the reliability and feasibility of real-time motion-tracking were evaluated in healthy human participants. The results indicated that the measurements from the webcam tracking approach were reliable and accurate. Experiments on human subjects also showed that participants could utilize the real-time kinematic feedback generated from this device to successfully perform a motor learning task while walking on a treadmill. These findings suggest that the webcam motion tracking approach is a feasible low cost solution to perform real-time movement analysis and training. PMID:25555306

  9. A low cost real-time motion tracking approach using webcam technology.

    PubMed

    Krishnan, Chandramouli; Washabaugh, Edward P; Seetharaman, Yogesh

    2015-02-01

    Physical therapy is an important component of gait recovery for individuals with locomotor dysfunction. There is a growing body of evidence that suggests that incorporating a motor learning task through visual feedback of movement trajectory is a useful approach to facilitate therapeutic outcomes. Visual feedback is typically provided by recording the subject's limb movement patterns using a three-dimensional motion capture system and displaying it in real-time using customized software. However, this approach can seldom be used in the clinic because of the technical expertise required to operate this device and the cost involved in procuring a three-dimensional motion capture system. In this paper, we describe a low cost two-dimensional real-time motion tracking approach using a simple webcam and an image processing algorithm in LabVIEW Vision Assistant. We also evaluated the accuracy of this approach using a high precision robotic device (Lokomat) across various walking speeds. Further, the reliability and feasibility of real-time motion-tracking were evaluated in healthy human participants. The results indicated that the measurements from the webcam tracking approach were reliable and accurate. Experiments on human subjects also showed that participants could utilize the real-time kinematic feedback generated from this device to successfully perform a motor learning task while walking on a treadmill. These findings suggest that the webcam motion tracking approach is a feasible low cost solution to perform real-time movement analysis and training. PMID:25555306

  10. Partitioning the metabolic cost of human running: a task-by-task approach.

    PubMed

    Arellano, Christopher J; Kram, Rodger

    2014-12-01

    Compared with other species, humans can be very tractable and thus an ideal "model system" for investigating the metabolic cost of locomotion. Here, we review the biomechanical basis for the metabolic cost of running. Running has been historically modeled as a simple spring-mass system whereby the leg acts as a linear spring, storing, and returning elastic potential energy during stance. However, if running can be modeled as a simple spring-mass system with the underlying assumption of perfect elastic energy storage and return, why does running incur a metabolic cost at all? In 1980, Taylor et al. proposed the "cost of generating force" hypothesis, which was based on the idea that elastic structures allow the muscles to transform metabolic energy into force, and not necessarily mechanical work. In 1990, Kram and Taylor then provided a more explicit and quantitative explanation by demonstrating that the rate of metabolic energy consumption is proportional to body weight and inversely proportional to the time of foot-ground contact for a variety of animals ranging in size and running speed. With a focus on humans, Kram and his colleagues then adopted a task-by-task approach and initially found that the metabolic cost of running could be "individually" partitioned into body weight support (74%), propulsion (37%), and leg-swing (20%). Summing all these biomechanical tasks leads to a paradoxical overestimation of 131%. To further elucidate the possible interactions between these tasks, later studies quantified the reductions in metabolic cost in response to synergistic combinations of body weight support, aiding horizontal forces, and leg-swing-assist forces. This synergistic approach revealed that the interactive nature of body weight support and forward propulsion comprises ∼80% of the net metabolic cost of running. The task of leg-swing at most comprises ∼7% of the net metabolic cost of running and is independent of body weight support and forward propulsion. In

  11. A simplified fuel control approach for low cost aircraft gas turbines

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gold, H.

    1973-01-01

    Reduction in the complexity of gas turbine fuel controls without loss of control accuracy, reliability, or effectiveness as a method for reducing engine costs is discussed. A description and analysis of hydromechanical approach are presented. A computer simulation of the control mechanism is given and performance of a physical model in engine test is reported.

  12. A Suggested Approach for a Cost Analysis of Alternative IMS Configurations.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Besel, Ronald

    An approach to a cost analysis of pilot, prototype, model and operational versions of the Southwest Regional Laboratory's (SWRL) Instructional Management System (IMS) is described. Five classes of systems (conceptual, pilot, prototype, model and operational) are defined, and a system development process relating classes of systems in presented.…

  13. Prospective Health: Duke's Approach to Improving Employee Health and Managing Health Care Costs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Davidson, H. Clint, Jr.

    2004-01-01

    If developing a healthy workforce is critical to reining in the skyrocketing cost of health care, then why have so many attempts at preventive health or disease management fallen short? How can employers connect with employees to engage them in changing unhealthy habits or lifestyles? Duke University has launched an innovative new approach called…

  14. Proportional Transaction Costs in the Robust Control Approach to Option Pricing: The Uniqueness Theorem

    SciTech Connect

    El Farouq, Naïma; Bernhard, Pierre

    2015-10-15

    We prove the missing uniqueness theorem for the viscosity solution of a quasi-variational inequality related to a minimax impulse control problem modeling the option pricing with proportional transactions costs. This result makes our robust control approach of option pricing in the interval market model essentially complete.

  15. Does the Planetree patient-centered approach to care pay off?: a cost-benefit analysis.

    PubMed

    Coulmont, Michel; Roy, Chantale; Dumas, Lucie

    2013-01-01

    Although the Planetree patient-centered approach to care is being implemented in many institutions around the world, its impact is still the subject of some debate. On the one hand, it is viewed as the most cost-effective way to provide care and create a positive work environment that reduces staff burnout. On the other hand, it is argued that it requires higher staffing ratios and a substantial infusion of financial resources and is time consuming, which in turn results in more work. The present study addresses the economic agenda of the Planetree patient-centered approach to care and has been designed to answer the following question: do the advantages of the Planetree patient-centered approach outweigh its costs? This question is of considerable interest for health care administrators and managers because the relevant authorities the world over have limited resources to allocate to health care organizations. Using a trend analysis approach to cost-benefit in a rehabilitation center, this study shows that the revenues the model generates are greater than the costs of implementing it. Fewer grievances and vacant positions, an improved employee retention rate, a better working atmosphere, and a high level of employee satisfaction (higher than in similar establishments) were also noted. PMID:23364422

  16. Classroom Observation of Students and Teachers (COST): A Multiple Payoff Approach to Inservice Training. A Symposium.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Knowling, Wynn; And Others

    This group of papers was presented as part of a symposium entitled "Classroom Observation of Students and Teachers (COST): A Multiple Payoff Approach to Inservice Training." The first paper, "Films for Inservice Teacher Training: A Miniworkshop," outlines the rationale and development of the film series of which the film, Consequences of Behavior,…

  17. Comparison of Australian and US Cost-Benefit Approaches to MEPS

    SciTech Connect

    McMahon, James E.

    2004-03-12

    The Australian Greenhouse Office contracted with the Collaborative Labeling and Appliance Standards Program (CLASP) for LBNL to compare US and Australian approaches to analyzing costs and benefits of minimum energy performance standards (MEPS). This report compares the approaches for three types of products: household refrigerators and freezers, small electric storage water heaters, and commercial/industrial air conditioners. This report presents the findings of similarities and differences between the approaches of the two countries and suggests changes to consider in the approach taken in Australia. The purpose of the Australian program is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while the US program is intended to increase energy efficiency; each program is thus subject to specific constraints. The market and policy contexts are different, with the USA producing most of its own products and conducting pioneering engineering-economic studies to identify maximum energy efficiency levels that are technologically feasible and economically justified. In contrast, Australia imports a large share of its products and adopts MEPS already in place elsewhere. With these differences in circumstances, Australia's analysis approach could be expected to have less analytical detail and still result in MEPS levels that are appropriate for their policy and market context. In practice, the analysis required to meet these different objectives is quite similar. To date, Australia's cost-benefit analysis has served the goals and philosophies of the program well and been highly effective in successfully identifying MEPS that are significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions while providing economic benefits to consumers. In some cases, however, the experience of the USA--using more extensive data sets and more detailed analysis--suggests possible improvements to Australia's cost-benefit analysis. The principal findings of the comparison are: (1) The Technology and Market Assessments are

  18. Material and energy recovery in integrated waste management systems: A life-cycle costing approach

    SciTech Connect

    Massarutto, Antonio; Carli, Alessandro de; Graffi, Matteo

    2011-09-15

    Highlights: > The study aims at assessing economic performance of alternative scenarios of MSW. > The approach is the life-cycle costing (LCC). > Waste technologies must be considered as complementary into an integrated strategy. - Abstract: A critical assumption of studies assessing comparatively waste management options concerns the constant average cost for selective collection regardless the source separation level (SSL) reached, and the neglect of the mass constraint. The present study compares alternative waste management scenarios through the development of a desktop model that tries to remove the above assumption. Several alternative scenarios based on different combinations of energy and materials recovery are applied to two imaginary areas modelled in order to represent a typical Northern Italian setting. External costs and benefits implied by scenarios are also considered. Scenarios are compared on the base of the full cost for treating the total waste generated in the area. The model investigates the factors that influence the relative convenience of alternative scenarios.

  19. Application of a design-build-team approach to low cost and weight composite fuselage structure

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ilcewicz, L. B.; Walker, T. H.; Willden, K. S.; Swanson, G. D.; Truslove, G.; Metschan, S. L.; Pfahl, C. L.

    1991-01-01

    Relationships between manufacturing costs and design details must be understood to promote the application of advanced composite technologies to transport fuselage structures. A team approach, integrating the disciplines responsible for aircraft structural design and manufacturing, was developed to perform cost and weight trade studies for a twenty-foot diameter aft fuselage section. Baseline composite design and manufacturing concepts were selected for large quadrant panels in crown, side, and keel areas of the fuselage section. The associated technical issues were also identified. Detailed evaluation of crown panels indicated the potential for large weight savings and costs competitive with aluminum technology in the 1995 timeframe. Different processes and material forms were selected for the various elements that comprise the fuselage structure. Additional cost and weight savings potential was estimated for future advancements.

  20. The impact of trade costs on rare earth exports : a stochastic frontier estimation approach.

    SciTech Connect

    Sanyal, Prabuddha; Brady, Patrick Vane; Vugrin, Eric D.

    2013-09-01

    The study develops a novel stochastic frontier modeling approach to the gravity equation for rare earth element (REE) trade between China and its trading partners between 2001 and 2009. The novelty lies in differentiating betweenbehind the border' trade costs by China and theimplicit beyond the border costs' of China's trading partners. Results indicate that the significance level of the independent variables change dramatically over the time period. While geographical distance matters for trade flows in both periods, the effect of income on trade flows is significantly attenuated, possibly capturing the negative effects of financial crises in the developed world. Second, the total export losses due tobehind the border' trade costs almost tripled over the time period. Finally, looking atimplicit beyond the border' trade costs, results show China gaining in some markets, although it is likely that some countries are substituting away from Chinese REE exports.

  1. [The cost-effectiveness evaluation of 2 caries prevention strategies compared with the standard approach].

    PubMed

    Vermaire, J H; van Loveren, C; Brouwer, W B F; Krol, M

    2015-01-01

    A cost-effectiveness evaluation was conducted with a randomised controlled clinical trial of caries prevention measures among 6-year-old children who were assigned to either a control group or 1 of 2 experimental groups (IPFA: 2 extra professionally-delivered fluoride applications per year, or NOCTP: a non-operative caries treatment programme, like the one that was previously carried out in Nexø, Denmark. In order to determine the cost of the prevention of 1 DMFS in comparison with the control practice information on expenses incurred was collected for 3 years. The prevention of a single DMFS - depending on whether costs of dental treatment only were taken into consideration or also other social costs - were, in the IPFA programme, 269 and 1,369 euro respectively and, in the NOCTP programme, 30 and 100 euro respectively. On the basis of these results, it can be concluded that from both a dental and cost-effective perspective the NOCTP programme produces the most favourable results. Following the NOCTP strategy - during the 3-year period - just like following the IPFA approach was, however, more expensive than the standard approach. PMID:26210542

  2. A Serial Risk Score Approach to Disease Classification that Accounts for Accuracy and Cost

    PubMed Central

    Huynh, Dat; Laeyendecker, Oliver; Brookmeyer, Ron

    2016-01-01

    Summary The performance of diagnostic tests for disease classification is often measured by accuracy (e.g. sensitivity or specificity); however, costs of the diagnostic test are a concern as well. Combinations of multiple diagnostic tests may improve accuracy, but incur additional costs. Here we consider serial testing approaches that maintain accuracy while controlling costs of the diagnostic tests. We present a serial risk score classification approach. The basic idea is to sequentially test with additional diagnostic tests just until persons are classified. In this way, it is not necessary to test all persons with all tests. The methods are studied in simulations and compared with logistic regression. We applied the methods to data from HIV cohort studies to identify HIV infected individuals who are recently infected (< 1 year) by testing with assays for multiple biomarkers. We find that the serial risk score classification approach can maintain accuracy while achieving a reduction in cost compared to testing all individuals with all assays. PMID:25156309

  3. Reducing electrical processing cost by optical bypass approach in packet ring networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, Xu; Zeng, Qingji; Liu, Fengqing; Yang, Xudong; Wang, Yun; Xiao, Shilin

    2004-05-01

    Packet Ring transport technology combines the simplicity of Ethernet and survivability of SONET and attracts more and more interests of researches. However, electrical processing cost will also be very high as data rate grows to gigabit level, which lowers its efficiency. This paper examines the value of optical bypass approach by minimizing the traffic to be processed in electrical domain. An Integer Linear Program (ILP) formulation is presented to solve this problem and results with different traffic patterns are given, which shows one more wavelength can bring notable electrical processing cost savings in the case of a small number of multiplexed wavelengths in one channel.

  4. A Cost Comparison of Alternative Approaches to Distance Education in Developing Countries

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ventre, Gerard G.; Kalu, Alex

    1996-01-01

    This paper presents a cost comparison of three approaches to two-way interactive distance learning systems for developing countries. Included are costs for distance learning hardware, terrestrial and satellite communication links, and designing instruction for two-way interactive courses. As part of this project, FSEC is developing a 30-hour course in photovoltaic system design that will be used in a variety of experiments using the Advanced Communications Technology Satellite (ACTS). A primary goal of the project is to develop an instructional design and delivery model that can be used for other education and training programs. Over two-thirds of the world photovoltaics market is in developing countries. One of the objectives of this NASA-sponsored project was to develop new and better energy education programs that take advantage of advances in telecommunications and computer technology. The combination of desktop video systems and the sharing of computer applications software is of special interest. Research is being performed to evaluate the effectiveness of some of these technologies as part of this project. The design of the distance learning origination and receive sites discussed in this paper were influenced by the educational community's growing interest in distance education. The following approach was used to develop comparative costs for delivering interactive distance education to developing countries: (1) Representative target locations for receive sites were chosen. The originating site was assumed to be Cocoa, Florida, where FSEC is located; (2) A range of course development costs were determined; (3) The cost of equipment for three alternative two-way interactive distance learning system configurations was determined or estimated. The types of system configurations ranged from a PC-based system that allows instructors to originate instruction from their office using desktop video and shared application software, to a high cost system that uses a

  5. A cost-efficiency and health benefit approach to improve urban air quality.

    PubMed

    Miranda, A I; Ferreira, J; Silveira, C; Relvas, H; Duque, L; Roebeling, P; Lopes, M; Costa, S; Monteiro, A; Gama, C; Sá, E; Borrego, C; Teixeira, J P

    2016-11-01

    When ambient air quality standards established in the EU Directive 2008/50/EC are exceeded, Member States are obliged to develop and implement Air Quality Plans (AQP) to improve air quality and health. Notwithstanding the achievements in emission reductions and air quality improvement, additional efforts need to be undertaken to improve air quality in a sustainable way - i.e. through a cost-efficiency approach. This work was developed in the scope of the recently concluded MAPLIA project "Moving from Air Pollution to Local Integrated Assessment", and focuses on the definition and assessment of emission abatement measures and their associated costs, air quality and health impacts and benefits by means of air quality modelling tools, health impact functions and cost-efficiency analysis. The MAPLIA system was applied to the Grande Porto urban area (Portugal), addressing PM10 and NOx as the most important pollutants in the region. Four different measures to reduce PM10 and NOx emissions were defined and characterized in terms of emissions and implementation costs, and combined into 15 emission scenarios, simulated by the TAPM air quality modelling tool. Air pollutant concentration fields were then used to estimate health benefits in terms of avoided costs (external costs), using dose-response health impact functions. Results revealed that, among the 15 scenarios analysed, the scenario including all 4 measures lead to a total net benefit of 0.3M€·y(-1). The largest net benefit is obtained for the scenario considering the conversion of 50% of open fire places into heat recovery wood stoves. Although the implementation costs of this measure are high, the benefits outweigh the costs. Research outcomes confirm that the MAPLIA system is useful for policy decision support on air quality improvement strategies, and could be applied to other urban areas where AQP need to be implemented and monitored. PMID:27348699

  6. Cost - effectiveness analysis of the antiplatelet treatment administered on ischemic stroke patients using goal programming approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rajendran, Rasvini; Zainuddin, Zaitul Marlizawati; Idris, Badrisyah

    2014-09-01

    There are numerous ways to prevent or treat ischemic stroke and each of these competing alternatives is associated with a different effectiveness and a cost. In circumstances where health funds are budgeted and thus fixed, cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) can provide information on how to comprehend the largest health gains with that limited fund as CEA is used to compare different strategies for preventing or treating a single disease. The most common medications for ischemic stroke are the anti-platelet drugs. While some drugs are more effective than others, they are also more expensive. This paper will thus assess the CEA of anti-platelet drug available for ischemic stroke patients using goal programming (GP) approach subject to in-patients days and patients' quality-of-life. GP presents a way of striving towards several objectives simultaneously whereby in this case we will consider minimizing the cost and maximizing the effectiveness.

  7. Ground Segment Reference Architectures: An Approach for Cost Effective Systems Evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marley, S.; Hansen, D.; Brown, C.

    2011-12-01

    The era of mission specific stovepipe ground systems is drawing to a close. As on-orbit processing capabilities and asset durability continue to improve, the cost of maintaining ground segment implementations can become the limiting factor for when missions are no longer operationally viable. Cost effective evolution demands a new approach to designing ground systems that is evolvable to changing mission needs, adaptable to new technologies and emerging paradigms, and scalable to "peta-scale" data management applications. Ground segment implementations need to be guided by a robust reference architecture that provides a framework in which new mission capability can be deployed, legacy systems can be migrated, and data management services optimized. This presentation describes key architectural drivers and associated patterns for developing the next generation of adaptable and scalable ground systems in order to provide cost effective, long term mission viability.

  8. Renaissance: A revolutionary approach for providing low-cost ground data systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Butler, Madeline J.; Perkins, Dorothy C.; Zeigenfuss, Lawrence B.

    1996-01-01

    The NASA is changing its attention from large missions to a greater number of smaller missions with reduced development schedules and budgets. In relation to this, the Renaissance Mission Operations and Data Systems Directorate systems engineering process is presented. The aim of the Renaissance approach is to improve system performance, reduce cost and schedules and meet specific customer needs. The approach includes: the early involvement of the users to define the mission requirements and system architectures; the streamlining of management processes; the development of a flexible cost estimation capability, and the ability to insert technology. Renaissance-based systems demonstrate significant reuse of commercial off-the-shelf building blocks in an integrated system architecture.

  9. Costs and Cost Effectiveness of Three Approaches for Cervical Cancer Screening among HIV-Positive Women in Johannesburg, South Africa

    PubMed Central

    Lince-Deroche, Naomi; Phiri, Jane; Michelow, Pam; Smith, Jennifer S.; Firnhaber, Cindy

    2015-01-01

    Background South Africa has high rates of HIV and HPV and high incidence and mortality from cervical cancer. However, cervical cancer is largely preventable when early screening and treatment are available. We estimate the costs and cost-effectiveness of conventional cytology (Pap), visual inspection with acetic acid (VIA) and HPV DNA testing for detecting cases of CIN2+ among HIV-infected women currently taking antiretroviral treatment at a public HIV clinic in Johannesburg, South Africa. Methods Method effectiveness was derived from a validation study completed at the clinic. Costs were estimated from the provider perspective using micro-costing between June 2013-April 2014. Capital costs were annualized using a discount rate of 3%. Two different service volume scenarios were considered. Threshold analysis was used to explore the potential for reducing the cost of HPV DNA testing. Results VIA was least costly in both scenarios. In the higher volume scenario, the average cost per procedure was US$ 3.67 for VIA, US$ 8.17 for Pap and US$ 54.34 for HPV DNA. Colposcopic biopsies cost on average US$ 67.71 per procedure. VIA was least sensitive but most cost-effective at US$ 17.05 per true CIN2+ case detected. The cost per case detected for Pap testing was US$ 130.63 using a conventional definition for positive results and US$ 187.52 using a more conservative definition. HPV DNA testing was US$ 320.09 per case detected. Colposcopic biopsy costs largely drove the total and per case costs. A 71% reduction in HPV DNA screening costs would make it competitive with the conservative Pap definition. Conclusions Women need access to services which meet their needs and address the burden of cervical dysplasia and cancer in this region. Although most cost-effective, VIA may require more frequent screening due to low sensitivity, an important consideration for an HIV-positive population with increased risk for disease progression. PMID:26569487

  10. Characterizing Synergistic Water and Energy Efficiency at the Residential Scale Using a Cost Abatement Curve Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stillwell, A. S.; Chini, C. M.; Schreiber, K. L.; Barker, Z. A.

    2015-12-01

    Energy and water are two increasingly correlated resources. Electricity generation at thermoelectric power plants requires cooling such that large water withdrawal and consumption rates are associated with electricity consumption. Drinking water and wastewater treatment require significant electricity inputs to clean, disinfect, and pump water. Due to this energy-water nexus, energy efficiency measures might be a cost-effective approach to reducing water use and water efficiency measures might support energy savings as well. This research characterizes the cost-effectiveness of different efficiency approaches in households by quantifying the direct and indirect water and energy savings that could be realized through efficiency measures, such as low-flow fixtures, energy and water efficient appliances, distributed generation, and solar water heating. Potential energy and water savings from these efficiency measures was analyzed in a product-lifetime adjusted economic model comparing efficiency measures to conventional counterparts. Results were displayed as cost abatement curves indicating the most economical measures to implement for a target reduction in water and/or energy consumption. These cost abatement curves are useful in supporting market innovation and investment in residential-scale efficiency.

  11. A Cost-Effective Approach to Sequence Hundreds of Complete Mitochondrial Genomes.

    PubMed

    Nunez, Joaquin C B; Oleksiak, Marjorie F

    2016-01-01

    We present a cost-effective approach to sequence whole mitochondrial genomes for hundreds of individuals. Our approach uses small reaction volumes and unmodified (non-phosphorylated) barcoded adaptors to minimize reagent costs. We demonstrate our approach by sequencing 383 Fundulus sp. mitochondrial genomes (192 F. heteroclitus and 191 F. majalis). Prior to sequencing, we amplified the mitochondrial genomes using 4-5 custom-made, overlapping primer pairs, and sequencing was performed on an Illumina HiSeq 2500 platform. After removing low quality and short sequences, 2.9 million and 2.8 million reads were generated for F. heteroclitus and F. majalis respectively. Individual genomes were assembled for each species by mapping barcoded reads to a reference genome. For F. majalis, the reference genome was built de novo. On average, individual consensus sequences had high coverage: 61-fold for F. heteroclitus and 57-fold for F. majalis. The approach discussed in this paper is optimized for sequencing mitochondrial genomes on an Illumina platform. However, with the proper modifications, this approach could be easily applied to other small genomes and sequencing platforms. PMID:27505419

  12. A Cost-Effective Approach to Sequence Hundreds of Complete Mitochondrial Genomes

    PubMed Central

    Oleksiak, Marjorie F.

    2016-01-01

    We present a cost-effective approach to sequence whole mitochondrial genomes for hundreds of individuals. Our approach uses small reaction volumes and unmodified (non-phosphorylated) barcoded adaptors to minimize reagent costs. We demonstrate our approach by sequencing 383 Fundulus sp. mitochondrial genomes (192 F. heteroclitus and 191 F. majalis). Prior to sequencing, we amplified the mitochondrial genomes using 4–5 custom-made, overlapping primer pairs, and sequencing was performed on an Illumina HiSeq 2500 platform. After removing low quality and short sequences, 2.9 million and 2.8 million reads were generated for F. heteroclitus and F. majalis respectively. Individual genomes were assembled for each species by mapping barcoded reads to a reference genome. For F. majalis, the reference genome was built de novo. On average, individual consensus sequences had high coverage: 61-fold for F. heteroclitus and 57-fold for F. majalis. The approach discussed in this paper is optimized for sequencing mitochondrial genomes on an Illumina platform. However, with the proper modifications, this approach could be easily applied to other small genomes and sequencing platforms. PMID:27505419

  13. Bayesian comparison of cost-effectiveness of different clinical approaches to diagnose coronary artery disease.

    PubMed

    Patterson, R E; Eng, C; Horowitz, S F; Gorlin, R; Goldstein, S R

    1984-08-01

    threshold value of prevalence (80%) at which the rank order of policies changes. The model also allows substitution of different values for any variable as a way of accounting for the uncertainty inherent in the data. In conclusion, it is essential to consider the prevalence of disease when selecting the most cost-effective clinical approach to making a diagnosis. PMID:6429224

  14. Innovative approach for low-cost quick-access small payload missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Friis, Jan W., Jr.

    2000-11-01

    A significant part of the burgeoning commercial space industry is placing an unprecedented number of satellites into low earth orbit for a variety of new applications and services. By some estimates the commercial space industry now exceeds that of government space activities. Yet the two markets remain largely separate, with each deploying dedicated satellites and infrastructure for their respective missions. One commercial space firm, Final Analysis, has created a new program wherein either government, scientific or new technology payloads can be integrated on a commercial spacecraft on commercial satellites for a variety of mission scenarios at a fraction of the cost of a dedicated mission. NASA has recognized the advantage of this approach, and has awarded the Quick Ride program to provide frequent, low cost flight opportunities for small independent payloads aboard the Final Analysis constellation, and investigators are rapidly developing science programs that conform to the proposed payload accommodations envelope. Missions that were not feasible using dedicated launches are now receiving approval under the lower cost Quick Ride approach. Final Analysis has dedicated ten out of its thirty-eight satellites in support of the Quick Ride efforts. The benefit of this type of space access extend beyond NASA science programs. Commercial space firms can now gain valuable flight heritage for new technology and satellite product offerings. Further, emerging international space programs can now place a payload in orbit enabling the country to allocate its resources against the payload and mission requirements rather htan increased launch costs of a dedicated spacecraft. Finally, the low cost nature provides University-based research educational opportunities previously out of the reach of most space-related budgets. This paper will describe the motivation, benefits, technical features, and program costs of the Final Analysis secondary payload program. Payloads can be

  15. An Alternative Methodological Approach for Cost-Effectiveness Analysis and Decision Making in Genomic Medicine.

    PubMed

    Fragoulakis, Vasilios; Mitropoulou, Christina; van Schaik, Ron H; Maniadakis, Nikolaos; Patrinos, George P

    2016-05-01

    Genomic Medicine aims to improve therapeutic interventions and diagnostics, the quality of life of patients, but also to rationalize healthcare costs. To reach this goal, careful assessment and identification of evidence gaps for public health genomics priorities are required so that a more efficient healthcare environment is created. Here, we propose a public health genomics-driven approach to adjust the classical healthcare decision making process with an alternative methodological approach of cost-effectiveness analysis, which is particularly helpful for genomic medicine interventions. By combining classical cost-effectiveness analysis with budget constraints, social preferences, and patient ethics, we demonstrate the application of this model, the Genome Economics Model (GEM), based on a previously reported genome-guided intervention from a developing country environment. The model and the attendant rationale provide a practical guide by which all major healthcare stakeholders could ensure the sustainability of funding for genome-guided interventions, their adoption and coverage by health insurance funds, and prioritization of Genomic Medicine research, development, and innovation, given the restriction of budgets, particularly in developing countries and low-income healthcare settings in developed countries. The implications of the GEM for the policy makers interested in Genomic Medicine and new health technology and innovation assessment are also discussed. PMID:27096406

  16. A cost-function approach to rival penalized competitive learning (RPCL).

    PubMed

    Ma, Jinwen; Wang, Taijun

    2006-08-01

    Rival penalized competitive learning (RPCL) has been shown to be a useful tool for clustering on a set of sample data in which the number of clusters is unknown. However, the RPCL algorithm was proposed heuristically and is still in lack of a mathematical theory to describe its convergence behavior. In order to solve the convergence problem, we investigate it via a cost-function approach. By theoretical analysis, we prove that a general form of RPCL, called distance-sensitive RPCL (DSRPCL), is associated with the minimization of a cost function on the weight vectors of a competitive learning network. As a DSRPCL process decreases the cost to a local minimum, a number of weight vectors eventually fall into a hypersphere surrounding the sample data, while the other weight vectors diverge to infinity. Moreover, it is shown by the theoretical analysis and simulation experiments that if the cost reduces into the global minimum, a correct number of weight vectors is automatically selected and located around the centers of the actual clusters, respectively. Finally, we apply the DSRPCL algorithms to unsupervised color image segmentation and classification of the wine data. PMID:16903360

  17. An Empty Toolbox? Changes in Health Plans’ Approaches for Managing Costs and Care

    PubMed Central

    Mays, Glen P; Hurley, Robert E; Grossman, Joy M

    2003-01-01

    Objective To examine how health plans have changed their approaches for managing costs and utilization in the wake of the recent backlash against managed care. Data Sources/Study Setting Semistructured interviews with health plan executives, employers, providers, and other health care decision makers in 12 metropolitan areas that were randomly selected to be nationally representative of communities with more than 200,000 residents. Longitudinal data were collected as part of the Community Tracking Study during three rounds of site visits in 1996–1997, 1998–1999, and 2000–2001. Study Design Interviews probed about changes in the design and operation of health insurance products—including provider contracting and network development, benefit packages, and utilization management processes—and about the rationale and perceived impact of these changes. Data Collection/Extraction Methods Data from more than 850 interviews were coded, extracted, and analyzed using computerized text analysis software. Principal Findings Health plans have begun to scale back or abandon their use of selected managed care tools in most communities, with selective contracting and risk contracting practices fading most rapidly and completely. In turn, plans increasingly have sought cost savings by shifting costs to consumers. Some plans have begun to experiment with new provider networks, payment systems, and referral practices designed to lower costs and improve service delivery. Conclusions These changes promise to lighten administrative and financial burdens for physicians and hospitals, but they also threaten to increase consumers’ financial burdens. PMID:12650372

  18. The costs of smoking and secondhand smoke exposure in Taiwan: a prevalence-based annual cost approach

    PubMed Central

    Sung, Hai-Yen; Chang, Li-Chuan; Wen, Yu-Wen; Tsai, Yi-Wen

    2014-01-01

    Objectives To assess the costs of the health effects of cigarette smoking and secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure to society. Design Prevalence-based, disease-specific cost-of-illness study. We used an epidemiological population-attributable risk method to determine the costs that can be attributed to smoking and SHS exposure. Setting Taiwan. Participants All adult population aged 35 and older. Primary outcome measures Direct costs of healthcare expenditures spent for treating tobacco-related diseases, indirect mortality costs measured by the value of lost productivity due to tobacco-related premature deaths and indirect morbidity costs measured by the value of time lost from work due to tobacco-related illness. Results In 2010, direct costs of smoking and SHS exposure amounted to US$828 million, accounting for 3.4% of Taiwan's total personal healthcare expenditures. Smoking and SHS exposure also contributed to 15 555 premature deaths—corresponding to a loss of 284 765 years of life and US$820 million in productivity—and US$22 million in indirect morbidity costs. These direct and indirect costs totalled US$1670 million, representing 0.4% of Taiwan's gross domestic product and averaging about US$720/adult smoker. The share of the total costs was greater from active smoking (92%) than SHS exposure (8%), and greater for men (92%) than women (8%). Conclusions Smoking and SHS exposure impose a huge financial loss in Taiwan. Sustained tobacco control efforts to encourage people to quit smoking, prevent smoking uptake by children and young adults and protect all people from SHS exposure are needed. PMID:25009135

  19. Vertical and lateral flight optimization algorithm and missed approach cost calculation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murrieta Mendoza, Alejandro

    Flight trajectory optimization is being looked as a way of reducing flight costs, fuel burned and emissions generated by the fuel consumption. The objective of this work is to find the optimal trajectory between two points. To find the optimal trajectory, the parameters of weight, cost index, initial coordinates, and meteorological conditions along the route are provided to the algorithm. This algorithm finds the trajectory where the global cost is the most economical. The global cost is a compromise between fuel burned and flight time, this is determined using a cost index that assigns a cost in terms of fuel to the flight time. The optimization is achieved by calculating a candidate optimal cruise trajectory profile from all the combinations available in the aircraft performance database. With this cruise candidate profile, more cruises profiles are calculated taken into account the climb and descend costs. During cruise, step climbs are evaluated to optimize the trajectory. The different trajectories are compared and the most economical one is defined as the optimal vertical navigation profile. From the optimal vertical navigation profile, different lateral routes are tested. Taking advantage of the meteorological influence, the algorithm looks for the lateral navigation trajectory where the global cost is the most economical. That route is then selected as the optimal lateral navigation profile. The meteorological data was obtained from environment Canada. The new way of obtaining data from the grid from environment Canada proposed in this work resulted in an important computation time reduction compared against other methods such as bilinear interpolation. The algorithm developed here was evaluated in two different aircraft: the Lockheed L-1011 and the Sukhoi Russian regional jet. The algorithm was developed in MATLAB, and the validation was performed using Flight-Sim by Presagis and the FMS CMA-9000 by CMC Electronics -- Esterline. At the end of this work a

  20. An Effective Approach to Improving Low-Cost GPS Positioning Accuracy in Real-Time Navigation

    PubMed Central

    Islam, Md. Rashedul; Kim, Jong-Myon

    2014-01-01

    Positioning accuracy is a challenging issue for location-based applications using a low-cost global positioning system (GPS). This paper presents an effective approach to improving the positioning accuracy of a low-cost GPS receiver for real-time navigation. The proposed method precisely estimates position by combining vehicle movement direction, velocity averaging, and distance between waypoints using coordinate data (latitude, longitude, time, and velocity) of the GPS receiver. The previously estimated precious reference point, coordinate translation, and invalid data check also improve accuracy. In order to evaluate the performance of the proposed method, we conducted an experiment using a GARMIN GPS 19xHVS receiver attached to a car and used Google Maps to plot the processed data. The proposed method achieved improvement of 4–10 meters in several experiments. In addition, we compared the proposed approach with two other state-of-the-art methods: recursive averaging and ARMA interpolation. The experimental results show that the proposed approach outperforms other state-of-the-art methods in terms of positioning accuracy. PMID:25136679

  1. An effective approach to improving low-cost GPS positioning accuracy in real-time navigation.

    PubMed

    Islam, Md Rashedul; Kim, Jong-Myon

    2014-01-01

    Positioning accuracy is a challenging issue for location-based applications using a low-cost global positioning system (GPS). This paper presents an effective approach to improving the positioning accuracy of a low-cost GPS receiver for real-time navigation. The proposed method precisely estimates position by combining vehicle movement direction, velocity averaging, and distance between waypoints using coordinate data (latitude, longitude, time, and velocity) of the GPS receiver. The previously estimated precious reference point, coordinate translation, and invalid data check also improve accuracy. In order to evaluate the performance of the proposed method, we conducted an experiment using a GARMIN GPS 19xHVS receiver attached to a car and used Google Maps to plot the processed data. The proposed method achieved improvement of 4-10 meters in several experiments. In addition, we compared the proposed approach with two other state-of-the-art methods: recursive averaging and ARMA interpolation. The experimental results show that the proposed approach outperforms other state-of-the-art methods in terms of positioning accuracy. PMID:25136679

  2. A Low Cost Approach to Simultaneous Orbit, Attitude, and Rate Estimation Using an Extended Kalman Filter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Deutschmann, Julie; Harman, Rick; Bar-Itzhack, Itzhack

    1998-01-01

    An innovative approach to autonomous attitude and trajectory estimation is available using only magnetic field data and rate data. The estimation is performed simultaneously using an Extended Kalman Filter, a well known algorithm used extensively in onboard applications. The magnetic field is measured on a satellite by a magnetometer, an inexpensive and reliable sensor flown on virtually all satellites in low earth orbit. Rate data is provided by a gyro, which can be costly. This system has been developed and successfully tested in a post-processing mode using magnetometer and gyro data from 4 satellites supported by the Flight Dynamics Division at Goddard. In order for this system to be truly low cost, an alternative source for rate data must be utilized. An independent system which estimate spacecraft rate has been successfully developed and tested using only magnetometer data or a combination of magnetometer data and sun sensor data, which is less costly than a gyro. This system also uses an Extended Kalman Filter. Merging the two systems will provide an extremely low cost, autonomous approach to attitude and trajectory estimation. In this work we provide the theoretical background of the combined system. The measurement matrix is developed by combining the measurement matrix of the orbit and attitude estimation EKF with the measurement matrix of the rate estimation EKF, which is composed of a pseudo-measurement which makes the effective measurement a function of the angular velocity. Associated with this is the development of the noise covariance matrix associated with the original measurement combined with the new pseudo-measurement. In addition, the combination of the dynamics from the two systems is presented along with preliminary test results.

  3. A low cost approach to simultaneous orbit, attitude, and rate estimation using an extended Kalman filter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Deutschmann, Julie; Harman, Rick; Bar-Itzhack, Itzhack

    1998-01-01

    An innovative approach to autonomous attitude and trajectory estimation is available using only magnetic field data and rate data. The estimation is performed simultaneously using an Extended Kalman Filter (EKF), a well known algorithm used extensively in onboard applications. The magnetic field is measured on a satellite by a magnetometer, an inexpensive and reliable sensor flown on virtually all satellites in low earth orbit. Rate data is provided by a gyro, which can be costly. This system has been developed and successfully tested in a post-processing mode using magnetometer and gyro data from 4 satellites supported by the Flight Dynamics Division at Goddard. In order for this system to be truly low cost, an alternative source for rate data must be utilized. An independent system which estimates spacecraft rate has been successfully developed and tested using only magnetometer data or a combination of magnetometer data and sun sensor data, which is less costly than a gyro. This system also uses an EKF. Merging the two systems will provide an extremely low cost, autonomous approach to attitude and trajectory estimation. In this work we provide the theoretical background of the combined system. The measurement matrix is developed by combining the measurement matrix of the orbit and attitude estimation EKF with the measurement matrix of the rate estimation EKF, which is composed of a pseudo-measurement which makes the effective measurement a function of the angular velocity. Associated with this is the development of the noise covariance matrix associated with the original measurement combined with the new pseudo-measurement. In addition, the combination of the dynamics from the two systems is presented along with preliminary test results.

  4. A simplified fuel control approach for low-cost aircraft gas turbines

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gold, H.

    1973-01-01

    A hydromechanical approach to the problem of reducing the compexity and cost of turbine fuel controls without impairing performance and reliability is described and analyzed. The study applies to the modification of long-range high-performance turbine engines to meet short-range missile requirements. The generalized acceleration and deceleration control parameters are studied, and variable-orifice relations for acceleration and deceleration limits are derived. The hydromechanical speed-sensing and multiplying circuit and the fuel control schematic diagram are discussed.

  5. Deburring: technical capabilities and cost-effective approaches. Lessons 5 and 6

    SciTech Connect

    Gillespie, L.K.

    1980-06-01

    The ten-lesson text on deburring is designed to provide engineers and production supervisors with an overall understanding of deburring economics and current capabilities. Lessons 5 and 6 show that the effective plant-wide reduction of deburring costs can best be achieved by: determining the people who should be involved in a plant-wide review of deburring; defining the approach to be used in a plant-wide review of deburring; providing some form of training for both engineers and production workers; establishing in-plant standards for burrs and deburring; and understanding the capabilities of the available deburring equipment. The key to plant-wide control of deburring costs lies in considering deburring as integral as drilling or milling to the manufacturing process, in respecting the difficulty that deburring presents, in recognizing those who contribute to the success of deburring operations, and in using the large quantity of data that already exists. Plant-wide control of deburring costs is the difference between 25 years of experience and one year of experience repeated 25 times.

  6. Cost-Effectiveness of Alternative Approaches for Motivating Activity in Sedentary Adults: Results of Project STRIDE

    PubMed Central

    Sevick, Mary Ann; Napolitano, Melissa A.; Papandonatos, George D.; Gordon, Adam J.; Reiser, Lorraine M.; Marcus, Bess H.

    2009-01-01

    Objective To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of non face-to-face interventions for increasing physical activity in sedentary adults. The study took place in Providence, Rhode Island between the years 2000 and 2004. Methods 239 participants were randomized to: Phone, Print, or a contact control. Phone and Print groups were mailed regular surveys regarding their level of physical activity, motivational readiness and self-efficacy. Surveys were scanned by a computer expert system to generate feedback reports. Phone group participants received feedback by telephone. Print group participants received feedback by mail. The contact control group received mailings unrelated to physical activity. Intervention costs were assessed prospectively, from a payer perspective. Physical activity was measured using the Physical Activity Recall. Ambulatory health service use was assessed via monthly surveys. Results The Print intervention was more economically efficient than the Phone intervention in engaging participants in a more active lifestyle. Conclusion The Print intervention provides an efficient approach to increasing physical activity. Research is needed to determine the cost-effectiveness of the intervention in a more diverse population, within the context of the health service delivery system, and over a longer period of time. PMID:17573103

  7. Estimating the environmental and resource costs of leakage in water distribution systems: A shadow price approach.

    PubMed

    Molinos-Senante, María; Mocholí-Arce, Manuel; Sala-Garrido, Ramon

    2016-10-15

    Water scarcity is one of the main problems faced by many regions in the XXIst century. In this context, the need to reduce leakages from water distribution systems has gained almost universal acceptance. The concept of sustainable economic level of leakage (SELL) has been proposed to internalize the environmental and resource costs within economic level of leakage calculations. However, because these costs are not set by the market, they have not often been calculated. In this paper, the directional-distance function was used to estimate the shadow price of leakages as a proxy of their environmental and resource costs. This is a pioneering approach to the economic valuation of leakage externalities. An empirical application was carried out for the main Chilean water companies. The estimated results indicated that for 2014, the average shadow price of leakages was approximately 32% of the price of the water delivered. Moreover, as a sensitivity analysis, the shadow prices of the leakages were calculated from the perspective of the water companies' managers and the regulator. The methodology and findings of this study are essential for supporting the decision process of reducing leakage, contributing to the improvement of economic, social and environmental efficiency and sustainability of urban water supplies. PMID:27289397

  8. A computerized approach to select the most cost-effective telemetry system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shell, Richard L.; Damachi, Nicholas A.; Chaudhry, Jagtar S.

    Large water utilities adopt various levels of automation involving digital computer technology and modern instrumentation that provide the capability of controlling most operations in the water treatment and distribution system. One of the major components of water system automation is telemetering of information to and from a central control centre. Most water utility systems currently use leased telephone lines for telemetry requirement. An alternative approach is microwave telemetry. Concern about recent increases in leased-line tariff rates, the apparent tendency for further increases, and the degree of service provided by local telephone systems led to a study which showed that overall water distribution system telemetry cost can be minimized by adopting a hybrid telemetry system composed of both radio links and telephone links. A need arises to determine the transmission links for which each alternative method is economically more suitable. This paper presents an interactive computer program which performs an economic analysis of the transmission links in a water distribution system to determine the hybrid configuration of radio and leased phone lines that provide the most cost-effective telemetry system. A typical phone tariff structure is presented. The set of input variables can be altered interactively, and the effect of the change on system telemetry cost can be examined, allowing a resolution of a series of 'what if' questions of interest to a water utility manager. A case example is presented.

  9. Activity-based analyses lead to better decision making.

    PubMed

    Player, S

    1998-08-01

    Activity-based costing (ABC) and activity-based management (ABM) are cost-management tools that are relatively new to the healthcare industry. ABC is used for strategic decision making. It assesses the costs associated with specific activities and resources and links those costs to specific internal and external customers of the healthcare enterprise (e.g., patients, service lines, and physician groups) to determine the costs associated with each customer. This cost information then can be adjusted to account for anticipated changes and to predict future costs. ABM, on the other hand, supports operations by focusing on the causes of costs and how costs can be reduced. It assesses cost drivers that directly affect the cost of a product or service, and uses performance measures to evaluate the financial or nonfinancial benefit an activity provides. By identifying each cost driver and assessing the value the element adds to the healthcare enterprise, ABM provides a basis for selecting areas that can be changed to reduce costs. PMID:10182280

  10. Spacecraft Onboard Software Maintenance: An Effective Approach which Reduces Costs and Increases Science Return

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shell, Elaine M.; Lue, Yvonne; Chu, Martha I.

    1999-01-01

    Flight software (FSW) is a mission critical element of spacecraft functionality and performance. When ground operations personnel interface to a spacecraft, they are dealing almost entirely with onboard software. This software, even more than ground/flight communications systems, is expected to perform perfectly at all times during all phases of on-orbit mission life. Due to the fact that FSW can be reconfigured and reprogrammed to accommodate new spacecraft conditions, the on-orbit FSW maintenance team is usually significantly responsible for the long-term success of a science mission. Failure of FSW can result in very expensive operations work-around costs and lost science opportunities. There are three basic approaches to staffing on-orbit software maintenance, namely: (1) using the original developers, (2) using mission operations personnel, or (3) assembling a Center of Excellence for multi-spacecraft on-orbit FSW support. This paper explains a National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Goddard Space Flight Center (NASA/GSFC) experience related to the roles of on-orbit FSW maintenance personnel. It identifies the advantages and disadvantages of each of the three approaches to staffing the FSW roles, and demonstrates how a cost efficient on-orbit FSW Maintenance Center of Excellence can be established and maintained with significant return on the investment.

  11. Low-income DSM Programs: Methodological approach to determining the cost-effectiveness of coordinated partnerships

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, M.A.; Hill, L.J.

    1994-05-01

    As governments at all levels become increasingly budget-conscious, expenditures on low-income, demand-side management (DSM) programs are being evaluated more on the basis of efficiency at the expense of equity considerations. Budgetary pressures have also caused government agencies to emphasize resource leveraging and coordination with electric and gas utilities as a means of sharing the expenses of low-income programs. The increased involvement of electric and gas utilities in coordinated low-income DSM programs, in turn, has resulted in greater emphasis on estimating program cost-effectiveness. The objective of this study is to develop a methodological approach to estimate the cost- effectiveness of coordinated low-income DSM programs, given the special features that distinguish these programs from other utility-operated DSM programs. The general approach used in this study was to (1) select six coordinated low-income DSM programs from among those currently operating across the United States, (2) examine the main features of these programs, and (3) determine the conceptual and pragmatic problems associated with estimating their cost-effectiveness. Three types of coordination between government and utility cosponsors were identified. At one extreme, local agencies operate {open_quotes}parallel{close_quotes} programs, each of which is fully funded by a single sponsor (e.g., one funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and the other by a utility). At the other extreme are highly {open_quotes}coupled{close_quotes} programs that capitalize on the unique capabilities and resources offered by each cosponsor. In these programs, agencies employ a combination of utility and government funds to deliver weatherization services as part of an integrated effort. In between are {open_quotes}supplemental{close_quotes} programs that utilize resources to supplement the agency`s government-funded weatherization, with no changes to the operation of that program.

  12. Measuring population health: costs of alternative survey approaches in the Nouna Health and Demographic Surveillance System in rural Burkina Faso

    PubMed Central

    Lietz, Henrike; Lingani, Moustapha; Sié, Ali; Sauerborn, Rainer; Souares, Aurelia; Tozan, Yesim

    2015-01-01

    Background There are more than 40 Health and Demographic Surveillance System (HDSS) sites in 19 different countries. The running costs of HDSS sites are high. The financing of HDSS activities is of major importance, and adding external health surveys to the HDSS is challenging. To investigate the ways of improving data quality and collection efficiency in the Nouna HDSS in Burkina Faso, the stand-alone data collection activities of the HDSS and the Household Morbidity Survey (HMS) were integrated, and the paper-based questionnaires were consolidated into a single tablet-based questionnaire, the Comprehensive Disease Assessment (CDA). Objective The aims of this study are to estimate and compare the implementation costs of the two different survey approaches for measuring population health. Design All financial costs of stand-alone (HDSS and HMS) and integrated (CDA) surveys were estimated from the perspective of the implementing agency. Fixed and variable costs of survey implementation and key cost drivers were identified. The costs per household visit were calculated for both survey approaches. Results While fixed costs of survey implementation were similar for the two survey approaches, there were considerable variations in variable costs, resulting in an estimated annual cost saving of about US$45,000 under the integrated survey approach. This was primarily because the costs of data management for the tablet-based CDA survey were considerably lower than for the paper-based stand-alone surveys. The cost per household visit from the integrated survey approach was US$21 compared with US$25 from the stand-alone surveys for collecting the same amount of information from 10,000 HDSS households. Conclusions The CDA tablet-based survey method appears to be feasible and efficient for collecting health and demographic data in the Nouna HDSS in rural Burkina Faso. The possibility of using the tablet-based data collection platform to improve the quality of population health

  13. A decentralized approach to reducing the social costs of cascading failures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hines, Paul

    Large cascading failures in electrical power networks come with enormous social costs. These can be direct financial costs, such as the loss of refrigerated foods in grocery stores, or more indirect social costs, such as the traffic congestion that results from the failure of traffic signals. While engineers and policy makers have made numerous technical and organizational changes to reduce the frequency and impact of large cascading failures, the existing data, as described in Chapter 2 of this work, indicate that the overall frequency and impact of large electrical blackouts in the United States are not decreasing. Motivated by the cascading failure problem, this thesis describes a new method for Distributed Model Predictive Control and a power systems application. The central goal of the method, when applied to power systems, is to reduce the social costs of cascading failures by making small, targeted reductions in load and generation and changes to generator voltage set points. Unlike some existing schemes that operate from centrally located control centers, the method is operated by software agents located at substations distributed throughout the power network. The resulting multi-agent control system is a new approach to decentralized control, combining Distributed Model Predictive Control and Reciprocal Altruism. Experimental results indicate that this scheme can in fact decrease the average size, and thus social costs, of cascading failures. Over 100 randomly generated disturbances to a model of the IEEE 300 bus test network, the method resulted in nearly an order of magnitude decrease in average event size (measured in cost) relative to cascading failure simulations without remedial control actions. Additionally, the communication requirements for the method are measured, and found to be within the bandwidth capabilities of current communications technology (on the order of 100kB/second). Experiments on several resistor networks with varying structures

  14. A NOVEL APPROACH TO MINERAL CARBONATION: ENHANCING CARBONATION WHILE AVOIDING MINERAL PRETREATMENT PROCESS COST

    SciTech Connect

    Michael J. McKelvy; Andrew V.G. Chizmeshya; Kyle Squires; Ray W. Carpenter; Hamadallah Bearat

    2005-10-01

    Known fossil fuel reserves, especially coal, can support global energy demands for centuries to come, if the environmental problems associated with CO{sub 2} emissions can be overcome. Unlike other CO{sub 2} sequestration candidate technologies that propose long-term storage, mineral sequestration provides permanent disposal by forming geologically stable mineral carbonates. Carbonation of the widely occurring mineral olivine (e.g., forsterite, Mg{sub 2}SiO{sub 4}) is a large-scale sequestration process candidate for regional implementation, which converts CO{sub 2} into the environmentally benign mineral magnesite (MgCO{sub 3}). The primary goal is cost-competitive process development. As the process is exothermic, it inherently offers low-cost potential. Enhancing carbonation reactivity is key to economic viability. Recent studies at the U.S. DOE Albany Research Center have established that aqueous-solution carbonation using supercritical CO{sub 2} is a promising process; even without olivine activation, 30-50% carbonation has been achieved in an hour. Mechanical activation (e.g., attrition) has accelerated the carbonation process to an industrial timescale (i.e., near completion in less than an hour), at reduced pressure and temperature. However, the activation cost is too high to be economical and lower cost pretreatment options are needed. Herein, we report our first year progress in exploring a novel approach that offers the potential to substantially enhance carbonation reactivity while bypassing pretreatment activation. We have discovered that robust silica-rich passivating layers form on the olivine surface during carbonation. As carbonation proceeds, these passivating layers thicken, fracture and eventually exfoliate, exposing fresh olivine surfaces during rapidly-stirred/circulating carbonation. We are exploring the mechanisms that govern carbonation reactivity and the impact that (1) modeling/controlling the slurry fluid-flow conditions, (2) varying the

  15. Spacecraft Software Maintenance: An Effective Approach to Reducing Costs and Increasing Science Return

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shell, Elaine M.; Lue, Yvonne; Chu, Martha I.

    1999-01-01

    Flight software is a mission critical element of spacecraft functionality and performance. When ground operations personnel interface to a spacecraft, they are typically dealing almost entirely with the capabilities of onboard software. This software, even more than critical ground/flight communications systems, is expected to perform perfectly during all phases of spacecraft life. Due to the fact that it can be reprogrammed on-orbit to accommodate degradations or failures in flight hardware, new insights into spacecraft characteristics, new control options which permit enhanced science options, etc., the on- orbit flight software maintenance team is usually significantly responsible for the long term success of a science mission. Failure of flight software to perform as needed can result in very expensive operations work-around costs and lost science opportunities. There are three basic approaches to maintaining spacecraft software--namely using the original developers, using the mission operations personnel, or assembling a center of excellence for multi-spacecraft software maintenance. Not planning properly for flight software maintenance can lead to unnecessarily high on-orbit costs and/or unacceptably long delays, or errors, in patch installations. A common approach for flight software maintenance is to access the original development staff. The argument for utilizing the development staff is that the people who developed the software will be the best people to modify the software on-orbit. However, it can quickly becomes a challenge to obtain the services of these key people. They may no longer be available to the organization. They may have a more urgent job to perform, quite likely on another project under different project management. If they havn't worked on the software for a long time, they may need precious time for refamiliarization to the software, testbeds and tools. Further, a lack of insight into issues related to flight software in its on

  16. Unraveling Higher Education's Costs.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gordon, Gus; Charles, Maria

    1998-01-01

    The activity-based costing (ABC) method of analyzing institutional costs in higher education involves four procedures: determining the various discrete activities of the organization; calculating the cost of each; determining the cost drivers; tracing cost to the cost objective or consumer of each activity. Few American institutions have used the…

  17. Learning curve approach to projecting cost and performance for photovoltaic technologies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cody, George D.; Tiedje, Thomas

    1997-10-01

    The current cost of electricity generated by PV power is still extremely high with respect to power supplied by the utility grid, and there remain questions as to whether PV power can ever be competitive with electricity generated by fossil fuels. An objective approach to this important question was given in a previous paper by the authors which introduced analytical tools to define and project the technical/economic status of PV power from 1988 through the year 2010. In this paper, we apply these same tools to update the conclusions of our earlier study in the context of recent announcements by Amoco/Enron-Solar of projected sales of PV power at rates significantly less than the U.S. utility average.

  18. A learning curve approach to projecting cost and performance for photovoltaic technologies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cody, George D.; Tiedje, Thomas

    1997-04-01

    The current cost of electricity generated by PV power is still extremely high with respect to power supplied by the utility grid, and there remain questions as to whether PV power can ever be competitive with electricity generated by fossil fuels. An objective approach to this important question was given in a previous paper by the authors which introduced analytical tools to define and project the technical/economic status of PV power from 1988 through the year 2010. In this paper, we apply these same tools to update the conclusions of our earlier study in the context of recent announcements by Amoco/Enron-Solarex of projected sales of PV power at rates significantly less than the US utility average.

  19. A study of low cost approaches to scientific experiment implementation for shuttle launched and serviced automated spacecraft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1975-01-01

    Cost reductions that can be obtained in experiment instrumentation by the use of standardized electronics and by the relaxation of instrument reliability requirements are studied. The feasibility of using standardized equipment for experiment instrumentation is assessed and a system design approach that most effectively incorporates standardized equipment is developed. The level and form of modularization that is appropriate for the standardized equipment is determined. Mission assurance aspects of instrument development are examined to determine the cost reductions that might be derived from the relaxation of reliability requirements and to formulate a systematic approach to the optimization of mission assurance cost reductions. The results of the analyses are applied to a representative model HEAO payload in order to provide a concrete example of the cost reductions that can be achieved by a standardized approach to the instrument electronics.

  20. Lightweight ZERODUR: a cost-effective thermally stable approach to both large and small spaceborne telescopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hull, Tony; Westerhoff, Thomas

    2014-06-01

    ZERODUR®, known as the "gold standard" material for systems which require dimensional stability in the presence of gradients and transients, is now available lightweighted to the 85% to 90% level for use in high performance spaceborne telescopes and sensor systems. This establishes a design option that may have cost, testability, performance and risk advantages for an entire sensor system payload. The technical approach to making these primary mirrors is the same, whether the aperture is <0.3m to <4.0m. Since each mirror blank is made from a single monolithic billet of near zero-expansion, isotropic and homogeneous ZERODUR® material, the resulting mirror is very stable over a wide range of scenes and orbits, with minimal to no need for ancillary thermal stability and wavefront sensing and control systems. Telescopes using ZERODUR® and low expansion metering structures can accommodate thermal design challenges of both non-thermal (UV, VIS, LLLTV, NIR, SWIR and mm) and thermal (MWIR, LWIR) imaging systems, and deliver optimal performance. This lightweight mirror technology is discussed, with actual examples by SCHOTT of 0.3m and 1.2m mirrors presented. Lightweight ZERODUR® mirrors offer superior optical performance, attractive cost and aggressive lead times, and are available to present and future spaceborne sensor trades.

  1. A demonstration of a low cost approach to security at shipping facilities and ports

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huck, Robert C.; Al Akkoumi, Mouhammad K.; Herath, Ruchira W.; Sluss, James J., Jr.; Radhakrishnan, Sridhar; Landers, Thomas L.

    2010-04-01

    Government funding for the security at shipping facilities and ports is limited so there is a need for low cost scalable security systems. With over 20 million sea, truck, and rail containers entering the United States every year, these facilities pose a large risk to security. Securing these facilities and monitoring the variety of traffic that enter and leave is a major task. To accomplish this, the authors have developed and fielded a low cost fully distributed building block approach to port security at the inland Port of Catoosa in Oklahoma. Based on prior work accomplished in the design and fielding of an intelligent transportation system in the United States, functional building blocks, (e.g. Network, Camera, Sensor, Display, and Operator Console blocks) can be assembled, mixed and matched, and scaled to provide a comprehensive security system. The following functions are demonstrated and scaled through analysis and demonstration: Barge tracking, credential checking, container inventory, vehicle tracking, and situational awareness. The concept behind this research is "any operator on any console can control any device at any time."

  2. A user-friendly approach to cost accounting in laboratory animal facilities.

    PubMed

    Baker, David G

    2011-09-01

    Cost accounting is an essential management activity for laboratory animal facility management. In this report, the author describes basic principles of cost accounting and outlines steps for carrying out cost accounting in laboratory animal facilities. Methods of post hoc cost accounting analysis for maximizing the efficiency of facility operations are also described. PMID:21857645

  3. Nailing down construction costs. Design-build approach may have some answers.

    PubMed

    Wodoslawsky, J P

    1990-05-01

    Design-build firms, long accustomed to getting the smaller projects in the healthcare construction industry, have reason to be optimistic that the plum jobs will no longer be out of reach. At a time when the healthcare industry is under intense pressure to cut costs, but the need for renovation and new construction is increasing, design-build is a construction approach that promises to save time and money and guarantees price up front. As an alternative to traditional design-bid-build construction methods, the design-build approach offers single-source, full-service design and construction as a package deal. One entity is responsible for the project and resolving any problems that should occur. It eliminates the bidding process, which can take up to three or four months. By employing their own architects, engineers, and construction professionals, design-build firms can get all members of the project team involved at the outset. This not only helps the company establish a firm price early on, it facilitates total coordination of the project. PMID:10104649

  4. Approaches to capturing the financial cost of family care-giving within a palliative care context: a systematic review.

    PubMed

    Gardiner, Clare; Brereton, Louise; Frey, Rosemary; Wilkinson-Meyers, Laura; Gott, Merryn

    2016-09-01

    The economic burden faced by family caregivers of people at the end of life is well recognised. Financial burden has a significant impact on the provision of family care-giving in the community setting, but has seen limited research attention. A systematic review with realist review synthesis and thematic analysis was undertaken to identify literature relating to the financial costs and impact of family care-giving at the end of life. This paper reports findings relating to previously developed approaches which capture the financial costs and implications of caring for family members receiving palliative/end-of-life care. Seven electronic databases were searched from inception to April 2012, for original research studies relating to the financial impact of care-giving at the end of life. Studies were independently screened to identify those which met the study inclusion criteria, and the methodological quality of included studies was appraised using realist review criteria of relevance and rigour. A descriptive thematic approach was used to synthesise data. Twelve articles met the inclusion criteria for the review. Various approaches to capturing data on the financial costs of care-giving at the end of life were noted; however, no single tool was identified with the sole purpose of exploring these costs. The majority of approaches used structured questionnaires and were administered by personal interview, with most studies using longitudinal designs. Calculation of costs was most often based on recall by patients and family caregivers, in some studies combined with objective measures of resource use. While the studies in this review provide useful data on approaches to capturing costs of care-giving, more work is needed to develop methods which accurately and sensitively capture the financial costs of caring at the end of life. Methodological considerations include study design and method of administration, contextual and cultural relevance, and accuracy of cost

  5. The costs of colonoscopy in a Canadian hospital using a microcosting approach

    PubMed Central

    Sharara, Nour; Adam, Viviane; Crott, Ralph; Barkun, Alan N

    2008-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Colonoscopy has become accepted as one of the most effective methods of screening patients for colorectal cancer, and is used to remove the majority of colonic adenomas. OBJECTIVE: Because of the paucity of such estimates in the literature and the significant number of candidates for this procedure, the present study was performed to estimate the direct hospital costs of both diagnostic and therapeutic (polypectomy) colonoscopy. METHODS: A microcosting methodology was used to itemize the costs of colonoscopy. Variable and fixed costs were divided into labour, supplies, equipment and overhead costs. A third-party payer perspective was adopted. All costs are expressed in 2007 Canadian dollars. RESULTS: The cost of a diagnostic colonoscopy was $157 and the cost of a therapeutic colonoscopy was $199. Overhead costs represented approximately 30% of these amounts. When physician fees were added, these costs rose to $352 and $467, respectively. CONCLUSION: Because the overhead costs represent a large proportion of the total costs, allocation methods for these costs should be improved to allow for a more precise determination of the total costs of a colonoscopy. These estimates are useful when analyzing the cost-effectiveness of a strategy that uses colonoscopy when screening for colorectal cancer. PMID:18560635

  6. A Novel Approach To Mineral Carbonation: Enhancing Carbonation While Avoiding Mineral Pretreatment Process Cost

    SciTech Connect

    Michael J. McKelvy; Andrew V. G. Chizmeshya; Kyle Squires; Ray W. Carpenter; Hamdallah Bearat

    2006-06-21

    Known fossil fuel reserves, especially coal, can support global energy demands for centuries to come, if the environmental problems associated with CO{sub 2} emissions can be overcome. Unlike other CO{sub 2} sequestration candidate technologies that propose long-term storage, mineral sequestration provides permanent disposal by forming geologically stable mineral carbonates. Carbonation of the widely occurring mineral olivine (e.g., forsterite, Mg{sub 2}SiO{sub 4}) is a large-scale sequestration process candidate for regional implementation, which converts CO{sub 2} into the environmentally benign mineral magnesite (MgCO{sub 3}). The primary goal is cost-competitive process development. As the process is exothermic, it inherently offers low-cost potential. Enhancing carbonation reactivity is key to economic viability. Recent studies at the U.S. DOE Albany Research Center have established that aqueous-solution carbonation using supercritical CO{sub 2} is a promising process; even without olivine activation, 30-50% carbonation has been achieved in an hour. Mechanical activation (e.g., attrition) has accelerated the carbonation process to an industrial timescale (i.e., near completion in less than an hour), at reduced pressure and temperature. However, the activation cost is too high to be economical and lower cost pretreatment options are needed. Herein, we report our second year progress in exploring a novel approach that offers the potential to substantially enhance carbonation reactivity while bypassing pretreatment activation. As our second year progress is intimately related to our earlier work, the report is presented in that context to provide better overall understanding of the progress made. We have discovered that robust silica-rich passivating layers form on the olivine surface during carbonation. As carbonation proceeds, these passivating layers thicken, fracture and eventually exfoliate, exposing fresh olivine surfaces during rapidly

  7. Insightful monitoring of natural flood risk management features using a low-cost and participatory approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Starkey, Eleanor; Barnes, Mhari; Quinn, Paul; Large, Andy

    2016-04-01

    Pressures associated with flooding and climate change have significantly increased over recent years. Natural Flood Risk Management (NFRM) is now seen as being a more appropriate and favourable approach in some locations. At the same time, catchment managers are also encouraged to adopt a more integrated, evidence-based and bottom-up approach. This includes engaging with local communities. Although NFRM features are being more readily installed, there is still limited evidence associated with their ability to reduce flood risk and offer multiple benefits. In particular, local communities and land owners are still uncertain about what the features entail and how they will perform, which is a huge barrier affecting widespread uptake. Traditional hydrometric monitoring techniques are well established but they still struggle to successfully monitor and capture NFRM performance spatially and temporally in a visual and more meaningful way for those directly affected on the ground. Two UK-based case studies are presented here where unique NFRM features have been carefully designed and installed in rural headwater catchments. This includes a 1km2 sub-catchment of the Haltwhistle Burn (northern England) and a 2km2 sub-catchment of Eddleston Water (southern Scotland). Both of these pilot sites are subject to prolonged flooding in winter and flash flooding in summer. This exacerbates sediment, debris and water quality issues downstream. Examples of NFRM features include ponds, woody debris and a log feature inspired by the children's game 'Kerplunk'. They have been tested and monitored over the 2015-2016 winter storms using low-cost techniques by both researchers and members of the community ('citizen scientists'). Results show that monitoring techniques such as regular consumer specification time-lapse cameras, photographs, videos and 'kite-cams' are suitable for long-term and low-cost monitoring of a variety of NFRM features. These techniques have been compared against

  8. A Systems Approach to Cost-Benefit Analysis. Training & Development Research Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ruth, Gloria A.

    Training managers increasingly are being asked to document the cost effectiveness of their programs. A cost-benefit analysis program was implemented at the Anchor Hocking Corporation that may be useful for other organizations. The cost-benefit analysis at Anchor Hocking is part of the training system design. The complete training system design…

  9. Software Cost Estimation Using a Decision Graph Process: A Knowledge Engineering Approach

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stukes, Sherry; Spagnuolo, John, Jr.

    2011-01-01

    This paper is not a description per se of the efforts by two software cost analysts. Rather, it is an outline of the methodology used for FSW cost analysis presented in a form that would serve as a foundation upon which others may gain insight into how to perform FSW cost analyses for their own problems at hand.

  10. Benefit-Cost Analysis of Drug Abuse Prevention Programs: A Macroscopic Approach.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kim, Sehwan; And Others

    1995-01-01

    Determines the overall strategy for initiating benefit-cost analysis (BCA) in relation to drug abuse prevention programs, followed by definitions of BCA and cost-effectiveness analysis. Determines the most likely population benefit-cost efficiency ratio of 15:1, indicating that there is a $15 savings on every dollar spent on drug abuse education.…

  11. A game-theoretic approach for calibration of low-cost magnetometers under noise uncertainty

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Siddharth, S.; Ali, A. S.; El-Sheimy, N.; Goodall, C. L.; Syed, Z. F.

    2012-02-01

    Pedestrian heading estimation is a fundamental challenge in Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS)-denied environments. Additionally, the heading observability considerably degrades in low-speed mode of operation (e.g. walking), making this problem even more challenging. The goal of this work is to improve the heading solution when hand-held personal/portable devices, such as cell phones, are used for positioning and to improve the heading estimation in GNSS-denied signal environments. Most smart phones are now equipped with self-contained, low cost, small size and power-efficient sensors, such as magnetometers, gyroscopes and accelerometers. A magnetometer needs calibration before it can be properly employed for navigation purposes. Magnetometers play an important role in absolute heading estimation and are embedded in many smart phones. Before the users navigate with the phone, a calibration is invoked to ensure an improved signal quality. This signal is used later in the heading estimation. In most of the magnetometer-calibration approaches, the motion modes are seldom described to achieve a robust calibration. Also, suitable calibration approaches fail to discuss the stopping criteria for calibration. In this paper, the following three topics are discussed in detail that are important to achieve proper magnetometer-calibration results and in turn the most robust heading solution for the user while taking care of the device misalignment with respect to the user: (a) game-theoretic concepts to attain better filter parameter tuning and robustness in noise uncertainty, (b) best maneuvers with focus on 3D and 2D motion modes and related challenges and (c) investigation of the calibration termination criteria leveraging the calibration robustness and efficiency.

  12. Effectiveness of bone cleaning process using chemical and entomology approaches: time and cost.

    PubMed

    Lai, Poh Soon; Khoo, Lay See; Mohd Hilmi, Saidin; Ahmad Hafizam, Hasmi; Mohd Shah, Mahmood; Nurliza, Abdullah; Nazni, Wasi Ahmad

    2015-08-01

    Skeletal examination is an important aspect of forensic pathology practice, requiring effective bone cleaning with minimal artefact. This study was conducted to compare between chemical and entomology methods of bone cleaning. Ten subjects between 20 and 40 years old who underwent uncomplicated medico-legal autopsies at the Institute of Forensic Medicine Malaysia were randomly chosen for this descriptive cross sectional study. The sternum bone was divided into 4 parts, each part subjected to a different cleaning method, being two chemical approaches i.e. laundry detergent and a combination of 6% hydrogen peroxide and powder sodium bicarbonate and two entomology approaches using 2nd instar maggots of Chrysomyia rufifacies and Ophyra spinigera. A scoring system for grading the outcome of cleaning was used. The effectiveness of the methods was evaluated based on average weight reduction per day and median number of days to achieve the average score of less than 1.5 within 12 days of the bone cleaning process. Using maggots was the most time-effective and costeffective method, achieving an average weight reduction of 1.4 gm per day, a median of 11.3 days to achieve the desired score and an average cost of MYR 4.10 per case to reach the desired score within 12 days. This conclusion was supported by blind validation by forensic specialists achieving a 77.8% preference for maggots. Emission scanning electron microscopy evaluation also revealed that maggots especially Chrysomyia rufifacies preserved the original condition of the bones better allowing improved elucidation of bone injuries in future real cases. PMID:26277669

  13. Cost-effectiveness analysis of behaviour change interventions: a proposed new approach and an application to Egypt.

    PubMed

    Robinson, Warren C; Lewis, Gary L

    2003-10-01

    This paper presents a new approach to cost analysis of family planning programmes that focuses on behaviour change of programme clients as the final 'output' rather than units of contraceptive services delivered, as does the familiar couple-years-of-protection index. It is useful to know how much it costs to deliver a unit of contraceptive services, but it would also seem useful to know how much it costs to change a prospective client's behaviour. The proposed approach rests on the familiar 'steps to behaviour change' paradigm and: (1) develops a methodology for applying a client-behaviour-change-centred cost analysis to programme activities; (2) tests the methodology and concepts by applying them retrospectively to a case study of mass media interventions in Egypt; (3) derives cost per unit of behaviour changes for these Egyptian communications campaigns to demonstrate the workability of the approach. This framework offers a new approach to impact evaluation that would seem to be applicable to other components of family planning and reproductive health programmes. PMID:14621248

  14. Costs of Lygus herbivory on cotton associated with farmer decision-making: an ecoinformatics approach.

    PubMed

    Rosenheim, Jay A

    2013-06-01

    Because the farmer is typically excluded from the experimental research setting, experimental research may face challenges in evaluating pest management tactics whose costs and benefits hinge on farmer decision-making. In these cases an ecoinformatics approach, in which observational data collected from the commercial farming setting are "mined" to quantify both biological variables and farmer behavior, can complement experimentation as a useful research tool. Here I analyze such an observational data set to characterize associations between early- (June) and mid-season (July) Lygus hesperus Knight populations and farmer decisions to apply plant growth regulators and defoliants. Previous experimental work suggested the hypothesis that Lygus herbivory, by inducing abscission of young flower buds, might generate increased use of plant growth regulators and defoliants. Cotton's ability to compensate for loss of flower buds may, however, increase as plants grow. On upland cotton, June Lygus populations were associated with increased use of plant growth regulators, as expected, but this relationship was not observed for July Lygus populations. June Lygus populations were not associated with the use of defoliants, whereas, surprisingly, July Lygus populations were associated with decreases in defoliant use. In contrast to these positive and negative associations observed on upland cotton, on Pima cotton Lygus populations exhibited no associations with use of either plant growth regulators or defoliants. These results suggest that cotton responses to Lygus herbivory, as demonstrated in previously published experimental studies, can translate into economically meaningful changes in farmer decisions to apply agricultural chemicals. PMID:23865193

  15. Simulation and training of ultrasound supported anaesthesia: a low-cost approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schaaf, T.; Lamontain, M.; Hilpert, J.; Schilling, F.; Tolxdorff, T.

    2010-03-01

    The use of ultrasound imaging technology during techniques of peripheral nerve blockade offers several clinical benefits. Here we report on a new method to educate residents in ultrasound-guided regional anesthesia. The daily challenge for the anesthesiologists is the 3D angle-depending handling of the stimulation needle and the ultrasound probe while watching the 2D ultrasound image on the monitor. Purpose: Our approach describes how a computer-aided simulation and training set for ultrasound-guided regional anesthesia could be built based on wireless low-cost devices and an interactive simulation of a 2D ultrasound image. For training purposes the injection needle and the ultrasound probe are replaced by wireless Bluetooth-connected 3D tracking devices, which are embedded in WII-mote controllers (Nintendo-Brand). In correlation to the tracked 3D positions of the needle and transducer models the visibility and position of the needle should be simulated in the 2D generated ultrasound image. Conclusion: In future, this tracking and visualization software module could be integrated in a more complex training set, where complex injection paths could be trained based on a 3D segmented model and the training results could be part of a curricular e-learning module.

  16. Cost accounting and public reimbursement schemes in Spanish hospitals.

    PubMed

    Sánchez-Martínez, Fernando; Abellán-Perpiñán, José-María; Martínez-Pérez, Jorge-Eduardo; Puig-Junoy, Jaume

    2006-08-01

    The objective of this paper is to provide a description and analysis of the main costing and pricing (reimbursement) systems employed by hospitals in the Spanish National Health System (NHS). Hospitals cost calculations are mostly based on a full costing approach as opposite to other systems like direct costing or activity based costing. Regional and hospital differences arise on the method used to allocate indirect costs to cost centres and also on the approach used to measure resource consumption. Costs are typically calculated by disaggregating expenditure and allocating it to cost centres, and then to patients and DRGs. Regarding public reimbursement systems, the impression is that unit costs are ignored, except for certain type of high technology processes and treatments. PMID:17016928

  17. Cost-effective subaperture approaches to finishing and testing astronomical optics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tricard, Marc; Shorey, Aric; Hallock, Bob; Murphy, Paul

    2006-06-01

    The fabrication and metrology of astronomical optics are very demanding tasks. In particular, the large sizes needed for astronomical optics and mirrors present significant manufacturing challenges. One of the long-lead aspects (and primary cost drivers) of this process has traditionally been the final polishing and metrology steps. Furthermore, traditional polishing becomes increasingly difficult if the optics are aspheric and/or lightweight. QED Technologies (QED(r)) has developed two novel technologies that have had a significant impact on the production of precision optics. Magnetorheological Finishing (MRF(r)) is a deterministic, production proven, sub-aperture polishing process that can enable significant reductions in cost and lead-time in the production of large optics. MRF routinely achieves surface figure accuracy of better than 30 nm peak-to-valley (better than 5 nm rms) and microroughness better than 1 nm rms on a variety of glasses, glass ceramics and ceramic materials. Unique characteristics of MRF such as a comparatively high, stable removal rate, the conformal nature of the sub-aperture tool and a shear-mode material removal mechanism give it advantages in finishing large and lightweight optics. QED has, for instance, developed the Q22-950F MRF platform which is capable of finishing meter-class optics and the fundamental technology is scalable to even larger apertures. Using MRF for large optics is ideally partnered by a flexible metrology system that provides full aperture metrology of the surface to be finished. A method that provides significant advantages for mirror manufacturing is to characterize the full surface by stitching an array of sub-aperture measurements. Such a technique inherently enables the testing of larger apertures with higher resolution and typically higher accuracy. Furthermore, stitching lends itself to a greater range of optical surfaces that can be measured in a single setup. QED's Subaperture Stitching Interferometer (SSI

  18. Cost of maternal health services in selected primary care centres in Ghana: a step down allocation approach

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background There is a paucity of knowledge on the cost of health care services in Ghana. This poses a challenge in the economic evaluation of programmes and inhibits policy makers in making decisions about allocation of resources to improve health care. This study analysed the overall cost of providing health services in selected primary health centres and how much of the cost is attributed to the provision of antenatal and delivery services. Methods The study has a cross-sectional design and quantitative data was collected between July and December 2010. Twelve government run primary health centres in the Kassena-Nankana and Builsa districts of Ghana were randomly selected for the study. All health-care related costs for the year 2010 were collected from a public service provider’s perspective. The step-down allocation approach recommended by World Health Organization was used for the analysis. Results The average annual cost of operating a health centre was $136,014 US. The mean costs attributable to ANC and delivery services were $23,063 US and $11,543 US respectively. Personnel accounted for the largest proportion of cost (45%). Overall, ANC (17%) and delivery (8%) were responsible for less than a quarter of the total cost of operating the health centres. By disaggregating the costs, the average recurrent cost was estimated at $127,475 US, representing 93.7% of the total cost. Even though maternal health services are free, utilization of these services at the health centres were low, particularly for delivery (49%), leading to high unit costs. The mean unit costs were $18 US for an ANC visit and $63 US for spontaneous delivery. Conclusion The high unit costs reflect underutilization of the existing capacities of health centres and indicate the need to encourage patients to use health centres .The study provides useful information that could be used for cost effectiveness analyses of maternal and neonatal care interventions, as well as for policy makers to

  19. Sample size calculation in cost-effectiveness cluster randomized trials: optimal and maximin approaches.

    PubMed

    Manju, Md Abu; Candel, Math J J M; Berger, Martijn P F

    2014-07-10

    In this paper, the optimal sample sizes at the cluster and person levels for each of two treatment arms are obtained for cluster randomized trials where the cost-effectiveness of treatments on a continuous scale is studied. The optimal sample sizes maximize the efficiency or power for a given budget or minimize the budget for a given efficiency or power. Optimal sample sizes require information on the intra-cluster correlations (ICCs) for effects and costs, the correlations between costs and effects at individual and cluster levels, the ratio of the variance of effects translated into costs to the variance of the costs (the variance ratio), sampling and measuring costs, and the budget. When planning, a study information on the model parameters usually is not available. To overcome this local optimality problem, the current paper also presents maximin sample sizes. The maximin sample sizes turn out to be rather robust against misspecifying the correlation between costs and effects at the cluster and individual levels but may lose much efficiency when misspecifying the variance ratio. The robustness of the maximin sample sizes against misspecifying the ICCs depends on the variance ratio. The maximin sample sizes are robust under misspecification of the ICC for costs for realistic values of the variance ratio greater than one but not robust under misspecification of the ICC for effects. Finally, we show how to calculate optimal or maximin sample sizes that yield sufficient power for a test on the cost-effectiveness of an intervention. PMID:25019136

  20. To Boost Quality and Cut Costs, Oregon State U. Adopts a Customer-Oriented Approach to Campus Services.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McMillen, Liz

    1991-01-01

    At Oregon State University, an investigation into physical plant administration in response to complaints found significant problems with customer service. Adopting an approach called Total Quality Management, the staff identified and resolved problems, improved quality, and reduced cost. Administrators feel the principles could be applied in all…

  1. Changing the Curation Equation: A Data Lifecycle Approach to Lowering Costs and Increasing Value

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Myers, J.; Hedstrom, M.; Plale, B. A.; Kumar, P.; McDonald, R.; Kooper, R.; Marini, L.; Kouper, I.; Chandrasekar, K.

    2013-12-01

    What if everything that researchers know about their data, and everything their applications know, were directly available to curators? What if all the information that data consumers discover and infer about data were also available? What if curation and preservation activities occurred incrementally, during research projects instead of after they end, and could be leveraged to make it easier to manage research data from the moment of its creation? These are questions that the Sustainable Environments - Actionable Data (SEAD) project, funded as part of the National Science Foundation's DataNet partnership, was designed to answer. Data curation is challenging, but it is made more difficult by the historical separation of data production, data use, and formal curation activities across organizations, locations, and applications, and across time. Modern computing and networking technologies allow a much different approach in which data and metadata can easily flow between these activities throughout the data lifecycle, and in which heterogeneous and evolving data and metadata can be managed. Sustainability research, SEAD's initial focus area, is a clear example of an area where the nature of the research (cross-disciplinary, integrating heterogeneous data from independent sources, small teams, rapid evolution of sensing and analysis techniques) and the barriers and costs inherent in traditional methods have limited adoption of existing curation tools and techniques, to the detriment of overall scientific progress. To explore these ideas and create a sustainable curation capability for communities such as sustainability research, the SEAD team has developed and is now deploying an interacting set of open source data services that demonstrate this approach. These services provide end-to-end support for management of data during research projects; publication of that data into long-term archives; and integration of it into community networks of publications, research

  2. MOD Buffer/YBCO Approach to Fabricate Low-Cost Second Generation HTS Wires

    SciTech Connect

    Paranthaman, Mariappan Parans; Sathyamurthy, Srivatsan; Bhuiyan, Md S; Martin, Patrick M; Aytug, Tolga; Kim, Kyunghoon; Fayek, Mostafa; Leonard, Keith J; Li, Jing; Zhang, W.; Rupich, Marty

    2007-01-01

    The metal organic deposition (MOD) of buffer layers on RABiTS substrates is considered a potential, low-cost approach to manufacturing high performance Second Generation (2G) high temperature superconducting (HTS) wires. The typical architecture used by American Superconductor in their 2G HTS wire consists of a Ni-W (5 at.%) substrate with a reactively sputtered Y2O3 seed layer, YSZ barrier layer and a CeO2 cap layer. This architecture supports critical currents of over 300 A/cm-width (77 K, self-field) with 0.8 mum YBCO films deposited by the TFA-MOD process. The main challenge in the development of the MOD buffers is to match or exceed the performance of the standard vacuum deposited buffer architecture. We have recently shown that the texture and properties of MOD - La2Zr2Ogamma (LZO) barrier layers can be improved by inserting a thin sputtered Y2O3 seed layer and prepared MOD deposited LZO layers followed by MOD or RF sputtered CeO2 cap layers that support MOD-YBCO films with Ic's of 200 and 255 A/cm-width, respectively. Detailed X-ray and microstructural characterizations indicated that MOD - CeO2 cap reacted completely with MOD YBCO to form BaCeOs. However, sputtered CeO2 cap/MOD YBCO interface remains clean. By further optimizing the coating conditions and reducing the heat-treatment temperatures, we have demonstrated an Ic of 336 A/cm with improved LZO layers and sputtered CeO2 cap and exceeded the performance of that of standard vacuum deposited buffers.

  3. A cost-outcome approach to pre and post-implementation of national sports injury prevention programmes.

    PubMed

    Gianotti, Simon; Hume, Patria A

    2007-12-01

    In New Zealand (NZ), the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) has developed a pre and post-implementation cost-outcome formulae for sport injury prevention to provide information regarding the success of a prevention programme. The ACC provides for the cost of all personal injuries in NZ and invests in prevention programmes to offset 1.6 million annual claims that cost $NZD 1.9 billion. The ACC invests in nine national community sport injury prevention programmes that represent 40% of sport claims and costs. Pre-implementation is used to determine the decision whether to invest in implementation and to determine the level of such investment for the injury prevention programme. Post-implementation is calculated two ways: unadjusted, assuming ceteris paribus; and adjusted assuming no prevention programme was in place. Post-implementation formulae provide a return on investment (ROI) for each dollar invested in the programme and cost-savings. The cost-outcome formulae approach allows ACC to manage expectations of the prevention programme as well as when it will provide a ROI, allowing it to take a long-term view for investment in sport injury prevention. Originally developed for its sport injury prevention programmes, the cost-outcome formulae have now been applied to the other prevention programmes ACC invests in such as home, road and workplace injury prevention. PMID:17353149

  4. Cost implications of different approaches to the prevention of respiratory distress syndrome.

    PubMed Central

    Mugford, M; Piercy, J; Chalmers, I

    1991-01-01

    Because the incidence of both neonatal respiratory distress syndrome and neonatal mortality can be reduced by giving corticosteroids to women expected to deliver preterm and by giving surfactant to babies at high risk of developing hyaline membrane disease, we have considered what effects the adoption of one or both of these preventive policies would have on the costs of neonatal care. We have estimated the effects of treatment from overviews of the relevant controlled trials, and estimated costs from observations of care at one neonatal unit. Our results suggest that if either of these policies is adopted for all babies under 35 weeks' gestation at a drug cost of 150 pounds or less/baby, the overall costs of care would be reduced by between 1 and 10%. The cost per survivor would be reduced by up to 16% even if the drug cost were to be as high as pounds 550/baby. If the policies were to be adopted only for babies under 31 weeks' gestation, both policies would result in a reduction in cost of between 5 and 16%/survivor, although the increased survival resulting from the policies would lead to an increase in overall costs for babies of less then 31 weeks' gestation of between 7 and 32%. PMID:1863120

  5. Film-free efficiency systems: a new cost-effective approach.

    PubMed

    Reicher, M A

    1998-01-01

    Pressure is on healthcare providers to make their services more affordable. Streamlining operations to improve efficiency is one means of achieving that goal. PACS has been touted as the technology to improve radiologic services. Sold as a way to eliminate lost records and lower operations costs, in reality, PACS has raised costs and slowed work flow in many cases. Perhaps PACS that raise operations costs are more properly named digital overhead generating systems (DOGS). There is an alternative solution--film-free efficiency systems (FFES), defined as the technological tools required to lower radiologic costs and improve services. A new type of image and information management technology and distinct from traditional PACS in a number of ways, film-free efficiency systems are immediately cost effective. They improve personnel efficiency, reduce costs per RVU, provide an alternative to film and exclude the use of any technology that is not cost effective. Implementation of these systems must begin with a clearly stated mission, a leadership statement and financial accountability. To guarantee an immediate financial gain in your department, you'll want to finance the system through material cost savings. Implementation should start with the digital modalities. The next step is to retrain staff and reengineer the workplace, followed by creating the necessary infrastructure of PCs in referring physicians' offices. Lastly, implement CR or digital radiography as prices drop and technologies improve in speed. PMID:10186419

  6. Development of cost effective fenceline monitoring approaches to support advanced leak detection and repair strategies

    EPA Science Inventory

    Cost-effective fence line and process monitoring systems to support advanced leak detection and repair (LDAR) strategies can enhance protection of public health, facilitate worker safety, and help companies realize cost savings by reducing lost product. The U.S. EPA Office of Re...

  7. Understanding the reductions in US corn ethanol production costs: an experience curve approach

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The US is currently the world's largest ethanol producer. An increasing percentage is used as transportation fuel, but debates continue on its cost competitiveness and energy balance. In this study, technological development of ethanol production and resulting cost reductions are investigated by usi...

  8. A Comparable Wage Approach to Geographic Cost Adjustment. Research and Development Report. NCES-2006-321

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Taylor, Lori L.; Fowler, William J. Jr.

    2006-01-01

    Geographic cost differences present many complications when researchers attempt to make systematic comparisons of educational resources, and failure to address such differences can undermine the equity and adequacy goals of school finance formulas. Therefore, there is considerable interest in developing measures of the cost of education that can…

  9. A New Approach to Hospital Cost Functions and Some Issues in Revenue Regulation

    PubMed Central

    Friedman, Bernard; Pauly, Mark V.

    1983-01-01

    An important aspect of hospital revenue regulation at the State level is the use of retroactive allowances for changes in the volume of service. Arguments favoring non-proportional allowances have been based on statistical studies of marginal cost, together with concerns about fairness toward non-profit enterprises or concerns about various inflationary biases in hospital management. This article attempts to review and clarify the regulatory issues and choices, with the aid of new econometric work that explicitly allows for the effects of transitory as well as expected demand changes on hospital expense. The present analysis is also novel in treating length of stay as an endogenous variable in cost functions. We analyzed cost variation for a panel of over 800 hospitals that reported monthly to Hospital Administrative Services between 1973 and 1978. The central results are that marginal cost of unexpected admissions is about half of average cost, while marginal cost of forecasted admissions is about equal to average cost. We obtained relatively low estimates of the cost of an “empty bed.” The study tends to support proportional volume allowances in revenue regulation programs, with perhaps a residual role for selective case review. PMID:10309853

  10. Multi-objective optimization approach for cost management during product design at the conceptual phase

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Durga Prasad, K. G.; Venkata Subbaiah, K.; Narayana Rao, K.

    2014-03-01

    The effective cost management during the conceptual design phase of a product is essential to develop a product with minimum cost and desired quality. The integration of the methodologies of quality function deployment (QFD), value engineering (VE) and target costing (TC) could be applied to the continuous improvement of any product during product development. To optimize customer satisfaction and total cost of a product, a mathematical model is established in this paper. This model integrates QFD, VE and TC under multi-objective optimization frame work. A case study on domestic refrigerator is presented to show the performance of the proposed model. Goal programming is adopted to attain the goals of maximum customer satisfaction and minimum cost of the product.

  11. Industry-Cost-Curve Approach for Modeling the Environmental Impact of Introducing New Technologies in Life Cycle Assessment.

    PubMed

    Kätelhön, Arne; von der Assen, Niklas; Suh, Sangwon; Jung, Johannes; Bardow, André

    2015-07-01

    The environmental costs and benefits of introducing a new technology depend not only on the technology itself, but also on the responses of the market where substitution or displacement of competing technologies may occur. An internationally accepted method taking both technological and market-mediated effects into account, however, is still lacking in life cycle assessment (LCA). For the introduction of a new technology, we here present a new approach for modeling the environmental impacts within the framework of LCA. Our approach is motivated by consequential life cycle assessment (CLCA) and aims to contribute to the discussion on how to operationalize consequential thinking in LCA practice. In our approach, we focus on new technologies producing homogeneous products such as chemicals or raw materials. We employ the industry cost-curve (ICC) for modeling market-mediated effects. Thereby, we can determine substitution effects at a level of granularity sufficient to distinguish between competing technologies. In our approach, a new technology alters the ICC potentially replacing the highest-cost producer(s). The technologies that remain competitive after the new technology's introduction determine the new environmental impact profile of the product. We apply our approach in a case study on a new technology for chlor-alkali electrolysis to be introduced in Germany. PMID:26061620

  12. Taguchi Approach to Design Optimization for Quality and Cost: An Overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Unal, Resit; Dean, Edwin B.

    1990-01-01

    Calibrations to existing cost of doing business in space indicate that to establish human presence on the Moon and Mars with the Space Exploration Initiative (SEI) will require resources, felt by many, to be more than the national budget can afford. In order for SEI to succeed, we must actually design and build space systems at lower cost this time, even with tremendous increases in quality and performance requirements, such as extremely high reliability. This implies that both government and industry must change the way they do business. Therefore, new philosophy and technology must be employed to design and produce reliable, high quality space systems at low cost. In recognizing the need to reduce cost and improve quality and productivity, Department of Defense (DoD) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) have initiated Total Quality Management (TQM). TQM is a revolutionary management strategy in quality assurance and cost reduction. TQM requires complete management commitment, employee involvement, and use of statistical tools. The quality engineering methods of Dr. Taguchi, employing design of experiments (DOE), is one of the most important statistical tools of TQM for designing high quality systems at reduced cost. Taguchi methods provide an efficient and systematic way to optimize designs for performance, quality, and cost. Taguchi methods have been used successfully in Japan and the United States in designing reliable, high quality products at low cost in such areas as automobiles and consumer electronics. However, these methods are just beginning to see application in the aerospace industry. The purpose of this paper is to present an overview of the Taguchi methods for improving quality and reducing cost, describe the current state of applications and its role in identifying cost sensitive design parameters.

  13. A unified approach to the estimation and interpretation of resistance costs in plants

    PubMed Central

    Vila-Aiub, M M; Neve, P; Roux, F

    2011-01-01

    Plants exhibit a number of adaptive defence traits that endow resistance to past and current abiotic and biotic stresses. It is generally accepted that these adaptations will incur a cost when plants are not challenged by the stress to which they have become adapted—the so-called ‘cost of adaptation'. The need to minimise or account for allelic variation at other fitness-related loci (genetic background control) is frequently overlooked when assessing resistance costs associated with plant defence traits. We provide a synthesis of the various experimental protocols that accomplish this essential requirement. We also differentiate those methods that enable the identification of the trait-specific or mechanistic basis of costs (direct methods) from those that provide an estimate of the impact of costs by examining the evolutionary trajectories of resistance allele frequencies at the population level (indirect methods). The advantages and disadvantages for each proposed experimental design are discussed. We conclude that plant resistance systems provide an ideal model to address fundamental questions about the cost of adaptation to stress. We also propose some ways to expand the scope of future studies for further fundamental and applied insight into the significance of adaptation costs. PMID:21540885

  14. Bayesian comparison of cost-effectiveness of different clinical approaches to diagnose coronary artery disease

    SciTech Connect

    Patterson, R.E.; Eng, C.; Horowitz, S.F.; Gorlin, R.; Goldstein, S.R.

    1984-08-01

    The objective of this study was to compare the cost-effectiveness of four clinical policies (policies I to IV) in the diagnosis of the presence or absence of coronary artery disease. A model based on Bayes theorem and published clinical data was constructed to make these comparisons. Effectiveness was defined as either the number of patients with coronary disease diagnosed or as the number of quality-adjusted life years extended by therapy after the diagnosis of coronary disease. The following conclusions arise strictly from analysis of the model and may not necessarily be applicable to all situations. As prevalence of coronary disease in the population increased, it caused a linear increase in cost per patient tested, but a hyperbolic decrease in cost per effect, that is, increased cost-effectiveness. Thus, cost-effectiveness of all policies (I to IV) was poor in populations with a prevalence of disease below 10%. Analysis of the model also indicates that at prevalences less than 80%, exercise thallium scintigraphy alone as a first test (policy II) is a more cost-effective initial test than is exercise electrocardiography alone as a first test (policy I) or exercise electrocardiography first combined with thallium imaging as a second test (policy IV). Exercise electrocardiography before thallium imaging (policy IV) is more cost-effective than exercise electrocardiography alone (policy I) at prevalences less than 80%. 4) Noninvasive exercise testing before angiography (policies I, II and IV) is more cost-effective than using coronary angiography as the first and only test (policy III) at prevalences less than 80%. 5) Above a threshold value of prevalence of 80% (for example patients with typical angina), proceeding to angiography as the first test (policy III) was more cost-effective than initial noninvasive exercise tests (policies I, II and IV).

  15. Modeling the trade-off between diet costs and methane emissions: A goal programming approach.

    PubMed

    Moraes, L E; Fadel, J G; Castillo, A R; Casper, D P; Tricarico, J M; Kebreab, E

    2015-08-01

    Enteric methane emission is a major greenhouse gas from livestock production systems worldwide. Dietary manipulation may be an effective emission-reduction tool; however, the associated costs may preclude its use as a mitigation strategy. Several studies have identified dietary manipulation strategies for the mitigation of emissions, but studies examining the costs of reducing methane by manipulating diets are scarce. Furthermore, the trade-off between increase in dietary costs and reduction in methane emissions has only been determined for a limited number of production scenarios. The objective of this study was to develop an optimization framework for the joint minimization of dietary costs and methane emissions based on the identification of a set of feasible solutions for various levels of trade-off between emissions and costs. Such a set of solutions was created by the specification of a systematic grid of goal programming weights, enabling the decision maker to choose the solution that achieves the desired trade-off level. Moreover, the model enables the calculation of emission-mitigation costs imputing a trading value for methane emissions. Emission imputed costs can be used in emission-unit trading schemes, such as cap-and-trade policy designs. An application of the model using data from lactating cows from dairies in the California Central Valley is presented to illustrate the use of model-generated results in the identification of optimal diets when reducing emissions. The optimization framework is flexible and can be adapted to jointly minimize diet costs and other potential environmental impacts (e.g., nitrogen excretion). It is also flexible so that dietary costs, feed nutrient composition, and animal nutrient requirements can be altered to accommodate various production systems. PMID:25981079

  16. A Collaborative Approach for Providing Low-Cost ELF Monitoring from Ground and Space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bleier, T. E.; Franklin, L.

    2003-12-01

    This paper describes a collaborative effort among several groups, including a small business (QuakeFinder,LLC), dozens of high schools in northern California, several universities (Stanford and Cal Poly SLO), and Lockheed Martin in Sunnyvale to build a combined ground-based and space-based ELF monitoring system. The goal is to monitor and characterize the raw RF spectrum in the ELF band, and to look for pre- and post-earthquake signatures. Previous attempts at monitoring ELF signals associated with earthquakes have always been summarized with the statement, more data is needed. QuakeFinder is a small business that approached the problem with a different strategy. Rather than deploy a few, expensive, commercial high sensitivity, AC magnetometers on the ground, a collaboration was formed with high school physics classes to build a large number of medium sensitivity magnetometers from partially-assembled kits, and to deploy these sensors in a close spacing along the major California earthquake faults. The strategy was to have a 3-axis ELF ground monitor within 15 km of any large (>M5) quake-- before, during, and after the event. To date, 34 sites have been deployed (out of 50 planned), and they now collect and display daily averages from these 3-axis monitors on a web site (www.earthquaketracker.com). Likewise, satellite-based monitoring is severely restricted by the high cost of building and flying space-based ELF monitors. QuakeFinder formed a collaboration between Stanford Space System Development Laboratory and Lockheed Martin to design and build a nano-satellite (4.5 kg) whose mission was to collect ELF background signatures. QuakeFinder built and donated a single axis ELF (1-1000Hz) magnetometer payload and provided integration and a launch opportunity for "QuakeSat I". The satellite was launched on June 30, 2003 into a 820 km circular polar orbit, and has recorded natural signals (lightning, whistlers, auroral noise, and several unidentified signatures) as well

  17. Present-value analysis: A systems approach to public decisionmaking for cost effectiveness

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Herbert, T. T.

    1971-01-01

    Decision makers within Governmental agencies and Congress must evaluate competing (and sometimes conflicting) proposals which seek funding and implementation. Present value analysis can be an effective decision making tool by enabling the formal evaluation of the effects of competing proposals on efficient national resource utilization. A project's costs are not only its direct disbursements, but its social costs as well. How much does it cost to have those funds diverted from their use and economic benefit by the private sector to the public project? Comparisons of competing projects' social costs allow decision makers to expand their decision bases by quantifying the projects' impacts upon the economy and the efficient utilization of the country's limited national resources. A conceptual model is established for the choosing of the appropriate discount rate to be used in evaluation decisions through the technique.

  18. Shuttle-C auxiliary propulsion system certification approach and low-cost evolution concepts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Harsh, M. George; Benner, John; Garabetian, Antranig; Burg, Roger

    1991-01-01

    Shuttle-C provides NASA with a heavy-lift cargo capability that is a low-cost derivative of the current Space Shuttle. This system can deliver 80,000 to 140,000 pounds of payload to low earth orbit within 4 years of authority to proceed. Shuttle-C will share th existing Shuttle launch facilities at Kennedy Space Center (KSC). The Shuttle-C vehicle incorporates an auxiliary propulsion system (APS) which provides separation from the external tank (ET), orbit circularization, on-orbit attitude hold, and deorbit capability. The APS is derived from the Shuttle orbiter aft reaction control system (ARCS) and orbital maneuvering system (OMS) with the objective of achieving minimum life cycle cost for this expendable vehicle. The resulting APS system will be described, its plan for a minimum-cost flight certification utilizing a cold-flow test program explained, and low-cost evolution by component design modification and part substitution presented.

  19. Evaluating Computer-Assisted Career Guidance Systems: A Critique of the Differential Feature-Cost Approach.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oliver, Laurel W.

    1990-01-01

    Finds the feature-cost analysis method (Sampson et al., CE 521 972) a useful tool, but suggests that users need to determine which criteria are most important to them on the basis of a needs assessment. (SK)

  20. What Does it Really Cost? Allocating Indirect Costs.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Snyder, Herbert; Davenport, Elisabeth

    1997-01-01

    Better managerial control in terms of decision making and understanding the costs of a system/service result from allocating indirect costs. Allocation requires a three-step process: selecting cost objectives, pooling related overhead costs, and selecting costs bases to connect the objectives to the pooled costs. Argues that activity-based costing…

  1. A unified approach for composite cost reporting and prediction in the ACT program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Freeman, W. Tom; Vosteen, Louis F.; Siddiqi, Shahid

    1991-01-01

    The Structures Technology Program Office (STPO) at NASA Langley Research Center has held two workshops with representatives from the commercial airframe companies to establish a plan for development of a standard cost reporting format and a cost prediction tool for conceptual and preliminary designers. This paper reviews the findings of the workshop representatives with a plan for implementation of their recommendations. The recommendations of the cost tracking and reporting committee will be implemented by reinstituting the collection of composite part fabrication data in a format similar to the DoD/NASA Structural Composites Fabrication Guide. The process of data collection will be automated by taking advantage of current technology with user friendly computer interfaces and electronic data transmission. Development of a conceptual and preliminary designers' cost prediction model will be initiated. The model will provide a technically sound method for evaluating the relative cost of different composite structural designs, fabrication processes, and assembly methods that can be compared to equivalent metallic parts or assemblies. The feasibility of developing cost prediction software in a modular form for interfacing with state of the art preliminary design tools and computer aided design (CAD) programs is assessed.

  2. Funding innovation for treatment for rare diseases: adopting a cost-based yardstick approach

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Manufacturers justify the high prices for orphan drugs on the basis that the associated R&D costs must be spread over few patients. The proliferation of these drugs in the last three decades, combined with high prices commonly in excess of $100,000 per patient per year are placing a substantial strain on the budgets of drug plans in many countries. Do insurers spend a growing portion of their budgets on small patient populations, or leave vulnerable patients without coverage for valuable treatments? We suggest that a third option is present in the form of a cost-based regulatory mechanism. Methods This article explores the use of a cost-based price control mechanism for orphan drugs, adapted from the standard models applied in utilities regulation. Results and conclusions A rate-of-return style model, employing yardsticked cost allocations and a modified two-stage rate of return calculation could be effective in setting a new standard for orphan drugs pricing. This type of cost-based pricing would limit the costs faced by insurers while continuing to provide an efficient incentive for new drug development. PMID:24237605

  3. A cost sensitive inpatient bed reservation approach to reduce emergency department boarding times.

    PubMed

    Qiu, Shanshan; Chinnam, Ratna Babu; Murat, Alper; Batarse, Bassam; Neemuchwala, Hakimuddin; Jordan, Will

    2015-03-01

    Emergency departments (ED) in hospitals are experiencing severe crowding and prolonged patient waiting times. A significant contributing factor is boarding delays where admitted patients are held in ED (occupying critical resources) until an inpatient bed is identified and readied in the admit wards. Recent research has suggested that if the hospital admissions of ED patients can be predicted during triage or soon after, then bed requests and preparations can be triggered early on to reduce patient boarding time. We propose a cost sensitive bed reservation policy that recommends optimal bed reservation times for patients. The policy relies on a classifier that estimates the probability that the ED patient will be admitted using the patient information collected and readily available at triage or right after. The policy is cost sensitive in that it accounts for costs associated with patient admission prediction misclassification as well as costs associated with incorrectly selecting the reservation time. Results from testing the proposed bed reservation policy using data from a VA Medical Center are very promising and suggest significant cost saving opportunities and reduced patient boarding times. PMID:24811547

  4. Cost of water for peace and the environment in Israel: An integrated approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ward, Frank A.; Becker, Nir

    2015-07-01

    This paper presents a framework for discovering an economically viable water sharing plan among neighboring communities for promoting peace and environmental protection. Its application is to the Middle East in which Israel may be facing water supply obligations to address environmental requirements and for a possible a peace agreement with its Palestinian neighbors. The framework consists of integrating external factors, constraints, policy instruments, and targets. Our findings from a constrained optimization analysis of Israel's national water system show that the costs of increased deliveries are dependent on two major issues: (1) achieving integrated water resources management (IWRM) in which efficient combinations of expansion from several supply sources and reductions in demands occur over time, and (2) the cost of desalination technologies. We identify a $US 1.46 billion price tag, in present value terms, from using integrated management of demand reduction and supply expansion under current desalination costs. Adjustment costs will decline both with anticipated reductions in desalination costs and with an efficient implementation of IWRM. These adjustments can contribute to moderating regional tensions and protecting key ecological assets while addressing water scarcity in a volatile corner of the world.

  5. An approach for optimal allocation of safety resources: using the knapsack problem to take aggregated cost-efficient preventive measures.

    PubMed

    Reniers, Genserik L L; Sörensen, Kenneth

    2013-11-01

    On the basis of the combination of the well-known knapsack problem and a widely used risk management technique in organizations (that is, the risk matrix), an approach was developed to carry out a cost-benefits analysis to efficiently take prevention investment decisions. Using the knapsack problem as a model and combining it with a well-known technique to solve this problem, bundles of prevention measures are prioritized based on their costs and benefits within a predefined prevention budget. Those bundles showing the highest efficiencies, and within a given budget, are identified from a wide variety of possible alternatives. Hence, the approach allows for an optimal allocation of safety resources, does not require any highly specialized information, and can therefore easily be applied by any organization using the risk matrix as a risk ranking tool. PMID:23551066

  6. A participatory approach for selecting cost-effective measures in the WFD context: the Mar Menor (SE Spain).

    PubMed

    Perni, Angel; Martínez-Paz, José M

    2013-08-01

    Achieving a good ecological status in water bodies by 2015 is one of the objectives established in the European Water Framework Directive. Cost-effective analysis (CEA) has been applied for selecting measures to achieve this goal, but this appraisal technique requires technical and economic information that is not always available. In addition, there are often local insights that can only be identified by engaging multiple stakeholders in a participatory process. This paper proposes to combine CEA with the active involvement of stakeholders for selecting cost-effective measures. This approach has been applied to the case study of one of the main coastal lagoons in the European Mediterranean Sea, the Mar Menor, which presents eutrophication problems. Firstly, face-to-face interviews were conducted to estimate relative effectiveness and relative impacts of a set of measures by means of the pairwise comparison technique. Secondly, relative effectiveness was used to estimate cost-effectiveness ratios. The most cost-effective measures were the restoration of watercourses that drain into the lagoon and the treatment of polluted groundwater. Although in general the stakeholders approved the former, most of them stated that the latter involved some uncertainties, which must be addressed before implementing it. Stakeholders pointed out that the PoM would have a positive impact not only on water quality, but also on fishing, agriculture and tourism in the area. This approach can be useful to evaluate other programmes, plans or projects related to other European environmental strategies. PMID:23669576

  7. Cost-of-illness studies based on massive data: a prevalence-based, top-down regression approach.

    PubMed

    Stollenwerk, Björn; Welchowski, Thomas; Vogl, Matthias; Stock, Stephanie

    2016-04-01

    Despite the increasing availability of routine data, no analysis method has yet been presented for cost-of-illness (COI) studies based on massive data. We aim, first, to present such a method and, second, to assess the relevance of the associated gain in numerical efficiency. We propose a prevalence-based, top-down regression approach consisting of five steps: aggregating the data; fitting a generalized additive model (GAM); predicting costs via the fitted GAM; comparing predicted costs between prevalent and non-prevalent subjects; and quantifying the stochastic uncertainty via error propagation. To demonstrate the method, it was applied to aggregated data in the context of chronic lung disease to German sickness funds data (from 1999), covering over 7.3 million insured. To assess the gain in numerical efficiency, the computational time of the innovative approach has been compared with corresponding GAMs applied to simulated individual-level data. Furthermore, the probability of model failure was modeled via logistic regression. Applying the innovative method was reasonably fast (19 min). In contrast, regarding patient-level data, computational time increased disproportionately by sample size. Furthermore, using patient-level data was accompanied by a substantial risk of model failure (about 80 % for 6 million subjects). The gain in computational efficiency of the innovative COI method seems to be of practical relevance. Furthermore, it may yield more precise cost estimates. PMID:25648977

  8. Tele-ICU: Efficacy and Cost-Effectiveness Approach of Remotely Managing the Critical Care

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Sajeesh; Merchant, Shezana; Reynolds, Rebecca

    2013-01-01

    Tele-ICU has an off-site command center in which a critical care team (intensivists and critical care nurses) is connected with patients in distance intensive care units (ICUs) through a real-time audio, visual and electronic means and health information is exchanged. The aim of this paper is to review literature to explore the available studies related to efficacy and cost effectiveness of Tele-ICU applications and to study the possible barriers to broader adoption. While studies draw conclusions on cost based on the mortality and Length of Stay (LOS), actual cost was not reported. Another problem in the studies was the lack of consistent measurement, reporting and adjustment for patient severity. From the data available, Tele-ICU seems to be a promising path, especially in the United States where there is a limited number of board-certified intensivists. PMID:24078857

  9. A multidisciplinary approach to the development of low-cost high-performance lightwave networks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Maitan, Jacek; Harwit, Alex

    1991-01-01

    Our research focuses on high-speed distributed systems. We anticipate that our results will allow the fabrication of low-cost networks employing multi-gigabit-per-second data links for space and military applications. The recent development of high-speed low-cost photonic components and new generations of microprocessors creates an opportunity to develop advanced large-scale distributed information systems. These systems currently involve hundreds of thousands of nodes and are made up of components and communications links that may fail during operation. In order to realize these systems, research is needed into technologies that foster adaptability and scaleability. Self-organizing mechanisms are needed to integrate a working fabric of large-scale distributed systems. The challenge is to fuse theory, technology, and development methodologies to construct a cost-effective, efficient, large-scale system.

  10. A cost-effective approach to microporate mammalian cells with the Neon Transfection System.

    PubMed

    Brees, Chantal; Fransen, Marc

    2014-12-01

    Electroporation is one of the most efficient nonviral methods for transferring exogenous DNA into mammalian cells. However, the relatively high costs of electroporation kits and reagents temper the routine use of this fast and easy to perform technique in many laboratories. Several years ago, a new flexible and easy to operate electroporation device was launched under the name Neon Transfection System. This device uses specialized pipette tips containing gold-plated electrodes as electroporation chamber. Here we report a protocol to regenerate these expensive tips as well as some other Neon kit accessories, thereby reducing the cost of electroporation at least 10-fold. PMID:25172131

  11. Hurricane risk assessment to rollback or ride out a cost versus loss decision making approach

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wohlman, Richard A.

    1992-01-01

    The potential exists that a hurricane striking the Kennedy Space Center while a Space Shuttle is on the pad. Winds in excess of 74.5 knots could cause the failure of the holddown bolts bringing about the catastrophic loss of the entire vehicle. Current plans call for the rollback of the shuttle when winds of that magnitude are forecast to strike the center. As this is costly, a new objective method for making rollback/rideout decisions based upon Bayesian Analysis and economic cost versus loss is presented.

  12. Selection for Preservation: A Materialistic Approach and Costs Associated with Preservation Microfilming.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Atkinson, Ross W.; And Others

    1986-01-01

    Three articles on preservation present a theoretical framework for making preservation selection decisions by Atkinson, comments on Atkinson's concepts and possible mechanisms for identifying collections for top priority in microfilming by Child, and results of a Research Libraries Group study of the costs of preservation microfilming by McClung .…

  13. A Total Systems Approach: Reducing Workers' Compensation Costs at UC Davis.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kukulinsky, Janet C.

    1993-01-01

    The University of California (Davis) has revamped its workers' compensation program by improving accountability and safety, implementing safety training, informing workers of the costs of the workers' compensation program, designating a physician and physical therapist, giving light duty to injured employees, using sports medicine techniques, and…

  14. Low cost sensors: Field evaluations and multi-sensor approaches for emissions factors

    EPA Science Inventory

    The development, and application of low cost sensors to measure both particulate and gas-phase air pollutants is poised to explode over the next several years. The need for the sensors is driven by poor air quality experienced in inhabited regions throughout the world, in both de...

  15. Calculation of the Cost of an Adequate Education in Kentucky: A Professional Judgment Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Verstegen, Deborah A.

    2004-01-01

    What is an adequate education and how much does it cost? In 1989, Kentucky's State Supreme Court found the entire system of education unconstitutional--"all of its parts and parcels". The Court called for all children to have access to an adequate education, one that is uniform and has as its goal the development of seven capacities, including:…

  16. Low-cost approach of a 3D display for general aviation aircraft

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sachs, Gottfried; Sperl, Roman; Karl, Wunibald

    2001-08-01

    A low cost 3D-display and navigation system is described which presents guidance information in a 3-dimensional format to the pilot. For achieving the low cost goal, Commercial-off-the-Shelf components are used. The visual information provided by the 3D-display includes a presentation of the future flight path and other guidance elements as well as an image of the outside world. For generating the displayed information, a PC will be used. An appropriate computer software is available to generate the displayed information in real-time with an adequately high update rate. Precision navigation data which is required for accurately adjusting the displayed guidance information are provided by an integrated low cost navigation system. This navigation system consists of a differential global positioning system and an inertial measurement unit. Data from the navigation system is fed into an onboard-computer, using terrain elevation and feature analysis data to generate a synthetic image of the outside world. The system is intended to contribute to the safety of General Aviation aircraft, providing an affordable guidance and navigation aid for this type of aircraft. The low cost 3D display and navigation system will be installed in a two-seat Grob 109B aircraft which is operated by the Institute of Flight Mechanics and Flight Control of the Technische Universitchen as a research vehicle.

  17. A PRELIMINARY METHODOLOGY FOR EVALUATING THE COST-EFFECTIVENESS OF ALTERNATIVE INDOOR AIR QUALITY APPROACHES

    EPA Science Inventory

    The report defines a simplified methodology that can be used by indoor air quality (IAQ) diagnosticians, architects/engineers, building owners/operators, and the scientific community for preliminary comparison of the cost-effectiveness of alternative IAQ control measures for any ...

  18. The Space Transportation System/Spartan interfaces - An approach for low cost spacecraft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Carson, D. E.; Laudaudio, J. F.; Olney, D. J.

    1986-01-01

    Using the Spartan 101 payload as an example this paper outlines the process of flying a low-cost spacecraft as a customer aboard the Space Shuttle, concentrating on the physical and organizational interfaces to the Johnson Space Center (JSC) and the Kennedy Space Center (KSC). These interfaces fall into four classes, namely, JSC safety, KSC safety, JSC operations and KSC operations.

  19. A Systems Approach for Massachusetts Schools. A Study of School Building Costs. Final Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Aldrich, Nelson W.

    This report provides a survey of existing policies and procedures for Massachusetts school planning and construction processes; and explains systems building as a set of procedures, the most important of which procedures are market aggregation and component prebidding. The importance of systems building in reducing construction costs and improving…

  20. Understanding Wind Power Costs: The Value of a Comprehensive Approach (Presentation)

    SciTech Connect

    Lantz, E.

    2013-05-01

    The evolution and maturity of the wind industry have often been assessed by considering changes in key metrics including capital costs, capacity factor, turbine pricing, and in some cases electricity sales data. However, wind turbines and plants represent a complex system optimization problem and each of these metrics, in isolation, fails to tell the complete story of technological progress and industry advancement. By contrast, the levelized cost of energy (LCOE) provides a more comprehensive and nuanced perspective on industry trends. LCOE can be used to analyze the effect of individual changes (by holding other variables constant) or to understand the complex interactions that might occur for example between turbine costs and productivity. Moreover, LCOE offers a reflection of the total production costs and required revenue for wind plants. This presentation provides examples of how a narrow focus on individual industry metrics can provide inaccurate representations of industry trends while also demonstrating how LCOE captures the array of critical industry variables to provide a greater level of insight.

  1. Understanding the Uncertainty of an Effectiveness-Cost Ratio in Educational Resource Allocation: A Bayesian Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pan, Yilin

    2016-01-01

    Given the necessity to bridge the gap between what happened and what is likely to happen, this paper aims to explore how to apply Bayesian inference to cost-effectiveness analysis so as to capture the uncertainty of a ratio-type efficiency measure. The first part of the paper summarizes the characteristics of the evaluation data that are commonly…

  2. A Systems Approach to Lower Cost Missions: Following the Rideshare Paradigm

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Herrell, L.

    2009-01-01

    Small-satellite rideshare capabilities and opportunities for low-cost access to space have been evolving over the past 10 years. Small space launch vehicle technology is rapidly being developed and demonstrated, including the Minotaur series and the Space X Falcon, among others, along with the lower cost launch facilities at Alaska's Kodiak Launch Complex, NASA's Wallops Flight Facility, and the Reagan Test Site in the Pacific. Demonstrated capabilities for the launch of multiple payloads have increased (and continue to increase) significantly. This will allow more efficient and cost-effective use of the various launch opportunities, including utilizing the excess capacity of the emerging Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV)-based missions. The definition of standardized interfaces and processes, along with various user guides and payload implementation plans, has been developed and continues to be refined. Top-level agency policies for the support of low-cost access to space for small experimental payloads, such as the DoD policy structure on auxiliary payloads, have been defined and provide the basis for the continued refinement and implementation of these evolving technologies. Most importantly, the coordination and cooperative interfaces between the various stakeholders continues to evolve. The degree of this coordination and technical interchange is demonstrated by the wide stakeholder participation at the recent 2008 Small Payload Rideshare Workshop, held at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility. This annual workshop has been the major platform for coordination and technical interchange within the rideshare community and with the various sponsoring agencies. These developments have provided the foundation for a robust low-cost small payload rideshare capability. However, the continued evolution, sustainment, and utilization of these capabilities will require continued stakeholder recognition, support, and nourishing. Ongoing, coordinated effort, partnering, and

  3. Evidence for Composite Cost Functions in Arm Movement Planning: An Inverse Optimal Control Approach

    PubMed Central

    Berret, Bastien; Chiovetto, Enrico; Nori, Francesco; Pozzo, Thierry

    2011-01-01

    An important issue in motor control is understanding the basic principles underlying the accomplishment of natural movements. According to optimal control theory, the problem can be stated in these terms: what cost function do we optimize to coordinate the many more degrees of freedom than necessary to fulfill a specific motor goal? This question has not received a final answer yet, since what is optimized partly depends on the requirements of the task. Many cost functions were proposed in the past, and most of them were found to be in agreement with experimental data. Therefore, the actual principles on which the brain relies to achieve a certain motor behavior are still unclear. Existing results might suggest that movements are not the results of the minimization of single but rather of composite cost functions. In order to better clarify this last point, we consider an innovative experimental paradigm characterized by arm reaching with target redundancy. Within this framework, we make use of an inverse optimal control technique to automatically infer the (combination of) optimality criteria that best fit the experimental data. Results show that the subjects exhibited a consistent behavior during each experimental condition, even though the target point was not prescribed in advance. Inverse and direct optimal control together reveal that the average arm trajectories were best replicated when optimizing the combination of two cost functions, nominally a mix between the absolute work of torques and the integrated squared joint acceleration. Our results thus support the cost combination hypothesis and demonstrate that the recorded movements were closely linked to the combination of two complementary functions related to mechanical energy expenditure and joint-level smoothness. PMID:22022242

  4. Nutrient-dense food groups have high energy costs: an econometric approach to nutrient profiling.

    PubMed

    Maillot, Matthieu; Darmon, Nicole; Darmon, Michel; Lafay, Lionel; Drewnowski, Adam

    2007-07-01

    Consumers wishing to replace some of the foods in their diets with more nutrient-dense options need to be able to identify such foods on the basis of nutrient profiling. The present study used nutrient profiling to rank 7 major food groups and 25 subgroups in terms of their contribution to dietary energy, diet quality, and diet cost for 1332 adult participants in the French National INCA1 Study. Nutrient profiles were based on the presence of 23 qualifying nutrients, expressed as the percentage of nutrient adequacy per 8 MJ, and 3 negative or disqualifying nutrients, expressed as the percentage of the maximal recommended values for saturated fatty acids, added sugar, and sodium per 1.4 kg. Calculated cost of energy (euro/8 MJ) was based on the mean retail price of 619 foods in the nutrient composition database. The meat and the fruit and vegetables food groups had the highest nutritional quality but were associated with highest energy costs. Sweets and salted snacks had the lowest nutritional quality but were also one of the least expensive sources of dietary energy. Starches and grains were unique because they were low in disqualifying nutrients yet provided low-cost dietary energy. Within each major food group, some subgroups had a higher nutritient-to-price ratio than others. However, the fact that food groups with the more favorable nutrient profiles were also associated with higher energy costs suggests that the present structure of food prices may be a barrier to the adoption of food-based dietary guidelines, at least by low-income households. PMID:17585036

  5. Finite element modelling approaches for well-ordered porous metallic materials for orthopaedic applications: cost effectiveness and geometrical considerations.

    PubMed

    Quevedo González, Fernando José; Nuño, Natalia

    2016-06-01

    The mechanical properties of well-ordered porous materials are related to their geometrical parameters at the mesoscale. Finite element (FE) analysis is a powerful tool to design well-ordered porous materials by analysing the mechanical behaviour. However, FE models are often computationally expensive. This article aims to develop a cost-effective FE model to simulate well-ordered porous metallic materials for orthopaedic applications. Solid and beam FE modelling approaches are compared, using finite size and infinite media models considering cubic unit cell geometry. The model is then applied to compare two unit cell geometries: cubic and diamond. Models having finite size provide similar results than the infinite media model approach for large sample sizes. In addition, these finite size models also capture the influence of the boundary conditions on the mechanical response for small sample sizes. The beam FE modelling approach showed little computational cost and similar results to the solid FE modelling approach. Diamond unit cell geometry appeared to be more suitable for orthopaedic applications than the cubic unit cell geometry. PMID:26260268

  6. Estimating the demand for drop-off recycling sites: a random utility travel cost approach.

    PubMed

    Sidique, Shaufique F; Lupi, Frank; Joshi, Satish V

    2013-09-30

    Drop-off recycling is one of the most widely adopted recycling programs in the United States. Despite its wide implementation, relatively little literature addresses the demand for drop-off recycling. This study examines the demand for drop-off recycling sites as a function of travel costs and various site characteristics using the random utility model (RUM). The findings of this study indicate that increased travel costs significantly reduce the frequency of visits to drop-off sites implying that the usage pattern of a site is influenced by its location relative to where people live. This study also demonstrates that site specific characteristics such as hours of operation, the number of recyclables accepted, acceptance of commingled recyclables, and acceptance of yard-waste affect the frequency of visits to drop-off sites. PMID:23810167

  7. Determining the optimal approach to improving trauma triage decisions: a cost-effectiveness analysis

    PubMed Central

    Mohan, Deepika; Barnato, Amber E; Rosengart, Matthew R; Angus, Derek C; Smith, Kenneth J

    2013-01-01

    Objective To identify the optimal target of a future intervention to improve physician decision making in trauma triage. Study Design A comparison of the incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) of current practice versus hypothetical interventions targeting either physicians’ decisional thresholds (attitudes towards transferring patients to trauma centers) or perceptual sensitivity (ability to identify patients who meet guidelines for transfer). Methods Taking the societal perspective, we constructed a Markov decision model. We drew estimates of triage patterns, mortality, utilities, and costs from the literature. We assumed that an intervention to change decisional threshold would reduce under-triage but also increase over-triage more than an intervention to change perceptual sensitivity. We performed a series of one-way sensitivity analyses, and studied the most influential variables in a Monte Carlo simulation. Results The ICER of an intervention to change perceptual sensitivity was $62,799/ quality-adjusted life years (QALY)-gained compared with current practice. The ICER of an intervention to change decisional threshold was $104,975/QALY-gained compared with an intervention to change perceptual sensitivity. These findings were most sensitive to the relative cost of hospitalizing patients with moderate-severe injuries and their relative risk of dying at non-trauma centers. In probabilistic sensitivity analyses, at a willingness-to-pay threshold of $100,000/QALY-gained, there was a 62% likelihood that an intervention to change perceptual sensitivity was the most cost-effective alternative. Conclusions Even a minor investment in changing decision making in trauma triage could greatly improve the quality of care provided. The optimal intervention depends on the characteristics of the individual trauma systems. PMID:22435966

  8. Design of meo constellations for galileo: towards a ''design to cost'' approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abbondanza, S.; Zwolska, F.

    2001-12-01

    GALILEO aims at involving Europe in a new generation of satellite navigation services. In the context of the phase A of this programme, many system options are still widely open: detailed requirements, constraints and hypotheses are not yet fully stabilised. In order to design a satellite constellation satisfying civil aviation and other users needs in this early stage of the system definition, it is necessary not only to take into account classical performance aspects, such as accuracy and availability of accuracy, but also cost constraints. The paper describes the design and dimensioning method which has led ALCATEL to propose a set of MEO constellations in the frame of the GALILEO project for ESA. It especially places emphasis upon the sensitivity of the system design to numerous parameters as well as its sensitivity to performance requirements. Potential candidate constellations obviously need to meet given performance specifications which are determined by operational aspects such as: satellite reliability, maintenance strategy (spare in orbit, launch on schedule, launch on need), deployment strategy (launcher choice, etc.). The estimated cost of a potential solution is mainly derived from the number of satellites and the deployment/maintenance strategy, but it is representative of the whole life-cycle of the constellation. Furthermore, the exhibited solution shall be "as robust as" possible to requirement or assumption changes. So, it should be a baseline solution that could be easily updated in order to take into account small upgrades. This has led to the performance of some trend analyses to understand the actual influence of some constraints or requirements on the system design, and to see how initial requirements can be efficiently relaxed in order to obtain the maximum system cost diminution for a minimum constraint relaxation. This will be very useful, if cost reduction is necessary, to quickly propose alternative or sub-solutions to the baseline one.

  9. Developments toward a Low-Cost Approach for Long-Term, Unattended Vapor Intrusion Monitoring

    PubMed Central

    Tolley, William K.

    2014-01-01

    There are over 450,000 sites contaminated by chemicals in the US. This large number of contaminated sites and the speed of subsurface migration of chemicals pose considerable risk to nearby residences and commercial buildings. The high costs for monitoring around these site stem from the labor involved in placing and replacing the passive sorbent vapor samplers and the resultant laboratory analysis. This monitoring produces sparse data sets that do not track temporal changes well. To substantially reduce costs and better track exposures, less costly, unattended systems for monitoring soil gases and vapor intrusion into homes and businesses are desirable to aid in the remediation of contaminated sites. This paper describes progress toward the development of an inexpensive system specifically for monitoring vapor intrusion; the system can operate repeatedly without user intervention with low detection limits (1 × 10−9, or 1 part-per-billion). Targeted analytes include chlorinated hydrocarbons (dichloroethylene, trichloroethane, trichloroethylene, and perchloroethylene) and benzene. The system consists of a trap-and-purge preconcentrator for vapor collection in conjunction with a compact gas chromatography instrument to separate individual compounds. Chemical detection is accomplished with an array of chemicapacitors and a metal-oxide semiconductor combustibles sensor. Both the preconcentrator and the chromatography column are resistively heated. All components are compatible with ambient air, which serves as the carrier gas for the gas chromatography and detectors. PMID:24903107

  10. Low-Cost Approach to the Design and Fabrication of a LOX/RP-1 Injector

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shadoan, Michael D.; Sparks, Dave L.; Turner, James E. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) has designed, built, and is currently testing Fastrac, a liquid oxygen (LOX)/RP-1 fueled 60K-lb thrust class rocket engine. One facet of Fastrac, which makes it unique is that it is the first large-scale engine designed and developed in accordance with the Agency's mandated "faster, better, cheaper" (FBC) program policy. The engine was developed under the auspices of MSFC's Low Cost Boost Technology office. Development work for the main injector actually began in 1993 in subscale form. In 1996, work began on the full-scale unit approximately 1 year prior to initiation of the engine development program. In order to achieve the value goals established by the FBC policy, a review of traditional design practices was necessary. This internal reevaluation would ultimately challenge more conventional methods of material selection. design process, and fabrication techniques. The effort was highly successful. This "new way" of thinking has resulted in an innovative injector design, one with reduced complexity and significantly lower cost. Application of lessons learned during this effort to new or existing designs can have a similar effect on costs and future program successes.

  11. A Randomized Trial Comparing the Cost-Effectiveness of 2 Approaches for Treating Unilateral Nasolacrimal Duct Obstruction

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Katherine A.; Chandler, Danielle L.; Repka, Michael X.; Beck, Roy W.; Foster, Nicole C.; Frick, Kevin D.; Golden, Richard P.; Lambert, Scott R.; Melia, Michele; Tien, D. Robbins; Weakley, David R.

    2012-01-01

    Objective To compare the cost-effectiveness of two approaches for treating unilateral nasolacrimal duct obstruction (NLDO) Methods 163 infants 6 to <10 months old with unilateral NLDO were randomly assigned to immediate office-based nasolacrimal duct probing (N=82) or to six months of observation/non-surgical management (N=81) followed by facility-based probing for persistent symptoms. Main Outcome Measures Treatment success was defined as the absence of clinical signs of NLDO (epiphora, increased tear lake, mucous discharge) upon masked examination at 18 months of age. Cost of treatment between randomization and 18 months of age included costs for all surgeries and medications. Results In the observation/deferred facility probing group, NLDO resolved within 6 months without surgery in 44 of the 67 patients (66%, 95% confidence interval (CI)=54% to 76%) who completed the 6-month visit. Twenty-two (27%) of the 81 patients in the observation/deferred facility probing group underwent surgery, 4 of whom were operated within the initial 6 months. At 18 months of age, 69 (92%) of 75 immediate office probing group patients were treatment successes, compared with 58 (82%) of 71 observation/deferred facility probing group patients (difference=10%, 95%CI=−1% to 21%). The average cost of treatment was $562 in the immediate office probing group compared with $701 in the observation/deferred facility probing group (difference=−$139, 95%CI=−$377 to $94). The immediate office probing group had 3.0 fewer months of symptoms (95%CI=−1.8 to −4.0). Conclusions The immediate office probing approach is likely more cost effective than observation followed by deferred facility probing if needed. Adoption of the immediate office probing approach would result in probing about two-thirds of infants who would have resolved with 6 months of non-surgical management, but would largely avoid the need for probing under general anesthesia. Application to Clinical Practice Although

  12. Determination of cost coefficients of a priority-based water allocation linear programming model - a network flow approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chou, F. N.-F.; Wu, C.-W.

    2014-05-01

    This paper presents a method to establish the objective function of a network flow programming model for simulating river-reservoir system operations and associated water allocation, with an emphasis on situations when the links other than demand or storage have to be assigned with nonzero cost coefficients. The method preserves the priorities defined by rule curves of reservoir, operational preferences for conveying water, allocation of storage among multiple reservoirs, and transbasin water diversions. Path enumeration analysis transforms these water allocation rules into linear constraints that can be solved to determine link cost coefficients. An approach to prune the original system into a reduced network is proposed to establish the precise constraints of nonzero cost coefficients, which can then be efficiently solved. The cost coefficients for the water allocation in the Feitsui and Shihmen reservoirs' joint operating system of northern Taiwan was adequately assigned by the proposed method. This case study demonstrates how practitioners can correctly utilize network-flow-based models to allocate water supply throughout complex systems that are subject to strict operating rules.

  13. Determination of cost coefficients of priority-based water allocation linear programming model - a network flow approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chou, F. N.-F.; Wu, C.-W.

    2013-12-01

    This paper presents a method to establish the objective function of a network flow programming model for simulating river/reservoir system operations and associated water allocation, with an emphasis on situations when the links other than demand or storage have to be assigned with nonzero cost coefficients. The method preserves the priorities defined by rule curves of reservoir, operational preferences for conveying water, allocation of storage among multiple reservoirs, and trans-basin water diversions. Path enumeration analysis transforms these water allocation rules into linear constraints that can be solved to determine link cost coefficients. An approach to prune the original system into a reduced network is proposed to establish the precise constraints of nonzero cost coefficients which can then be efficiently solved. The cost coefficients for the water allocation in the Feitsui and Shihmen Reservoirs joint operating system of northern Taiwan was adequately assigned by the proposed method. This case study demonstrates how practitioners can correctly utilize network-flow-based models to allocate water supply throughout complex systems that are subject to strict operating rules.

  14. A cost benefit approach to reactor sizing and nutrient supply for biotrickling filters for air pollution control

    SciTech Connect

    Deshusses, M.A.; Cox, H.H.J.

    1999-07-01

    In the present paper, a general model was developed that allows the selection of the most cost-effective operation of biotrickling filters for air pollution control. The model was demonstrated for a typical case of industrial pollution: 10,000 m{sup 3} h{sup {minus}1} airstream contaminated with 1.5 g m{sup {minus}3} toluene. The reactor design and operation were optimized with respect to the nutrient (nitrate) loading, which influenced the pollutant elimination capacity and the rate of reactor clogging by biomass. Integration of all pertinent costs and experimental data into the model demonstrated that biotrickling filtration was very competitive compared to conventional treatment technologies. For the case studied, a treatment cost optimum was obtained at a nutrient loading of 8 g N-nitrate per cubic meter bed volume per day. The range of cost effective treatment was 4 to 30 g N-nitrate m{sup {minus}3} d{sup {minus}1}. Overall, the general approach presented herein is widely applicable for the determination of the best reactor design and the optimum reactor operating conditions.

  15. Cost calculator methods for estimating casework time in child welfare services: A promising approach for use in implementation of evidence-based practices and other service innovations

    PubMed Central

    Holmes, Lisa; Landsverk, John; Ward, Harriet; Rolls-Reutz, Jennifer; Saldana, Lisa; Wulczyn, Fred; Chamberlain, Patricia

    2015-01-01

    Estimating costs in child welfare services is critical as new service models are incorporated into routine practice. This paper describes a unit costing estimation system developed in England (cost calculator) together with a pilot test of its utility in the United States where unit costs are routinely available for health services but not for child welfare services. The cost calculator approach uses a unified conceptual model that focuses on eight core child welfare processes. Comparison of these core processes in England and in four counties in the United States suggests that the underlying child welfare processes generated from England were perceived as very similar by child welfare staff in California county systems with some exceptions in the review and legal processes. Overall, the adaptation of the cost calculator for use in the United States child welfare systems appears promising. The paper also compares the cost calculator approach to the workload approach widely used in the United States and concludes that there are distinct differences between the two approaches with some possible advantages to the use of the cost calculator approach, especially in the use of this method for estimating child welfare costs in relation to the incorporation of evidence-based interventions into routine practice. PMID:26412917

  16. A risk-based approach to cost-benefit analysis of software safety activities

    SciTech Connect

    Fortier, S.C. ); Michael, J.B. )

    1993-01-01

    Assumptions about the economics of making a system safe are usually not explicitly stated in industrial and software models of safety-critical systems. These assumptions span a wide spectrum of economic tradeoffs with respect to resources expended to make a system safe. The missing component in these models that is necessary for capturing the effect of economic tradeoffs is risk. A qualitative risk-based software safety model is proposed that combines features of industrial and software systems safety models. The risk-based model provides decision makers with a basis for performing cost-benefit analyses of software safety-related activities.

  17. A risk-based approach to cost-benefit analysis of software safety activities

    SciTech Connect

    Fortier, S.C.; Michael, J.B.

    1993-05-01

    Assumptions about the economics of making a system safe are usually not explicitly stated in industrial and software models of safety-critical systems. These assumptions span a wide spectrum of economic tradeoffs with respect to resources expended to make a system safe. The missing component in these models that is necessary for capturing the effect of economic tradeoffs is risk. A qualitative risk-based software safety model is proposed that combines features of industrial and software systems safety models. The risk-based model provides decision makers with a basis for performing cost-benefit analyses of software safety-related activities.

  18. Sequential sampling: cost-effective approach for monitoring benthic macroinvertebrates in environmental impact assessements

    SciTech Connect

    Resh, V.H.; Price, D.G.

    1984-01-01

    Sequential sampling is a method for monitoring benthic macroinvertebrates that can significantly reduce the number of samples required to reach a decision, and consequently, decrease the cost of benthic sampling in environmental impact assessments. Rather than depending on a fixed number of samples, this analysis cumulatively compares measured parameter values (for example, density, community diversity) from individual samples, with thresholds that are based on specified degrees of precision. In addition to reducing sample size, a monitoring program based on sequential sampling can provide clear-cut decisions as to whether a priori-defined changes in the measured parameter(s) have or have not occurred.

  19. Joint pricing and production management: a geometric programming approach with consideration of cubic production cost function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sadjadi, Seyed Jafar; Hamidi Hesarsorkh, Aghil; Mohammadi, Mehdi; Bonyadi Naeini, Ali

    2014-08-01

    Coordination and harmony between different departments of a company can be an important factor in achieving competitive advantage if the company corrects alignment between strategies of different departments. This paper presents an integrated decision model based on recent advances of geometric programming technique. The demand of a product considers as a power function of factors such as product's price, marketing expenditures, and consumer service expenditures. Furthermore, production cost considers as a cubic power function of outputs. The model will be solved by recent advances in convex optimization tools. Finally, the solution procedure is illustrated by numerical example.

  20. Patient-based surveying: a cost-effective approach for reaching large markets.

    PubMed

    Byer, S

    1995-01-01

    Member-based surveying is an important tool for managed care companies to discern newer and better ways in which to keep their current members satisfied, develop products that will attract new members, and to gauge changes of course in health consumer opinion. This article discusses a consumer friendly and cost-effective method to survey members and the general public that has produced a very positive response for a modest investment. The response rate will likely improve over time as the method gains broader acceptance. PMID:10151597

  1. A multilevel cost-space approach to solving the balanced long transportation problem

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cavanaugh, Kevin J.; Henson, Van Emden

    1993-01-01

    We develop a multilevel scheme for solving the balanced long transportation problem, that is, given a set (c(sub kj)) of shipping costs from a set of M supply nodes S(sub k) to a set of N demand nodes D(sub j), we seek to find a set of flows, (x(sub kj)), that minimizes the total cost Sigma(sub k=1)(exp M) Sigma(sub j=1)(exp N) x(sub kj)c(sub kj). We require that the problem be balanced, that is, the total demand must equal the total supply. Solution techniques for this problem are well known from optimization and linear programming. We examine this problem, however, in order to develop principles that can then be applied to more intractible problems of optimization. We develop a multigrid scheme for solving the problem, defining the grids, relaxation, and intergrid operators. Numerical experimentation shows that this line of research may prove fruitful. Further research directions are suggested.

  2. Cost-effective approach to ethanol production and optimization by response surface methodology.

    PubMed

    Uncu, Oya Nihan; Cekmecelioglu, Deniz

    2011-04-01

    Food wastes disposed from residential and industrial kitchens have gained attention as a substrate in microbial fermentations to reduce product costs. In this study, the potential of simultaneously hydrolyzing and subsequently fermenting the mixed carbohydrate components of kitchen wastes were assessed and the effects of solid load, inoculum volume of baker's yeast, and fermentation time on ethanol production were evaluated by response surface methodology (RSM). The enzymatic hydrolysis process was complete within 6h. Fermentation experiments were conducted at pH 4.5, a temperature of 30°C, and agitated at 150 rpm without adding the traditional fermentation nutrients. The statistical analysis of the model developed by RSM suggested that linear effects of solid load, inoculum volume, and fermentation time and the quadratic effects of inoculum volume and fermentation time were significant (P<0.05). The verification experiments indicated that the developed model could be successfully used to predict ethanol concentration at >90% accuracy. An optimum ethanol concentration of 32.2g/l giving a yield of 0.40g/g, comparable to yields reported to date, was suggested by the model with 20% solid load, 8.9% inoculum volume, and 58.8h of fermentation. The results indicated that the production costs can be lowered to a large extent by using kitchen wastes having multiple carbohydrate components and eliminating the use of traditional fermentation nutrients from the recipe. PMID:21220196

  3. Performance-Approach Goals: Good for What, for Whom, under What Circumstances, and at What Cost?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Midgley, Carol; Kaplan, Avi; Middleton, Michael

    2001-01-01

    Reviews studies indicating that performance-approach goals are associated with adaptive patterns of learning but note that, in other studies, these goals have been unrelated or negatively related to the same outcomes. Argues that there is a need to consider for whom and under what circumstances performance goals are good. (Contains 93 references.)…

  4. Alternative Approaches to Staffing the Elementary Foreign Language Program: Cost and Time vs. Achievement and Satisfaction.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Otto, Frank

    1968-01-01

    Based on a Ph.D. dissertation on an experiment involving the teaching of French with the widely used "Parlons francais" course to three groups of Grade 4 students, this article compares and evaluates the methods of staffing and implementing these FLES programs described in the report. The institutional approach methods assessed are--(1) Classroom…

  5. The design and implementation of a low-cost GPS-MEMS/INS precision approach algorithm with health monitoring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, Richard P.

    An algorithm for precision approach guidance using GPS and a MicroElectroMechanical Systems/Inertial Navigation System (MEMS/INS) has been developed to meet the Required Navigational Performance (RNP) at a cost that is suitable for General Aviation (GA) applications. This scheme allows for accurate approach guidance (Category I) using Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) at locations not served by ILS, MLS or other types of precision landing guidance, thereby greatly expanding the number of useable airports in poor weather. At locations served by a Local Area Augmentation System (LAAS), Category III-like navigation is possible with the novel idea of a Missed Approach Time (MAT) that is similar to a Missed Approach Point (MAP) but not fixed in space. Though certain augmented types of GPS have sufficient precision for approach navigation, its use alone is insufficient to meet RNP due to an inability to monitor loss, degradation or intentional spoofing and meaconing of the GPS signal. A redundant navigation system and a health monitoring system must be added to acquire sufficient reliability, safety and time-to-alert as stated by required navigation performance. An inertial navigation system is the best choice, as it requires no external radio signals and its errors are complementary to GPS. An aiding Kalman filter is used to derive parameters that monitor the correlation between the GPS and MEMS/INS. These approach guidance parameters determines the MAT for a given RNP and provide the pilot or autopilot with proceed/do-not-proceed decision in real time. The enabling technology used to derive the guidance program is a MEMS gyroscope and accelerometer package in conjunction with a single-antenna pseudo-attitude algorithm. To be viable for most GA applications, the hardware must be reasonably priced. The MEMS gyros allows for the first cost-effective INS package to be developed. With lower cost, however, comes higher drift rates and a more dependence on GPS aiding. In

  6. An Approach for Transmission Loss and Cost Allocation by Loss Allocation Index and Co-operative Game Theory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khan, Baseem; Agnihotri, Ganga; Mishra, Anuprita S.

    2016-03-01

    In the present work authors proposed a novel method for transmission loss and cost allocation to users (generators and loads). In the developed methodology transmission losses are allocated to users based on their usage of the transmission line. After usage allocation, particular loss allocation indices (PLAI) are evaluated for loads and generators. Also Cooperative game theory approach is applied for comparison of results. The proposed method is simple and easy to implement on the practical power system. Sample 6 bus and IEEE 14 bus system is used for showing the effectiveness of proposed method.

  7. Algebraic Approach to the Minimum-Cost Multi-Impulse Orbit-Transfer Problem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Avendaño, M.; Martín-Molina, V.; Martín-Morales, J.; Ortigas-Galindo, J.

    2016-08-01

    We present a purely algebraic formulation (i.e. polynomial equations only) of the minimum-cost multi-impulse orbit transfer problem without time constraints, while keeping all the variables with a precise physical meaning. We apply general algebraic techniques to solve these equations (resultants, Gr\\"obner bases, etc.) in several situations of practical interest of different degrees of generality. For instance, we provide a proof of the optimality of the Hohmann transfer for the minimum fuel 2-impulse circular to circular orbit transfer problem, and we provide a general formula for the optimal 2-impulse in-plane transfer between two rotated elliptical orbits under a mild symmetry assumption on the two points where the impulses are applied (which we conjecture that can be removed).

  8. A heat & mass integration approach to reduce capital and operating costs of a distillation configuration

    SciTech Connect

    Madenoor Ramapriya, Gautham; Jiang, Zheyu; Tawarmalani, Mohit; Agrawal, Rakesh

    2015-11-11

    We propose a general method to consolidate distillation columns of a distillation configuration using heat and mass integration. The proposed method encompasses all heat and mass integrations known till date, and includes many more. Each heat and mass integration eliminates a distillation column, a condenser, a reboiler and the heat duty associated with a reboiler. Thus, heat and mass integration can potentially offer significant capital and operating cost benefits. In this talk, we will study the various possible heat and mass integrations in detail, and demonstrate their benefits using case studies. This work will lay out a framework to synthesize an entire new class of useful configurations based on heat and mass integration of distillation columns.

  9. A Novel Approach to Mineral Carbonation: Enhancing Carbonation While Avoiding Mineral Pretreatment Process Cost

    SciTech Connect

    Andrew V. G. Chizmeshya; Michael J. McKelvy; Kyle Squires; Ray W. Carpenter; Hamdallah Bearat

    2007-06-21

    Known fossil fuel reserves, especially coal, can support global energy demands for centuries to come, if the environmental problems associated with CO{sub 2} emissions can be overcome. Unlike other CO{sub 2} sequestration candidate technologies that propose long-term storage, mineral sequestration provides permanent disposal by forming geologically stable mineral carbonates. Carbonation of the widely occurring mineral olivine (e.g., forsterite, Mg{sub 2}SiO{sub 4}) is a large-scale sequestration process candidate for regional implementation, which converts CO{sub 2} into the environmentally benign mineral magnesite (MgCO{sub 3}). The primary goal is cost-competitive process development. As the process is exothermic, it inherently offers low-cost potential. Enhancing carbonation reactivity is key to economic viability. Recent studies at the U.S. DOE Albany Research Center have established that aqueous-solution carbonation using supercritical CO{sub 2} is a promising process; even without olivine activation, 30-50% carbonation has been achieved in an hour. Mechanical activation (e.g., attrition) has accelerated the carbonation process to an industrial timescale (i.e., near completion in less than an hour), at reduced pressure and temperature. However, the activation cost is too high to be economical and lower cost pretreatment options are needed. We have discovered that robust silica-rich passivating layers form on the olivine surface during carbonation. As carbonation proceeds, these passivating layers thicken, fracture and eventually exfoliate, exposing fresh olivine surfaces during rapidly-stirred/circulating carbonation. We are exploring the mechanisms that govern carbonation reactivity and the impact that (1) modeling/controlling the slurry fluid-flow conditions, (2) varying the aqueous ion species/size and concentration (e.g., Li+, Na+, K+, Rb+, Cl-, HCO{sub 3}{sup -}), and (3) incorporating select sonication offer to enhance exfoliation and carbonation. Thus

  10. Frontier Fields: A Cost-Effective Approach to Bringing Authentic Science to the Education Community

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eisenhamer, B.; Lawton, B.; Summers, F.; Ryer, H.

    2015-11-01

    For more than two decades, the Hubble EPO program has sought to bring the wonders of the universe to the education community and the public, and to engage audiences in the adventure of scientific discovery. Program components include standards-based, curriculum-support materials, exhibits and exhibit components, and professional development workshops. The main underpinnings of the program's infrastructure are scientist-educator development teams, partnerships, and an embedded program evaluation component. The Space Telescope Science Institute's Office of Public Outreach is leveraging this existing infrastructure to bring the Frontier Fields science program to the education community in a cost-effective way. Frontier Fields observations and results have been, and will continue to be, embedded into existing product lines and professional development offerings. We also are leveraging our new social media strategy to bring the science program to the public in the form of an ongoing blog.

  11. A risk-reduction approach for optimal software release time determination with the delay incurred cost

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peng, Rui; Li, Yan-Fu; Zhang, Jun-Guang; Li, Xiang

    2015-07-01

    Most existing research on software release time determination assumes that parameters of the software reliability model (SRM) are deterministic and the reliability estimate is accurate. In practice, however, there exists a risk that the reliability requirement cannot be guaranteed due to the parameter uncertainties in the SRM, and such risk can be as high as 50% when the mean value is used. It is necessary for the software project managers to reduce the risk to a lower level by delaying the software release, which inevitably increases the software testing costs. In order to incorporate the managers' preferences over these two factors, a decision model based on multi-attribute utility theory (MAUT) is developed for the determination of optimal risk-reduction release time.

  12. Dignity and cost-effectiveness: a rejection of the utilitarian approach to death.

    PubMed Central

    Brooks, S A

    1984-01-01

    Utilitarianism is commonly assumed to be the most appropriate sub-structure for medical ethics. This view is challenged. It is suggested that the utilitarian approach to euthanasia works against the patient's individual advantage and is a corrupting influence in the relationship between the physician and society. Dignity for the individual patient is not easily achieved by assessing that person's worth against the yardstick of others' needs and wishes. PMID:6502643

  13. Deburring: Technical capabilities and cost-effective approaches, lessons 3 and 4

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gillespie, L. K.

    1980-06-01

    This ten lesson text on deburring is designed to provide engineers and production supervisors with an overall understanding of deburring economics and current capabilities. The material included describes economics, side effects, process selection techniques, product design influences, standards, plantwide approaches, burr formation, and prevention. Deburring methods described include barrel, centrifugal barrel, vibratory, spindle, manual, electrochemical, electropolish, brush, abrasive jet, abrasive flow, water jet, thermal energy, and mechanized mechanical. Lessons 3 and 4 describe product design influences and burr prevention and minimization respectively.

  14. Deburring: technical capabilities and cost-effective approaches. Lessons 1 and 2

    SciTech Connect

    Gillespie, L.K.

    1980-12-01

    This two-lesson text on deburring provides engineers and production supervisors with an overall understanding of deburring economics and capabilities. The subject matter includes economics, side effects, process selection techniques, product design influences, standards, plant-wide approaches, and burr formation and prevention. Deburring methods discussed include barrel, centrifugal barrel, vibratory, spindle, manual, electrochemical, electropolish, brush, abrasive jet, abrasive flow, water jet, thermal energy, and mechanized mechanical. Lesson 1 is an introduction to burr technology; Lesson 2 discusses burr formation and properties.

  15. Deburring: technical capabilities and cost-effective approaches, Lessons 3 and 4

    SciTech Connect

    Gillespie, L.K.

    1980-06-01

    This ten lesson text on deburring is designed to provide engineers and production supervisors with an overall understanding of deburring economics and current capabilities. The material included describes economics, side effects, process selection techniques, product design influences, standards, plantwide approaches, burr formation, and prevention. Deburring methods described include barrel, centrifugal barrel, vibratory, spindle, manual, electrochemical, electropolish, brush, abrasive jet, abrasive flow, water jet, thermal energy, and mechanized mechanical. Lessons 3 and 4 describe product design influences and burr prevention and minimization respectively.

  16. A system dynamic modeling approach for evaluating municipal solid waste generation, landfill capacity and related cost management issues.

    PubMed

    Kollikkathara, Naushad; Feng, Huan; Yu, Danlin

    2010-11-01

    As planning for sustainable municipal solid waste management has to address several inter-connected issues such as landfill capacity, environmental impacts and financial expenditure, it becomes increasingly necessary to understand the dynamic nature of their interactions. A system dynamics approach designed here attempts to address some of these issues by fitting a model framework for Newark urban region in the US, and running a forecast simulation. The dynamic system developed in this study incorporates the complexity of the waste generation and management process to some extent which is achieved through a combination of simpler sub-processes that are linked together to form a whole. The impact of decision options on the generation of waste in the city, on the remaining landfill capacity of the state, and on the economic cost or benefit actualized by different waste processing options are explored through this approach, providing valuable insights into the urban waste-management process. PMID:20547450

  17. A system dynamic modeling approach for evaluating municipal solid waste generation, landfill capacity and related cost management issues

    SciTech Connect

    Kollikkathara, Naushad; Feng Huan; Yu Danlin

    2010-11-15

    As planning for sustainable municipal solid waste management has to address several inter-connected issues such as landfill capacity, environmental impacts and financial expenditure, it becomes increasingly necessary to understand the dynamic nature of their interactions. A system dynamics approach designed here attempts to address some of these issues by fitting a model framework for Newark urban region in the US, and running a forecast simulation. The dynamic system developed in this study incorporates the complexity of the waste generation and management process to some extent which is achieved through a combination of simpler sub-processes that are linked together to form a whole. The impact of decision options on the generation of waste in the city, on the remaining landfill capacity of the state, and on the economic cost or benefit actualized by different waste processing options are explored through this approach, providing valuable insights into the urban waste-management process.

  18. An approach to assess the marginal environmental costs for flow regulation: an example in three European rivers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Jalon Diego, Garcia; de Jalon Silvestre, Garcia; Tanago Marta, Gonzalez

    2015-04-01

    In the last decades there has been a growing concern about water environmental costs. 'Polluter should pay' has been a phrase repeated in numerous policy-making processes. Water abstraction for Irrigation, Hydropower or water supply for Domestic or Industrial porpoises alters natural flow regimes impacting severely fluvial Ecosystems. The objective of this paper is to develop an evaluation of the marginal environmental costs for flow regulation. This approach is based on the idea 'who regulates flows should pay' and the amount to be paid should be proportional on the intensity, duration and frequency of the resulting regulated flows. The methodology proposed includes three separated steps: (i) estimating the natural flow regime of a river segment through studying the hydrologic conditions before the river is affected by a determined anthropogenic impact, (ii) assessing the hydrologic alteration of the river segment according to the estimated natural flow regime, and (iii) calculating marginal environmental costs of water supply. The three different case studies where the methodology was applied were the Esla River (Spain), the Upper River Tyne (England) and the Marna River (Norway).

  19. Lean systems approaches to health technology assessment: a patient-focused alternative to cost-effectiveness analysis.

    PubMed

    Bridges, John F P

    2006-12-01

    Many countries now use health technology assessment (HTA) to review new and emerging technologies, especially with regard to reimbursement, pricing and/or clinical guidelines. One of the common, but not universal, features of these systems is the use of economic evaluation, normally cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA), to confirm that new technologies offer value for money. Many have criticised these systems as primarily being concerned with cost containment, rather than advancing the interests of patients or innovators. This paper calls into question the underlying principles of CEA by arguing that value in the healthcare system may in fact be unconstrained. It is suggested that 'lean management principles' can be used not only to trim waste from the health system, but as a method of creating real incentives for innovation and value creation. Following the lean paradigm, this value must be defined purely from the patients' perspective, and the entire health system needs to work towards the creation of such value. This paper offers as a practical example a lean approach to HTA, arguing that such an approach would lead to better incentives for innovation in health, as well as more patient-friendly outcomes in the long run. PMID:23389493

  20. Solar disinfection: an approach for low-cost household water treatment technology in Southwestern Ethiopia.

    PubMed

    Dessie, Awrajaw; Alemayehu, Esayas; Mekonen, Seblework; Legesse, Worku; Kloos, Helmut; Ambelu, Argaw

    2014-01-01

    Disinfection of contaminated water using solar radiation (SODIS) is known to inactivate bacteria. Its inactivation efficiency depends on local conditions where the disinfection is made. This study was aiming to test the efficiency of solar disinfection using different water parameters as low-cost household water treatment technology. Inactivation of microbes was tested using fecal coliform as test organism. The SODIS experiment was carried out at turbidity 2NTU, pH 7, and various water temperature (38.1°C, 41.8°C, 45.6°Cand 51.1°C) and solar intensities, using clear and black plastic bottles filled to different depths. The results show that the rate of microbial inactivation in relation to depth of water, turbidity, container type, intensity of light and color of container was statistically significant (p < 0.05). However, bottle placement, exposure and water pH were unrelated to microbial inactivation. Bacterial re-growth was not observed after solar disinfection. By adjusting the parameters, complete and irreversible fecal coliform inactivation was achieved within an exposure time of less than four hours in the areas where the solar irradiance is about 3.99 kW/m2 and above. Our results indicate that application of SODIS could play a significant role in the provision of safe water in rural communities of developing countries where there is ample sunshine, specifically in sub-Saharan African countries. PMID:24410979

  1. Model selection for microbial nutrient uptake using a cost-benefit approach.

    PubMed

    Müller, J; Hense, B A; Marozava, S; Kuttler, Ch; Meckenstock, R U

    2014-09-01

    We consider the uptake of various carbon sources by microorganisms based on four fundamental assumptions: (1) the uptake of nutrient follows a saturation characteristics (2) substrate processing has a benefit but comes at costs of maintaining the process chain (3) substrate uptake is controlled and (4) evolution optimized the control of substrate uptake. These assumptions result in relatively simple mathematical models. In case of two substrates, our main finding is the following: Depending on the overall topology of the metabolic pathway, three different behavioral patterns can be identified. (1) both substrates are consumed at a time, (2) one substrate is preferred and represses the uptake of the other (catabolite repression), or (3) a cell feeds exclusively on one or the other substrate, possibly leading to a population that splits in two sub-populations, each of them specialized on one substrate only. Batch-culture and retentostat data of toluene, benzoate, and acetate uptake by Geobacter metallireducens are used to demonstrate that the model structure is suited for a quantitative description of uptake dynamics. PMID:24977929

  2. A Mars environmental survey (MESUR) - Feasibility of a low cost global approach

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hubbard, G. S.; Wercinski, Paul F.; Sarver, George L.; Hanel, Robert P.; Ramos, Ruben

    1991-01-01

    In situ measurements of Mars' surface and atmosphere are the objectives of a novel network mission concept called the Mars Environmental SURvey (MESUR). As envisioned, the MESUR mission will emplace a pole-to-pole global distribution of 16 landers on the Martian surface over three launch opportunites using medium-lift (Delta-class) launch vehicles. The basic concept is to deploy small free-flying probes which would directly enter the Martian atmosphere, measure the upper atmospheric structure, image the local terrain before landing, and survive landing to perform meteorology, seismology, surface imaging, and soil chemistry measurements. Data will be returned via dedicated relay orbiter or direct-to-earth transmission. The mission philosophy is to: (1) 'grow' a network over a period of years using a series of launch opportunities; (2) develop a level-of-effort which is flexible and responsive to a broad set of objectives; (3) focus on Mars science while providing a solid basis for future human presence; and (4) minimize overall project cost and complexity wherever possible.

  3. Solar disinfection: an approach for low-cost household water treatment technology in Southwestern Ethiopia

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Disinfection of contaminated water using solar radiation (SODIS) is known to inactivate bacteria. Its inactivation efficiency depends on local conditions where the disinfection is made. This study was aiming to test the efficiency of solar disinfection using different water parameters as low-cost household water treatment technology. Inactivation of microbes was tested using fecal coliform as test organism. The SODIS experiment was carried out at turbidity 2NTU, pH 7, and various water temperature (38.1°C, 41.8°C, 45.6°Cand 51.1°C) and solar intensities, using clear and black plastic bottles filled to different depths. The results show that the rate of microbial inactivation in relation to depth of water, turbidity, container type, intensity of light and color of container was statistically significant (p < 0.05). However, bottle placement, exposure and water pH were unrelated to microbial inactivation. Bacterial re-growth was not observed after solar disinfection. By adjusting the parameters, complete and irreversible fecal coliform inactivation was achieved within an exposure time of less than four hours in the areas where the solar irradiance is about 3.99 kW/m2 and above. Our results indicate that application of SODIS could play a significant role in the provision of safe water in rural communities of developing countries where there is ample sunshine, specifically in sub-Saharan African countries. PMID:24410979

  4. Cost Effective, High Efficiency Integrated Systems Approach to Auxilliary Electric Motors

    SciTech Connect

    Roy Kessinger Jr.; Keith Seymour; Kanchan Angal; Jason Wolf; Steve Brewer; Leonard Schrank

    2003-09-26

    The CARAT program, carried out by Kinetic Art & Technology Corporation (KAT), has been one of the most commercially successful KAT R&D programs to date. Based on previous development of its technology, KAT designed, constructed and tested a highly efficient motor and controller system under this CARAT program with supplemental commercial funding. Throughout this CARAT effort, the technical objectives have been refined and refocused. Some objectives have been greatly expanded, while others have been minimized. The determining factor in all decisions to refocus the objectives was the commercial need, primarily the needs of KAT manufacturing partners. Several companies are employing the resulting CARAT motor and controller designs in prototypes for commercial products. Two of these companies have committed to providing cost share in order to facilitate the development. One of these companies is a major manufacturing company developing a revolutionary new family of products requiring the ultra-high system efficiency achievable by the KAT motor and controller technologies (known as Segmented ElectroMagnetic Array, or SEMA technology). Another company requires the high efficiency, quiet operation, and control characteristics afforded by the same basic motor and controller for an advanced air filtration product. The combined annual production requirement projected by these two companies exceeds one million units by 2005.

  5. Sequential sampling: A cost-effective approach for monitoring benthic macroinvertebrates in environmental impact assessments

    SciTech Connect

    Resh, V.H.; Price, D.G.

    1984-01-01

    Sequential sampling is a method for monitoring benthic macroinvertebrates that can significantly reduce the number of samples required to reach a decision, and consequently, decrease the cost of benthic sampling in environmental impact assessments. Rather than depending on a fixed number of samples, this analysis cumulatively compares measured parameter values (for example, density, community diversity) from individual samples, with thresholds that are based on specified degrees of precision. In addition to reducing sample size, a monitoring program based on sequential sampling can provide clear-cut decisions as to whether a priori-defined changes in the measured parameter(s) have or have not occurred. As examples, sequential sampling programs have been developed to evaluate the impact of geothermal energy have been developed to evaluate the impact of geothermal energy development on benthic macroinvertebrate diversity at The Geysers, California, and for monitoring the impact of crude oil contamination on chironomid midge (Cricotopus bicinctus (Meigen) and C. mackenziensis Oliver) population densities in the Trail River, Northwest Territories, Canada.

  6. Cost Effective, High Efficiency Integrated Systems Approach To Auxiliary Electric Motors

    SciTech Connect

    Roy Kessinger; Kanchan Angal; Steve Brewer; Steve Kraihanzel; Lenny Schrank; Jason Wolf

    2003-07-15

    The CARAT program, carried out by Kinetic Art & Technology Corporation (KAT), has been one of the most commercially successful KAT R&D programs to date. Based on previous development of its technology, KAT designed, constructed and tested a highly efficient motor and controller system under this CARAT program with supplemental commercial funding. Throughout this CARAT effort, the technical objectives have been refined and refocused. Some objectives have been greatly expanded, while others have been minimized. The determining factor in all decisions to refocus the objectives was the commercial need, primarily the needs of KAT manufacturing partners. Several companies are employing the resulting CARAT motor and controller designs in prototypes for commercial products. Two of these companies have committed to providing cost share in order to facilitate the development. One of these companies is a major manufacturing company developing a revolutionary new family of products requiring the ultra-high system efficiency achievable by the KAT motor and controller technologies (known as Segmented ElectroMagnetic Array, or SEMA technology). Another company requires the high efficiency, quiet operation, and control characteristics afforded by the same basic motor and controller for an advanced air filtration product. The combined annual production requirement projected by these two companies exceeds one million units by 2005.

  7. Low-cost approaches to problem-driven hydrologic research: The case of Arkavathy watershed, India.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Srinivasan, V.; Ballukraya, P. N.; Jeremiah, K.; R, A.

    2014-12-01

    Groundwater depletion is a major problem in the Arkavathy Basin and it is the probable cause of declining flows in the Arkavathy River. However, investigating groundwater trends and groundwater-surface water linkages is extremely challenging in a data-scarce environment where basins are largely ungauged so there is very little historical data; often the data are missing, flawed or biased. Moreover, hard-rock aquifer data are very difficult to interpret. In the absence of reliable data, establishing a trend let alone the causal linkages is a severe challenge. We used a combination of low-cost, participatory, satellite based and conventional data collection methods to maximize spatial and temporal coverage of data. For instance, long-term groundwater trends are biased because only a few dug wells with non-representative geological conditions still have water - the vast majority of the monitoring wells drilled in the 1970s and 1980s have dried up. Instead, we relied on "barefoot hydrology" techniques. By conducting a comprehensive well census, engaging farmers in participatory groundwater monitoring and using locally available commercial borewell scanning techniques we have been able to better establish groundwater trends and spatial patterns.

  8. Low Cost Beam-Steering Approach for a Series-Fed Array

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Host, Nicholas K.; Chen, Chi-Chih; Volakis, John L.; Miranda, Felix A.

    2013-01-01

    Phased array antennas showcase many advantages over mechanically steered systems. However, they are also more complex and costly. This paper presents a concept which overcomes these detrimental attributes by eliminating all of the phased array backend (including phase shifters). Instead, a propagation constant reconfigurable transmission line in a series fed array arrangement is used to allow phase shifting with one small (less than or equal to 100mil) linear mechanical motion. A novel slotted coplanar stripline design improves on previous transmission lines by demonstrating a greater control of propagation constant, thus allowing practical prototypes to be built. Also, beam steering pattern control is explored. We show that with correct choice of line impedance, pattern control is possible for all scan angles. A 20 element array scanning from -25 deg less than or equal to theta less than or equal to 21 deg. with mostly uniform gain at 13GHz is presented. Measured patterns show a reduced scan range of 12 deg. less than or equal to theta less than or equal to 25 deg. due to a correctable manufacturing error as verified by simulation. Beam squint is measured to be plus or minus 2.5 deg for a 600MHz bandwidth and cross-pol is measured to be at least -15dB.

  9. A Novel and Cost-Effective Monitoring Approach for Outcomes in an Australian Biodiversity Conservation Incentive Program

    PubMed Central

    Lindenmayer, David B.; Zammit, Charles; Attwood, Simon J.; Burns, Emma; Shepherd, Claire L.; Kay, Geoff; Wood, Jeff

    2012-01-01

    We report on the design and implementation of ecological monitoring for an Australian biodiversity conservation incentive scheme – the Environmental Stewardship Program. The Program uses competitive auctions to contract individual land managers for up to 15 years to conserve matters of National Environmental Significance (with an initial priority on nationally threatened ecological communities). The ecological monitoring was explicitly aligned with the Program’s policy objective and desired outcomes and was applied to the Program’s initial Project which targeted the critically endangered White Box-Yellow Box-Blakely's Red Gum Grassy Woodland and Derived Native Grassland ecological community in south eastern Australia. These woodlands have been reduced to <3% of their original extent and persist mostly as small remnants of variable condition on private farmland. We established monitoring sites on 153 farms located over 172,232 sq km. On each farm we established a monitoring site within the woodland patch funded for management and, wherever possible, a matched control site. The monitoring has entailed gathering data on vegetation condition, reptiles and birds. We also gathered data on the costs of experimental design, site establishment, field survey, and data analysis. The costs of monitoring are approximately 8.5% of the Program’s investment in the first four years and hence are in broad accord with the general rule of thumb that 5–10% of a program’s funding should be invested in monitoring. Once initial monitoring and site benchmarking are completed we propose to implement a novel rotating sampling approach that will maintain scientific integrity while achieving an annual cost-efficiency of up to 23%. We discuss useful lessons relevant to other monitoring programs where there is a need to provide managers with reliable early evidence of program effectiveness and to demonstrate opportunities for cost-efficiencies. PMID:23236399

  10. A novel and cost-effective monitoring approach for outcomes in an Australian biodiversity conservation incentive program.

    PubMed

    Lindenmayer, David B; Zammit, Charles; Attwood, Simon J; Burns, Emma; Shepherd, Claire L; Kay, Geoff; Wood, Jeff

    2012-01-01

    We report on the design and implementation of ecological monitoring for an Australian biodiversity conservation incentive scheme - the Environmental Stewardship Program. The Program uses competitive auctions to contract individual land managers for up to 15 years to conserve matters of National Environmental Significance (with an initial priority on nationally threatened ecological communities). The ecological monitoring was explicitly aligned with the Program's policy objective and desired outcomes and was applied to the Program's initial Project which targeted the critically endangered White Box-Yellow Box-Blakely's Red Gum Grassy Woodland and Derived Native Grassland ecological community in south eastern Australia. These woodlands have been reduced to <3% of their original extent and persist mostly as small remnants of variable condition on private farmland. We established monitoring sites on 153 farms located over 172,232 sq km. On each farm we established a monitoring site within the woodland patch funded for management and, wherever possible, a matched control site. The monitoring has entailed gathering data on vegetation condition, reptiles and birds. We also gathered data on the costs of experimental design, site establishment, field survey, and data analysis. The costs of monitoring are approximately 8.5% of the Program's investment in the first four years and hence are in broad accord with the general rule of thumb that 5-10% of a program's funding should be invested in monitoring. Once initial monitoring and site benchmarking are completed we propose to implement a novel rotating sampling approach that will maintain scientific integrity while achieving an annual cost-efficiency of up to 23%. We discuss useful lessons relevant to other monitoring programs where there is a need to provide managers with reliable early evidence of program effectiveness and to demonstrate opportunities for cost-efficiencies. PMID:23236399

  11. Process-Improvement Cost Model for the Emergency Department.

    PubMed

    Dyas, Sheila R; Greenfield, Eric; Messimer, Sherri; Thotakura, Swati; Gholston, Sampson; Doughty, Tracy; Hays, Mary; Ivey, Richard; Spalding, Joseph; Phillips, Robin

    2015-01-01

    The objective of this report is to present a simplified, activity-based costing approach for hospital emergency departments (EDs) to use with Lean Six Sigma cost-benefit analyses. The cost model complexity is reduced by removing diagnostic and condition-specific costs, thereby revealing the underlying process activities' cost inefficiencies. Examples are provided for evaluating the cost savings from reducing discharge delays and the cost impact of keeping patients in the ED (boarding) after the decision to admit has been made. The process-improvement cost model provides a needed tool in selecting, prioritizing, and validating Lean process-improvement projects in the ED and other areas of patient care that involve multiple dissimilar diagnoses. PMID:26720989

  12. Corruption costs lives: a cross-country study using an IV approach.

    PubMed

    Lio, Mon-Chi; Lee, Ming-Hsuan

    2016-04-01

    This study quantitatively estimates the effects of corruption on five major health indicators by using recent cross-country panel data covering 119 countries for the period of 2005-2011. The corruption indicators provided by the World Bank and Transparency International are used, and both the two-way fixed effect and the two-stage least squares approaches are employed for our estimation. The estimation results show that, in general, corruption is negatively associated with a country's health outcomes. A lower level of corruption or a better control of corruption in a country can lead to longer life expectancy, a lower infant mortality rate and a lower under-five mortality rate for citizens. However, our estimation finds no significant association between corruption and individual diseases including human immunodeficiency virus prevalence and tuberculosis incidence. The findings suggest that corruption reduction itself is an effective method to promote health. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. PMID:26122874

  13. An Evidence-Based Approach to Estimating the National and State Costs of PreK-3rd. FCD Policy Brief Advancing PK-3rd. No.10

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Picus, Lawrence O.; Odden, Allan; Goetz, Michael

    2009-01-01

    This study estimates the costs of providing a high-quality PreK-3rd education approach in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia. Relying on an Evidence-Based approach to school finance adequacy, it identifies the staffing resources needed to offer high-quality integrated PreK-3rd programs and then estimates the costs of those resources. By…

  14. The promise--and peril--of integrated cost systems.

    PubMed

    Cooper, R; Kaplan, R S

    1998-01-01

    Recent advances in managerial accounting have helped executives get the information they need to make good strategic decisions. But today's enterprise resource planning systems promise even greater benefits--the chance to integrate activity-based costing, operational-control, and financial reporting systems. But managers need to approach integration very thoughtfully, or they could end up with a system that drives decision making in the wrong direction. Operational-control and ABC systems have fundamentally different purposes. Their requirements for accuracy, timeliness, and aggregation are so different that no single, fully integrated approach can be adequate for both purposes. If an integrated system used real-time cost data instead of standard rates in its ABC subsystem, for example, the result would be dangerously distorted messages about individual product profitability--and that's precisely the problem ABC systems were originally designed to address. Proper linkage and feedback between the two systems is possible, however. Through activity-based budgeting, the ABC system is linked directly to operations control: managers can determine the supply and practical capacity of resources in forthcoming periods. Linking operational control to ABC is also possible. The activity-based portion of an operational control system collects information that, while it mustn't be fed directly into the activity-based strategic cost system, can be extremely useful once it's been properly analyzed. Finally, ABC and operational control can be linked to financial reporting to generate cost of goods sold and inventory valuations--but again, with precautions. PMID:10181585

  15. Parametric Cost Deployment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dean, Edwin B.

    1995-01-01

    Parametric cost analysis is a mathematical approach to estimating cost. Parametric cost analysis uses non-cost parameters, such as quality characteristics, to estimate the cost to bring forth, sustain, and retire a product. This paper reviews parametric cost analysis and shows how it can be used within the cost deployment process.

  16. Image stacking approach to increase sensitivity of fluorescence detection using a low cost complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) webcam.

    PubMed

    Balsam, Joshua; Bruck, Hugh Alan; Kostov, Yordan; Rasooly, Avraham

    2012-01-01

    Optical technologies are important for biological analysis. Current biomedical optical analyses rely on high-cost, high-sensitivity optical detectors such as photomultipliers, avalanched photodiodes or cooled CCD cameras. In contrast, Webcams, mobile phones and other popular consumer electronics use lower-sensitivity, lower-cost optical components such as photodiodes or CMOS sensors. In order for consumer electronics devices, such as webcams, to be useful for biomedical analysis, they must have increased sensitivity. We combined two strategies to increase the sensitivity of CMOS-based fluorescence detector. We captured hundreds of low sensitivity images using a Webcam in video mode, instead of a single image typically used in cooled CCD devices.We then used a computational approach consisting of an image stacking algorithm to remove the noise by combining all of the images into a single image. While video mode is widely used for dynamic scene imaging (e.g. movies or time-lapse photography), it is not used to capture a single static image, which removes noise and increases sensitivity by more than thirty fold. The portable, battery-operated Webcam-based fluorometer system developed here consists of five modules: (1) a low cost CMOS Webcam to monitor light emission, (2) a plate to perform assays, (3) filters and multi-wavelength LED illuminator for fluorophore excitation, (4) a portable computer to acquire and analyze images, and (5) image stacking software for image enhancement. The samples consisted of various concentrations of fluorescein, ranging from 30 μM to 1000 μM, in a 36-well miniature plate. In the single frame mode, the fluorometer's limit-of-detection (LOD) for fluorescein is ∼1000 μM, which is relatively insensitive. However, when used in video mode combined with image stacking enhancement, the LOD is dramatically reduced to 30 μM, sensitivity which is similar to that of state-of-the-art ELISA plate photomultiplier-based readers. Numerous medical

  17. Three-Stage Production Cost Modeling Approach for Evaluating the Benefits of Intra-Hour Scheduling between Balancing Authorities

    SciTech Connect

    Samaan, Nader A.; Milligan, Michael; Hunsaker, Matthew; Guo, Tao

    2015-07-30

    This paper introduces a Production Cost Modeling (PCM) approach to evaluate the benefits of intra-hour scheduling between Balancing Authorities (BAs). The system operation is modeled in a three-stage sequential manner: day ahead (DA)-hour ahead (HA)-real time (RT). In addition to contingency reserve, each BA will need to carry out “up” and “down” load following and regulation reserve capacity requirements in the DA and HA time frames. In the real-time simulation, only contingency and regulation reserves are carried out as load following is deployed. To model current real-time operation with hourly schedules, a new constraint was introduced to force each BA net exchange schedule deviation from HA schedules to be within NERC ACE limits. Case studies that investigate the benefits of moving from hourly exchange schedules between WECC BAs into 10-min exchange schedules under two different levels of wind and solar penetration (11% and 33%) are presented.

  18. A distributed evolutionary algorithmic approach to the least-cost connected constrained sub-graph and power control problem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tillett, Jason C.; Rao, Raghuveer; Sahin, Ferat; Rao, T. M.

    2004-08-01

    When wireless sensors are capable of variable transmit power and are battery powered, it is important to select the appropriate transmit power level for the node. Lowering the transmit power of the sensor nodes imposes a natural clustering on the network and has been shown to improve throughput of the network. However, a common transmit power level is not appropriate for inhomogeneous networks. A possible fitness-based approach, motivated by an evolutionary optimization technique, Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO) is proposed and extended in a novel way to determine the appropriate transmit power of each sensor node. A distributed version of PSO is developed and explored using experimental fitness to achieve an approximation of least-cost connectivity.

  19. Estimating Suicide Rates in Developing Nations: A Low-Cost Newspaper Capture-Recapture Approach in Cambodia.

    PubMed

    Harris, Keith M; Thandrayen, Joanne; Samphoas, Chien; Se, Pros; Lewchalermwongse, Boontriga; Ratanashevorn, Rattanakorn; Perry, Megan L; Britts, Choloe

    2016-04-01

    This study tested a low-cost method for estimating suicide rates in developing nations that lack adequate statistics. Data comprised reported suicides from Cambodia's 2 largest newspapers. Capture-recapture modeling estimated a suicide rate of 3.8/100 000 (95% CI = 2.5-6.7) for 2012. That compares to World Health Organization estimates of 1.3 to 9.4/100 000 and a Cambodian government estimate of 3.5/100 000. Suicide rates of males were twice that of females, and rates of those <40 years were twice that of those ≥40 years. Capture-recapture modeling with newspaper reports proved a reasonable method for estimating suicide rates for countries with inadequate official data. These methods are low-cost and can be applied to regions with at least 2 newspapers with overlapping reports. Means to further improve this approach are discussed. These methods are applicable to both recent and historical data, which can benefit epidemiological work, and may also be applicable to homicides and other statistics. PMID:26969636

  20. Laser generated microstructures in tape cast electrodes for rapid electrolyte wetting: new technical approach for cost efficient battery manufacturing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pfleging, W.; Kohler, R.; Pröll, J.

    2014-03-01

    Three-dimensional (3D) battery architectures are under current scientific investigation since they can achieve large areal energy capacities while maintaining high power densities. A main objective of surface patterning is the enhancement of lithium-ion diffusion which is often a limiting factor in lithium-ion cells. By using a rather new approach, laser material processing of thick-film electrodes has been investigated for the precise adjustment of 3D surface topography. Besides lithium-ion diffusion in electrode materials as an electrochemically limited process, a critical step in lithium-ion pouch cell manufacturing is the homogeneous electrolyte wetting of stacked electrodes and separators. This process requires cost expensive and time-consuming vacuum and storage processes at elevated temperatures. A new and cost efficient laser process has been successfully applied in order to significantly improve the electrode wetting and the battery operation. Preliminary investigations for testing the process on pouch cell geometry revealed higher capacities and increased cell life-time compared to standard cells without storage processes at elevated temperatures. The laser structuring process can be applied to commercial electrode materials and integrated into existing production lines.

  1. An Activity-Based Approach to Early Intervention. Third Edition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pretti-Frontczak, Kristie; Bricker, Diane

    2004-01-01

    How can early childhood professionals seamlessly link assessment, goal development, intervention, and evaluation for children from birth to age 5--while developing individualized IEP/IFSP goals, creating multiple and varied learning opportunities, and working as a team? The third edition of this highly respected resource has the answers. A classic…

  2. Aircraft routing with minimal climate impact: the REACT4C climate cost function modelling approach (V1.0)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grewe, V.; Frömming, C.; Matthes, S.; Brinkop, S.; Ponater, M.; Dietmüller, S.; Jöckel, P.; Garny, H.; Tsati, E.; Dahlmann, K.; Søvde, O. A.; Fuglestvedt, J.; Berntsen, T. K.; Shine, K. P.; Irvine, E. A.; Champougny, T.; Hullah, P.

    2014-01-01

    In addition to CO2, the climate impact of aviation is strongly influenced by non-CO2 emissions, such as nitrogen oxides, influencing ozone and methane, and water vapour, which can lead to the formation of persistent contrails in ice-supersaturated regions. Because these non-CO2 emission effects are characterised by a short lifetime, their climate impact largely depends on emission location and time; that is to say, emissions in certain locations (or times) can lead to a greater climate impact (even on the global average) than the same emission in other locations (or times). Avoiding these climate-sensitive regions might thus be beneficial to climate. Here, we describe a modelling chain for investigating this climate impact mitigation option. This modelling chain forms a multi-step modelling approach, starting with the simulation of the fate of emissions released at a certain location and time (time-region grid points). This is performed with the chemistry-climate model EMAC, extended via the two submodels AIRTRAC (V1.0) and CONTRAIL (V1.0), which describe the contribution of emissions to the composition of the atmosphere and to contrail formation, respectively. The impact of emissions from the large number of time-region grid points is efficiently calculated by applying a Lagrangian scheme. EMAC also includes the calculation of radiative impacts, which are, in a second step, the input to climate metric formulas describing the global climate impact of the emission at each time-region grid point. The result of the modelling chain comprises a four-dimensional data set in space and time, which we call climate cost functions and which describes the global climate impact of an emission at each grid point and each point in time. In a third step, these climate cost functions are used in an air traffic simulator (SAAM) coupled to an emission tool (AEM) to optimise aircraft trajectories for the North Atlantic region. Here, we describe the details of this new modelling

  3. Aircraft routing with minimal climate impact: the REACT4C climate cost function modelling approach (V1.0)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grewe, V.; Frömming, C.; Matthes, S.; Brinkop, S.; Ponater, M.; Dietmüller, S.; Jöckel, P.; Garny, H.; Tsati, E.; Søvde, O. A.; Fuglestvedt, J.; Berntsen, T. K.; Shine, K. P.; Irvine, E. A.; Champougny, T.; Hullah, P.

    2013-08-01

    In addition to CO2, the climate impact of aviation is strongly influenced by non-CO2 emissions, such as nitrogen oxides, influencing ozone and methane, and water vapour, forming contrails. Because these non-CO2 emission effects are characterised by a short lifetime, their climate impact largely depends on emission location and time, i.e. emissions in certain locations (or times) can lead to a greater climate impact (even on the global average) than the same emission in other locations (or times). Avoiding these climate sensitive regions might thus be beneficial to climate. Here, we describe a modelling chain for investigating this climate impact mitigation option. It forms a multi-step modelling approach, starting with the simulation of the fate of emissions released at a certain location and time (time-region). This is performed with the chemistry-climate model EMAC, extended by the two submodels AIRTRAC 1.0 and CONTRAIL 1.0, which describe the contribution of emissions to the composition of the atmosphere and the contrail formation. Numerous time-regions are efficiently calculated by applying a Lagrangian scheme. EMAC also includes the calculation of radiative impacts, which are, in a second step, the input to climate metric formulas describing the climate impact of the time-region emission. The result of the modelling chain comprises a four dimensional dataset in space and time, which we call climate cost functions, and which describe at each grid point and each point in time, the climate impact of an emission. In a third step, these climate cost functions are used in a traffic simulator (SAAM), coupled to an emission tool (AEM) to optimise aircraft trajectories for the North Atlantic region. Here, we describe the details of this new modelling approach and show some example results. A number of sensitivity analyses are performed to motivate the settings of individual parameters. A stepwise sanity check of the results of the modelling chain is undertaken to

  4. COST EFFECTIVE REGULATORY APPROACHES TO ENHANCE DOMESTIC OIL & GAS PRODUCTION AND ENSURE THE PROTECTION OF THE ENVIRONMENT

    SciTech Connect

    Ben Grunewald; Paul Jehn; Tom Gillespie; Ben Binder

    2004-12-21

    The Environmental Information Management Suite/Risk Based Data Management System (EIMS/RBDMS) and Cost Effective Regulatory Approach (CERA) programs continue to be successful. All oil and gas state regulatory programs participate in these efforts. Significant accomplishments include: streamline regulatory approaches, enhancing environmental protection, and making oil and gas data available via the Internet. Oil and gas companies worldwide now have access to data on state web sites. This reduces the cost of exploration and enables companies to develop properties in areas that would have been cost prohibited for exploration. Early in project, GWPC and State Oil and Gas agencies developed the EIMS and CERA strategic plan to prioritize long term development and implementation. The planning process identifies electronic commerce and coal bed methane as high priorities. The group has involved strategic partners in industry and government to develop a common data exchange process. Technical assistance to Alaska continues to improve their program management capabilities. New initiatives in Alaska include the development of an electronic permit tracking system. This system allows managers to expedite the permitting process. Nationwide, the RBDMS system is largely completed with 22 states and one Indian Nation now using this nationally accepted data management system. Additional remaining tasks include routine maintenance and the installation of the program upon request for the remaining oil and gas states. The GWPC in working with the BLM and MMS to develop an XML schema to facilitate electronic permitting and reporting (Appendix A, B, and C). This is a significant effort and, in years to come, will increase access to federal lands by reducing regulatory barriers. The new initiatives are coal bed methane and e-commerce. The e-commerce program will provide industry and BLM/MMS access to the millions of data points housed in the RBDMS system. E-commerce will streamline

  5. Student Lead Nanosatellite Design/Build Projects: making a cost effective approach to Earth and Space Observational Science even more cost efficient

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bottoms, J.; Lange, B. A.; AlbertaSat

    2011-12-01

    With the advancement of technologies and the miniaturization of sensors and electrical/computational components satellites are also undergoing miniaturization. With lower manufacturing cost and a decreased design/build cycle (~2 years from start to launch), compared to conventional large scale satellites, nanosatellites have become a cost effective alternative for satellite Earth and Space Observations. The University of Alberta student nanosatellite (10x10x30cm; <4kg) design/build team, AlbertaSat-1, is a participant in the Canadian Satellite Design Challenge (CSDC) implemented by the CSA and Geocentrix Ltd. in addition to 15 other Universities from across Canada. AlbertaSat-1 will be launched in early 2013, after a 2 year design/build process and environmental testing. AlbertaSat-1 will be an Earth Observation satellite monitoring GHG (CO2, H2O & CH4) concentrations over many regions of the earth with the use of a NIR spectrometer. Here we present the planning, design and future manufacturing of AlbertaSat-1 with a focus on budget and cost effective solutions. Since this is a student project, AlbertaSat-1 will incur certain benefits making them exempt from certain financial requirements and obtaining services and equipment at very low or no cost. The largest cost benefit of AlbertaSat-1 is the virtual elimination of labor costs by having a team consisting of only unpaid students. Labor costs of typical satellite missions can be a very costly component. The educational components of such projects offer more indirect benefits to effective development of this industry/discipline, nevertheless just as important, by developing skills and knowledge that can only be learned through realistic hands on design/build projects. Student lead projects and student design/build initiatives such as CSDC (among many others in the U.S. and Europe lead by NASA and ESA, respectively) will have a major impact on shaping the future of Space and Earth Observational Sciences. We will

  6. How to calculate the annual costs of NGO-implemented programmes to support orphans and vulnerable children: a six-step approach

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Information on the costs of implementing programmes designed to provide support of orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) in sub-Saharan Africa and elsewhere is increasingly being requested by donors for programme evaluation purposes. To date, little information exists to document the costs and structure of costs of OVC programmes as actually implemented "on the ground" by local non-governmental organizations (NGOs). This analysis provides a practical, six-step approach that NGOs can incorporate into routine operations to evaluate their costs of implementing their OVC programmes annually. This approach is applied to the Community-Based Care for Orphans and Vulnerable Children (CBCO) Program implemented by BIDII (a Kenyan NGO) in Eastern Province of Kenya. Methods and results The costing methodology involves the following six steps: accessing and organizing the NGO's annual financial report into logical sub-categories; reorganizing the sub-categories into input cost categories to create a financial cost profile; estimating the annual equivalent payment for programme equipment; documenting donations to the NGO for programme implementation; including a portion of NGO organizational costs not attributed to specific programmes; and including the results of Steps 3-5 into an expanded cost profile. Detailed results are provided for the CBCO programme. Conclusions This paper shows through a concrete example how NGOs implementing OVC programmes (and other public health programmes) can organize themselves for data collection and documentation prospectively during the implementation of their OVC programmes so that costing analyses become routine practice to inform programme implementation rather than a painful and flawed retrospective activity. Such information is required if the costs and outcomes achieved by OVC programmes will ever be clearly documented and compared across OVC programmes and other types of programmes (prevention, treatment, etc.). PMID:22182588

  7. Cost-effective approaches for high-resolution bioimaging by time-stretched confocal microscopy at 1μm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wong, Terence T. W.; Qiu, Yi; Lau, Andy K. S.; Xu, JingJiang; Chan, Antony C. S.; Wong, Kenneth K. Y.; Tsia, Kevin K.

    2012-12-01

    Optical imaging based on time-stretch process has recently been proven as a powerful tool for delivering ultra-high frame rate (< 1MHz) which is not achievable by the conventional image sensors. Together with the capability of optical image amplification for overcoming the trade-off between detection sensitivity and speed, this new imaging modality is particularly valuable in high-throughput biomedical diagnostic practice, e.g. imaging flow cytometry. The ultra-high frame rate in time-stretch imaging is attained by two key enabling elements: dispersive fiber providing the time-stretch process via group-velocity-dispersion (GVD), and electronic digitizer. It is well-known that many biophotonic applications favor the spectral window of ~1μm. However, reasonably high GVD (< 0.1 ns/nm) in this range can only be achieved by using specialty single-mode fiber (SMF) at 1μm. Moreover, the ultrafast detection has to rely on the state-of- the-art digitizer with significantly wide-bandwidth and high sampling rate (e.g. <10 GHz, <40 GS/s). These stringent requirements imply the prohibitively high-cost of the system and hinder its practical use in biomedical diagnostics. We here demonstrate two cost-effective approaches for realizing time-stretch confocal microscopy at 1μm: (i) using the standard telecommunication SMF (e.g. SMF28) to act as a few-mode fiber (FMF) at 1μm for the time-stretch process, and (ii) implementing the pixel super-resolution (SR) algorithm to restore the high-resolution (HR) image when using a lower-bandwidth digitizer. By using a FMF (with a GVD of ~ 0.15ns/nm) and a modified pixel-SR algorithm, we can achieve time-stretch confocal microscopy at 1μm with cellular resolution (~ 3μm) at a frame rate 1 MHz.

  8. [Calculation of workers' health care costs].

    PubMed

    Rydlewska-Liszkowska, Izabela

    2006-01-01

    In different health care systems, there are different schemes of organization and principles of financing activities aimed at ensuring the working population health and safety. Regardless of the scheme and the range of health care provided, economists strive for rationalization of costs (including their reduction). This applies to both employers who include workers' health care costs into indirect costs of the market product manufacture and health care institutions, which provide health care services. In practice, new methods of setting costs of workers' health care facilitate regular cost control, acquisition of detailed information about costs, and better adjustment of information to planning and control needs in individual health care institutions. For economic institutions and institutions specialized in workers' health care, a traditional cost-effect calculation focused on setting costs of individual products (services) is useful only if costs are relatively low and the output of simple products is not very high. But when products form aggregates of numerous actions like those involved in occupational medicine services, the method of activity based costing (ABC), representing the process approach, is much more useful. According to this approach costs are attributed to the product according to resources used during different activities involved in its production. The calculation of costs proceeds through allocation of all direct costs for specific processes in a given institution. Indirect costs are settled on the basis of resources used during the implementation of individual tasks involved in the process of making a new product. In this method, so called map of processes/actions consisted in the manufactured product and their interrelations are of particular importance. Advancements in the cost-effect for the management of health care institutions depend on their managerial needs. Current trends in this regard primarily depend on treating all cost reference

  9. New approach based on compressive sampling for sample rate enhancement in DASs for low-cost sensing nodes.

    PubMed

    Bonavolontà, Francesco; D'Apuzzo, Massimo; Liccardo, Annalisa; Vadursi, Michele

    2014-01-01

    The paper deals with the problem of improving the maximum sample rate of analog-to-digital converters (ADCs) included in low cost wireless sensing nodes. To this aim, the authors propose an efficient acquisition strategy based on the combined use of high-resolution time-basis and compressive sampling. In particular, the high-resolution time-basis is adopted to provide a proper sequence of random sampling instants, and a suitable software procedure, based on compressive sampling approach, is exploited to reconstruct the signal of interest from the acquired samples. Thanks to the proposed strategy, the effective sample rate of the reconstructed signal can be as high as the frequency of the considered time-basis, thus significantly improving the inherent ADC sample rate. Several tests are carried out in simulated and real conditions to assess the performance of the proposed acquisition strategy in terms of reconstruction error. In particular, the results obtained in experimental tests with ADC included in actual 8- and 32-bits microcontrollers highlight the possibility of achieving effective sample rate up to 50 times higher than that of the original ADC sample rate. PMID:25313493

  10. New Approach Based on Compressive Sampling for Sample Rate Enhancement in DASs for Low-Cost Sensing Nodes

    PubMed Central

    Bonavolontà, Francesco; D'Apuzzo, Massimo; Liccardo, Annalisa; Vadursi, Michele

    2014-01-01

    The paper deals with the problem of improving the maximum sample rate of analog-to-digital converters (ADCs) included in low cost wireless sensing nodes. To this aim, the authors propose an efficient acquisition strategy based on the combined use of high-resolution time-basis and compressive sampling. In particular, the high-resolution time-basis is adopted to provide a proper sequence of random sampling instants, and a suitable software procedure, based on compressive sampling approach, is exploited to reconstruct the signal of interest from the acquired samples. Thanks to the proposed strategy, the effective sample rate of the reconstructed signal can be as high as the frequency of the considered time-basis, thus significantly improving the inherent ADC sample rate. Several tests are carried out in simulated and real conditions to assess the performance of the proposed acquisition strategy in terms of reconstruction error. In particular, the results obtained in experimental tests with ADC included in actual 8- and 32-bits microcontrollers highlight the possibility of achieving effective sample rate up to 50 times higher than that of the original ADC sample rate. PMID:25313493

  11. The mass-action law based algorithm for cost-effective approach for cancer drug discovery and development.

    PubMed

    Chou, Ting-Chao

    2011-01-01

    The mass-action law based system analysis via mathematical induction and deduction lead to the generalized theory and algorithm that allows computerized simulation of dose-effect dynamics with small size experiments using a small number of data points in vitro, in animals, and in humans. The median-effect equation of the mass-action law deduced from over 300 mechanism specific-equations has been shown to be the unified theory that serves as the common-link for complicated biomedical systems. After using the median-effect principle as the common denominator, its applications are mechanism-independent, drug unit-independent, and dynamic order-independent; and can be used generally for single drug analysis or for multiple drug combinations in constant-ratio or non-constant ratios. Since the "median" is the common link and universal reference point in biological systems, these general enabling lead to computerized quantitative bio-informatics for econo-green bio-research in broad disciplines. Specific applications of the theory, especially relevant to drug discovery, drug combination, and clinical trials, have been cited or illustrated in terms of algorithms, experimental design and computerized simulation for data analysis. Lessons learned from cancer research during the past fifty years provide a valuable opportunity to reflect, and to improve the conventional divergent approach and to introduce a new convergent avenue, based on the mass-action law principle, for the efficient cancer drug discovery and the low-cost drug development. PMID:22016837

  12. Facile, Low-Cost, UV-Curing Approach to Prepare Highly Conductive Composites for Flexible Electronics Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Fucheng; Chen, Shilong; Wei, Yong; Liu, Konghua; Lin, Yong; Liu, Lan

    2016-07-01

    We present a facile approach to prepare high-performance ultraviolet (UV)-curable polyurethane-acrylate-based flexible electrical conductive adhesive (PUA-FECA) for flexible electronics applications. PUA is employed as the polymer matrix so that the ECA is flexible and UV-curable at room temperature in just a few minutes. The effects of the PUA-FECA formulation and curing procedure on the electrical properties have been studied. Very low volume resistivity (5.08 × 10-4 Ω cm) is obtained by incorporating 70 wt.% microsized Ag-coated Cu flakes. Moreover, by simply standing the PUA-FECA paste for 4 h before exposure to UV light, the bulk resistivity of the PUA-FECA is dramatically decreased to 3.62 × 10-4 Ω cm. This can be attributed to rearrangement of Ag-coated Cu flakes in the matrix while standing. PUA-FECA also presents stable electrical conductivity during rolling and compression, excellent adhesion, and good processability, making it easily scalable to large-scale fabrication and enabling screen-printing on various low-cost flexible substrates such as office paper and polyethylene terephthalate film.

  13. A single reflection approach to HCPV: Very high concentration ratio and wide acceptance angles using low cost materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Nardis, Davide

    2012-10-01

    The Italian engineering company Becar (Beghelli SpA group) presents its latest HCPV module currently sold under the brand name "Life Tree". The module is characterized by an efficiency of 26% that is in line with systems having higher complexity. The high efficiency and flexibility of the system are reached thanks to the single reflection scheme of the optical system. The module characterized by high acceptance angles comprises a metalized plastic primary reflector and a secondary optical element. The latter being a crucial technical feature of the Becar's system. This secondary optic element has been developed and manufactured by the German group Evonik Industries, which markets the product under the trade name SAVOSIL(TM). This technology, compared to other optics available in the market, offer high transparency in the whole solar spectrum and it is manufactured with an innovative sol-gel process that guarantees a precision in the micron range, at a fraction of the other approaches cost . Those two important features boost the light harvesting power of the Beghelli's systems. The article shows also the results of extensive in-field tests carried out to confirm reliability, performance and easy maintenance of the system.

  14. Facile, Low-Cost, UV-Curing Approach to Prepare Highly Conductive Composites for Flexible Electronics Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Fucheng; Chen, Shilong; Wei, Yong; Liu, Konghua; Lin, Yong; Liu, Lan

    2016-04-01

    We present a facile approach to prepare high-performance ultraviolet (UV)-curable polyurethane-acrylate-based flexible electrical conductive adhesive (PUA-FECA) for flexible electronics applications. PUA is employed as the polymer matrix so that the ECA is flexible and UV-curable at room temperature in just a few minutes. The effects of the PUA-FECA formulation and curing procedure on the electrical properties have been studied. Very low volume resistivity (5.08 × 10-4 Ω cm) is obtained by incorporating 70 wt.% microsized Ag-coated Cu flakes. Moreover, by simply standing the PUA-FECA paste for 4 h before exposure to UV light, the bulk resistivity of the PUA-FECA is dramatically decreased to 3.62 × 10-4 Ω cm. This can be attributed to rearrangement of Ag-coated Cu flakes in the matrix while standing. PUA-FECA also presents stable electrical conductivity during rolling and compression, excellent adhesion, and good processability, making it easily scalable to large-scale fabrication and enabling screen-printing on various low-cost flexible substrates such as office paper and polyethylene terephthalate film.

  15. An Accelerated Development, Reduced Cost Approach to Lunar/Mars Exploration Using a Modular NTR-Based Space Transportation System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Borowski, S.; Clark, J.; Sefcik, R.; Corban, R.; Alexander, S.

    1995-01-01

    ' NTR-based moon/Mars STS, examines performance sensitivities resulting from different 'mission mode' assumptions, and quantifies potential schedule and cost benefits resulting from this modular moon/Mars NTR vehicle approach.

  16. Economic cost of primary prevention of cardiovascular diseases in Tanzania.

    PubMed

    Ngalesoni, Frida; Ruhago, George; Norheim, Ole F; Robberstad, Bjarne

    2015-09-01

    Tanzania is facing a double burden of disease, with non-communicable diseases being an increasingly important contributor. Evidence-based preventive measures are important to limit the growing financial burden. This article aims to estimate the cost of providing medical primary prevention interventions for cardiovascular disease (CVD) among at-risk patients, reflecting actual resource use and if the World Health Organization (WHO)'s CVD medical preventive guidelines are implemented in Tanzania. In addition, we estimate and explore the cost to patients of receiving these services. Cost data were collected in four health facilities located in both urban and rural settings. Providers' costs were identified and measured using ingredients approach to costing and resource valuation followed the opportunity cost method. Unit costs were estimated using activity-based and step-down costing methodologies. The patient costs were obtained through a structured questionnaire. The unit cost of providing CVD medical primary prevention services ranged from US$30-41 to US$52-71 per patient per year at the health centre and hospital levels, respectively. Employing the WHO's absolute risk approach guidelines will substantially increase these costs. The annual patient cost of receiving these services as currently practised was estimated to be US$118 and US$127 for urban and rural patients, respectively. Providers' costs were estimated from two main viewpoints: 'what is', that is the current practice, and 'what if', reflecting a WHO guidelines scenario. The higher cost of implementing the WHO guidelines suggests the need for further evaluation of whether these added costs are reasonable relative to the added benefits. We also found considerably higher patient costs, implying that distributive and equity implications of access to care require more consideration. Facility location surfaced as the main explanatory variable for both direct and indirect patient costs in the regression

  17. Economic cost of primary prevention of cardiovascular diseases in Tanzania

    PubMed Central

    Ngalesoni, Frida; Ruhago, George; Norheim, Ole F; Robberstad, Bjarne

    2015-01-01

    Tanzania is facing a double burden of disease, with non-communicable diseases being an increasingly important contributor. Evidence-based preventive measures are important to limit the growing financial burden. This article aims to estimate the cost of providing medical primary prevention interventions for cardiovascular disease (CVD) among at-risk patients, reflecting actual resource use and if the World Health Organization (WHO)’s CVD medical preventive guidelines are implemented in Tanzania. In addition, we estimate and explore the cost to patients of receiving these services. Cost data were collected in four health facilities located in both urban and rural settings. Providers’ costs were identified and measured using ingredients approach to costing and resource valuation followed the opportunity cost method. Unit costs were estimated using activity-based and step-down costing methodologies. The patient costs were obtained through a structured questionnaire. The unit cost of providing CVD medical primary prevention services ranged from US$30–41 to US$52–71 per patient per year at the health centre and hospital levels, respectively. Employing the WHO’s absolute risk approach guidelines will substantially increase these costs. The annual patient cost of receiving these services as currently practised was estimated to be US$118 and US$127 for urban and rural patients, respectively. Providers’ costs were estimated from two main viewpoints: ‘what is’, that is the current practice, and ‘what if’, reflecting a WHO guidelines scenario. The higher cost of implementing the WHO guidelines suggests the need for further evaluation of whether these added costs are reasonable relative to the added benefits. We also found considerably higher patient costs, implying that distributive and equity implications of access to care require more consideration. Facility location surfaced as the main explanatory variable for both direct and indirect patient costs in

  18. What does an MRI scan cost?

    PubMed

    Young, David W

    2015-11-01

    Historically, hospital departments have computed the costs of individual tests or procedures using the ratio of cost to charges (RCC) method, which can produce inaccurate results. To determine a more accurate cost of a test or procedure, the activity-based costing (ABC) method must be used. Accurate cost calculations will ensure reliable information about the profitability of a hospital's DRGs. PMID:26685437

  19. Novel cost-effective quality control approach for the Cepheid Xpert CT/NG assay for the detection of Chlamydia Trachomatis and Neisseria Gonorrhoeae.

    PubMed

    Chan, Maurice; Jiang, Boran; Ng, Siew Yong Lily; Tan, Thean Yen

    2016-06-01

    The Xpert CT/NG is a rapid assay for detection of Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Chlamydia trachomatis. QC materials must be formulated to emulate human specimens, and are prohibitively expensive. A creative, cost-effective QC approach is proposed. The acceptable sample types for the Xpert CT/NG assay were extended to include eye swabs. PMID:27091503

  20. The activity-based anorexia mouse model.

    PubMed

    Klenotich, Stephanie J; Dulawa, Stephanie C

    2012-01-01

    Animals housed with running wheels and subjected to daily food restriction show paradoxical reductions in food intake and increases in running wheel activity. This phenomenon, known as activity-based anorexia (ABA), leads to marked reductions in body weight that can ultimately lead to death. Recently, ABA has been proposed as a model of anorexia nervosa (AN). AN affects about 8 per 100,000 females and has the highest mortality rate among all psychiatric illnesses. Given the reductions in quality of life, high mortality rate, and the lack of pharmacological treatments for AN, a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying AN-like behavior is greatly needed. This chapter provides basic guidelines for conducting ABA experiments using mice. The ABA mouse model provides an important tool for investigating the neurobiological underpinnings of AN-like behavior and identifying novel treatments. PMID:22231828

  1. Activity-Based Protein Profiling of Microbes

    SciTech Connect

    Sadler, Natalie C.; Wright, Aaron T.

    2015-02-01

    Activity-Based Protein Profiling (ABPP) in conjunction with multimodal characterization techniques has yielded impactful findings in microbiology, particularly in pathogen, bioenergy, drug discovery, and environmental research. Using small molecule chemical probes that react irreversibly with specific proteins or protein families in complex systems has provided insights in enzyme functions in central metabolic pathways, drug-protein interactions, and regulatory protein redox, for systems ranging from photoautotrophic cyanobacteria to mycobacteria, and combining live cell or cell extract ABPP with proteomics, molecular biology, modeling, and other techniques has greatly expanded our understanding of these systems. New opportunities for application of ABPP to microbial systems include: enhancing protein annotation, characterizing protein activities in myriad environments, and reveal signal transduction and regulatory mechanisms in microbial systems.

  2. A Cost-Effective Approach for Detection of Toxigenic Clostridium difficile: Toxigenic Culture Using ChromID Clostridium difficile Agar

    PubMed Central

    To, Wing Kin; Ng, Tak Keung; Hui, Wai Ting; Lee, Wing Keung; Lau, Florence; Ching, Almond Man Wai

    2014-01-01

    We evaluated the performance and the cost of toxigenic culture using a commercial chromogenic medium (CDIF) for 538 stool specimens. Compared with real-time PCR, this method was found to detect an additional 9% of positive specimens and result in 61% reduction in material costs, with a trade-off increase in turnaround time of 1 day. PMID:24478510

  3. Mathematical framework for activity-based cancer biomarkers

    PubMed Central

    Kwong, Gabriel A.; Dudani, Jaideep S.; Carrodeguas, Emmanuel; Mazumdar, Eric V.; Zekavat, Seyedeh M.; Bhatia, Sangeeta N.

    2015-01-01

    Advances in nanomedicine are providing sophisticated functions to precisely control the behavior of nanoscale drugs and diagnostics. Strategies that coopt protease activity as molecular triggers are increasingly important in nanoparticle design, yet the pharmacokinetics of these systems are challenging to understand without a quantitative framework to reveal nonintuitive associations. We describe a multicompartment mathematical model to predict strategies for ultrasensitive detection of cancer using synthetic biomarkers, a class of activity-based probes that amplify cancer-derived signals into urine as a noninvasive diagnostic. Using a model formulation made of a PEG core conjugated with protease-cleavable peptides, we explore a vast design space and identify guidelines for increasing sensitivity that depend on critical parameters such as enzyme kinetics, dosage, and probe stability. According to this model, synthetic biomarkers that circulate in stealth but then activate at sites of disease have the theoretical capacity to discriminate tumors as small as 5 mm in diameter—a threshold sensitivity that is otherwise challenging for medical imaging and blood biomarkers to achieve. This model may be adapted to describe the behavior of additional activity-based approaches to allow cross-platform comparisons, and to predict allometric scaling across species. PMID:26417077

  4. Mathematical framework for activity-based cancer biomarkers.

    PubMed

    Kwong, Gabriel A; Dudani, Jaideep S; Carrodeguas, Emmanuel; Mazumdar, Eric V; Zekavat, Seyedeh M; Bhatia, Sangeeta N

    2015-10-13

    Advances in nanomedicine are providing sophisticated functions to precisely control the behavior of nanoscale drugs and diagnostics. Strategies that coopt protease activity as molecular triggers are increasingly important in nanoparticle design, yet the pharmacokinetics of these systems are challenging to understand without a quantitative framework to reveal nonintuitive associations. We describe a multicompartment mathematical model to predict strategies for ultrasensitive detection of cancer using synthetic biomarkers, a class of activity-based probes that amplify cancer-derived signals into urine as a noninvasive diagnostic. Using a model formulation made of a PEG core conjugated with protease-cleavable peptides, we explore a vast design space and identify guidelines for increasing sensitivity that depend on critical parameters such as enzyme kinetics, dosage, and probe stability. According to this model, synthetic biomarkers that circulate in stealth but then activate at sites of disease have the theoretical capacity to discriminate tumors as small as 5 mm in diameter-a threshold sensitivity that is otherwise challenging for medical imaging and blood biomarkers to achieve. This model may be adapted to describe the behavior of additional activity-based approaches to allow cross-platform comparisons, and to predict allometric scaling across species. PMID:26417077

  5. Label-free fluorescence turn-on detection of uracil DNA glycosylase activity based on G-quadruplex formation.

    PubMed

    Ma, Changbei; Wu, Kefeng; Liu, Haisheng; Xia, Kun; Wang, Kemin; Wang, Jun

    2016-11-01

    We have developed a new methodology for fluorescence turn-on detection of uracil DNA glycosylase (UDG) activity based on G-quadruplex formation using a thioflavin T probe. In the presence of UDG, it catalyzed the hydrolysis of the uracil bases in the duplex DNA, resulting in the dissociation of the duplex DNA owing to their low melting temperature. Then, the probe DNA can be recognized quickly by the ThT dye and resulting in an increase in fluorescence. This approach is highly selective and sensitive with a detection limit of 0.01U/mL. It is simple and cost effective without requirement of labeling with a fluorophore-quencher pair. This new method could be used to evaluate the inhibition effect of 5-fluorouracil on UDG activity, and become a useful tool in biomedical research. PMID:27591637

  6. The Near Earth Object Scout Spacecraft: A Low Cost Approach to in-situ Characterization of the NEO Population

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Koontz, Steven L.; Condon, Gerald; Graham, Lee; Bevilacqua, Ricardo

    2014-01-01

    In this paper we describe a micro/nano satellite spacecraft and a supporting mission profile and architecture designed to enable preliminary in-situ characterization of a significant number of Near Earth Objects (NEOs) at reasonable cost. The spacecraft will be referred to as the NEO Scout. NEO Scout spacecraft are to be placed in GTO, GEO, or cis-lunar space as secondary payloads on launch vehicles headed for GTO or beyond and will begin their mission after deployment from the launcher. A distinguishing key feature of the NEO scout system is to design the mission timeline and spacecraft to rendezvous with and land on the target NEOs during close approach to the Earth-Moon system using low-thrust/high- impulse propulsion systems. Mission feasibility and preliminary design analysis are presented along with detailed trajectory calculations. The use of micro/nano satellites in low-cost interplanetary exploration is attracting increasing attention and is the subject of several annual workshops and published design studies (1-4). The NEO population consists of those asteroids and short period comets orbiting the Sun with a perihelion of 1.3 astronomical units or less (5-8). As of July 30, 2013 10065 Near-Earth objects have been discovered. The spin rate, mass, density, surface physical (especially mechanical) properties, composition, and mineralogy of the vast majority of these objects are highly uncertain and the limited available telescopic remote sensing data imply a very diverse population (5-8). In-situ measurements by robotic spacecraft are urgently needed to provide the characterization data needed to support hardware and mission design for more ambitious human and robotic NEO operations. Large numbers of NEOs move into close proximity with the Earth-Moon system every year (9). The JPL Near-Earth Object Human Space Flight Accessible Targets Study (NHATS) (10) has produced detailed mission profile and delta V requirements for various NEO missions ranging from 30

  7. Costs and clinical outcomes for non-invasive versus invasive diagnostic approaches to patients with suspected in-stent restenosis

    PubMed Central

    Hasegawa, James T.; Machacz, Susanne F.; O’Day, Ken

    2015-01-01

    This study compared costs and clinical outcomes of invasive versus non-invasive diagnostic evaluations for patients with suspected in-stent restenosis (ISR) after percutaneous coronary intervention. We developed a decision model to compare 2 year diagnosis-related costs for patients who presented with suspected ISR and were evaluated by: (1) invasive coronary angiography (ICA); (2) non-invasive stress testing strategy of myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) with referral to ICA based on MPI; (3) coronary CT angiography-based testing strategy with referral to ICA based on CCTA. Costs were modeled from the payer’s perspective using 2014 Medicare rates. 56 % of patients underwent follow-up diagnostic testing over 2 years. Compared to ICA, MPI (98.6 %) and CCTA (98.1 %) exhibited lower rates of correct diagnoses. Non-invasive strategies were associated with reduced referrals to ICA and costs compared to an ICA-based strategy, with diagnostic costs lower for CCTA than MPI. Overall 2-year costs were highest for ICA for both metallic as well as BVS stents ($1656 and $1656, respectively) when compared to MPI ($1444 and $1411) and CCTA. CCTA costs differed based upon stent size and type, and were highest for metallic stents >3.0 mm followed by metallic stents <3.0 mm, BVS < 3.0 mm and BVS > 3.0 mm ($1466 vs. $1242 vs. $855 vs. $490, respectively). MPI for suspected ISR results in lower costs and rates of complications than invasive strategies using ICA while maintaining high diagnostic performance. Depending upon stent size and type, CCTA results in lower costs than MPI. PMID:26335370

  8. NAIS: Nuclear activation-based imaging spectroscopy

    SciTech Connect

    Günther, M. M.; Britz, A.; Harres, K.; Hoffmeister, G.; Nürnberg, F.; Otten, A.; Pelka, A.; Roth, M.; Clarke, R. J.; Vogt, K.

    2013-07-15

    In recent years, the development of high power laser systems led to focussed intensities of more than 10{sup 22} W/cm{sup 2} at high pulse energies. Furthermore, both, the advanced high power lasers and the development of sophisticated laser particle acceleration mechanisms facilitate the generation of high energetic particle beams at high fluxes. The challenge of imaging detector systems is to acquire the properties of the high flux beam spatially and spectrally resolved. The limitations of most detector systems are saturation effects. These conventional detectors are based on scintillators, semiconductors, or radiation sensitive films. We present a nuclear activation-based imaging spectroscopy method, which is called NAIS, for the characterization of laser accelerated proton beams. The offline detector system is a combination of stacked metal foils and imaging plates (IP). After the irradiation of the stacked foils they become activated by nuclear reactions, emitting gamma decay radiation. In the next step, an autoradiography of the activated foils using IPs and an analysis routine lead to a spectrally and spatially resolved beam profile. In addition, we present an absolute calibration method for IPs.

  9. Primer: The DOE Wind Energy Program's Approach to Calculating Cost of Energy: July 9, 2005 - July 8, 2006

    SciTech Connect

    George, K.; Schweizer, T.

    2008-01-01

    This report details the methodology used by DOE to calculate levelized cost of wind energy and demonstrates the variation in COE estimates due to different financing assumptions independent of wind generation technology.

  10. A pharmacoeconomic approach to assessing the costs and benefits of air quality interventions that improve health: a case study

    PubMed Central

    Lomas, James; Schmitt, Laetitia; Jones, Sally; McGeorge, Maureen; Bates, Elizabeth; Holland, Mike; Cooper, Duncan; Crowther, Richard; Ashmore, Mike; Rojas-Rueda, David; Weatherly, Helen; Richardson, Gerry; Bojke, Laura

    2016-01-01

    Objective This paper explores the use of pharmacoeconomic methods of valuation to health impacts resulting from exposure to poor air quality. In using such methods, interventions that reduce exposure to poor air quality can be directly compared, in terms of value for money (or cost-effectiveness), with competing demands for finite resources, including other public health interventions. Design Using results estimated as part of a health impact assessment regarding a West Yorkshire Low Emission Zone strategy, this paper quantifies cost-saving and health-improving implications of transport policy through its impact on air quality. Data source Estimates of health-related quality of life and the National Health Service (NHS)/Personal Social Services (PSS) costs for identified health events were based on data from Leeds and Bradford using peer-reviewed publications or Office for National Statistics releases. Population Inhabitants of the area within the outer ring roads of Leeds and Bradford. Main outcomes measures NHS and PSS costs and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs). Results Averting an all-cause mortality death generates 8.4 QALYs. Each coronary event avoided saves £28 000 in NHS/PSS costs and generates 1.1 QALYs. For every fewer case of childhood asthma, there will be NHS/PSS cost saving of £3000 and a health benefit of 0.9 QALYs. A single term, low birthweight birth avoided saves £2000 in NHS/PSS costs. Preventing a preterm birth saves £24 000 in NHS/PSS costs and generates 1.3 QALYs. A scenario modelled in the West Yorkshire Low Emission Zone Feasibility Study, where pre-EURO 4 buses and HGVs are upgraded to EURO 6 by 2016 generates an annual benefit of £2.08 million and a one-off benefit of £3.3 million compared with a net present value cost of implementation of £6.3 million. Conclusions Interventions to improve air quality and health should be evaluated and where improvement of population health is the primary objective, cost-effectiveness analysis

  11. The cost-effectiveness of 10 antenatal syphilis screening and treatment approaches in Peru, Tanzania, and Zambia

    PubMed Central

    Terris-Prestholt, Fern; Vickerman, Peter; Torres-Rueda, Sergio; Santesso, Nancy; Sweeney, Sedona; Mallma, Patricia; Shelley, Katharine D.; Garcia, Patricia J.; Bronzan, Rachel; Gill, Michelle M.; Broutet, Nathalie; Wi, Teodora; Watts, Charlotte; Mabey, David; Peeling, Rosanna W.; Newman, Lori

    2015-01-01

    Objective Rapid plasma reagin (RPR) is frequently used to test women for maternal syphilis. Rapid syphilis immunochromatographic strip tests detecting only Treponema pallidum antibodies (single RSTs) or both treponemal and non-treponemal antibodies (dual RSTs) are now available. This study assessed the cost-effectiveness of algorithms using these tests to screen pregnant women. Methods Observed costs of maternal syphilis screening and treatment using clinic-based RPR and single RSTs in 20 clinics across Peru, Tanzania, and Zambia were used to model the cost-effectiveness of algorithms using combinations of RPR, single, and dual RSTs, and no and mass treatment. Sensitivity analyses determined drivers of key results. Results Although this analysis found screening using RPR to be relatively cheap, most (> 70%) true cases went untreated. Algorithms using single RSTs were the most cost-effective in all observed settings, followed by dual RSTs, which became the most cost-effective if dual RST costs were halved. Single test algorithms dominated most sequential testing algorithms, although sequential algorithms reduced overtreatment. Mass treatment was relatively cheap and effective in the absence of screening supplies, though treated many uninfected women. Conclusion This analysis highlights the advantages of introducing RSTs in three diverse settings. The results should be applicable to other similar settings. PMID:25963907

  12. Impact of Glycemic Control on Healthcare Resource Utilization and Costs of Type 2 Diabetes: Current and Future Pharmacologic Approaches to Improving Outcomes

    PubMed Central

    Banerji, Mary Ann; Dunn, Jeffrey D.

    2013-01-01

    Background The incidence and prevalence of type 2 diabetes continue to grow in the United States and worldwide, along with the growing prevalence of obesity. Patients with type 2 diabetes are at greater risk for comorbid cardiovascular (CV) disease (CVD), which dramatically affects overall healthcare costs. Objectives To review the impact of glycemic control and medication adherence on morbidity, mortality, and healthcare costs of patients with type 2 diabetes, and to highlight the need for new drug therapies to improve outcomes in this patient population. Methods This comprehensive literature search was conducted for the period between 2000 and 2013, using MEDLINE, to identify published articles that report the associations between glycemic control, medication adherence, CV morbidity and mortality, and healthcare utilization and costs. Search terms included “type 2 diabetes,” “adherence,” “compliance,” “nonadherence,” “drug therapy,” “resource use,” “cost,” and “cost-effectiveness.” Discussion Despite improvements in the management of CV risk factors in patients with type 2 diabetes, outcomes remain poor. The costs associated with the management of type 2 diabetes are increasing dramatically as the prevalence of the disease increases. Medication adherence to long-term drug therapy remains poor in patients with type 2 diabetes and contributes to poor glycemic control in this patient population, increased healthcare resource utilization and increased costs, as well as increased rates of comorbid CVD and mortality. Furthermore, poor adherence to established evidence-based guidelines for type 2 diabetes, including underdiagnosis and undertreatment, contributes to poor outcomes. New approaches to the treatment of patients with type 2 diabetes currently in development have the potential to improve medication adherence and consequently glycemic control, which in turn will help to reduce associated costs and healthcare utilization

  13. Elements of Designing for Cost

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dean, Edwin B.; Unal, Resit

    1992-01-01

    During recent history in the United States, government systems development has been performance driven. As a result, systems within a class have experienced exponentially increasing cost over time in fixed year dollars. Moreover, little emphasis has been placed on reducing cost. This paper defines designing for cost and presents several tools which, if used in the engineering process, offer the promise of reducing cost. Although other potential tools exist for designing for cost, this paper focuses on rules of thumb, quality function deployment, Taguchi methods, concurrent engineering, and activity based costing. Each of these tools has been demonstrated to reduce cost if used within the engineering process.

  14. Elements of designing for cost

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dean, Edwin B.; Unal, Resit

    1992-01-01

    During recent history in the United States, government systems development has been performance driven. As a result, systems within a class have experienced exponentially increasing cost over time in fixed year dollars. Moreover, little emphasis has been placed on reducing cost. This paper defines designing for cost and presents several tools which, if used in the engineering process, offer the promise of reducing cost. Although other potential tools exist for designing for cost, this paper focuses on rules of thumb, quality function deployment, Taguchi methods, concurrent engineering, and activity-based costing. Each of these tools has been demonstrated to reduce cost if used within the engineering process.

  15. Cost analysis for procedure comparisons.

    PubMed

    Trowers, E A; Batra, S C; Buessler, J; Anderson, L K

    1995-01-01

    Using the methodology of activity-based costing as a conceptual framework, the authors present the potential cost reduction of a new office routine and a medical procedure. The costs of a new instrument for colorectal cancer screening and a new surveying and follow-up of at-risk patients show that time and relevant costs in the G.I Clinic and G.I Endoscopy Lab were significantly reduced. PMID:10153384

  16. Avoidable waste management costs

    SciTech Connect

    Hsu, K.; Burns, M.; Priebe, S.; Robinson, P.

    1995-01-01

    This report describes the activity based costing method used to acquire variable (volume dependent or avoidable) waste management cost data for routine operations at Department of Energy (DOE) facilities. Waste volumes from environmental restoration, facility stabilization activities, and legacy waste were specifically excluded from this effort. A core team consisting of Idaho National Engineering Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site, and Oak Ridge Reservation developed and piloted the methodology, which can be used to determine avoidable waste management costs. The method developed to gather information was based on activity based costing, which is a common industrial engineering technique. Sites submitted separate flow diagrams that showed the progression of work from activity to activity for each waste type or treatability group. Each activity on a flow diagram was described in a narrative, which detailed the scope of the activity. Labor and material costs based on a unit quantity of waste being processed were then summed to generate a total cost for that flow diagram. Cross-complex values were calculated by determining a weighted average for each waste type or treatability group based on the volume generated. This study will provide DOE and contractors with a better understanding of waste management processes and their associated costs. Other potential benefits include providing cost data for sites to perform consistent cost/benefit analysis of waste minimization and pollution prevention (WMIN/PP) options identified during pollution prevention opportunity assessments and providing a means for prioritizing and allocating limited resources for WMIN/PP.

  17. Design the Cost Approach in Trade-Off's for Structural Components, Illustrated on the Baseline Selection of the Engine Thrust Frame of Ariane 5 ESC-B

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Appolloni, L.; Juhls, A.; Rieck, U.

    2002-01-01

    Designing for value is one of the very actual upcoming methods for design optimization, which broke into the domain of aerospace engineering in the late 90's. In the frame of designing for value two main design philosophies exist: Design For Cost and Design To Cost. Design To Cost is the iterative redesign of a project until the content of the project meets a given budget. Designing For Cost is the conscious use of engineering process technology to reduce life cycle cost while satisfying, and hopefully exceeding, customer demands. The key to understanding cost, and hence to reducing cost, is the ability to measure cost accurately and to allocate it appropriately to products. Only then can intelligent decisions be made. Therefore the necessity of new methods as "Design For Value" or "Design For Competitiveness", set up with a generally multidisciplinary approach to find an optimized technical solution driven by many parameters, depending on the mission scenario and the customer/market needs. Very often three, but not more than five parametric drivers are sufficient. The more variable exist, the higher is in fact the risk to find just a sub-optimized local and not the global optimum, and the less robust is the found solution against change of input parameters. When the main parameters for optimization have been identified, the system engineer has to communicate them to all design engineers, who shall take care of these assessment variables during the entire design and decision process. The design process which has taken to the definition of the feasible structural concepts for the Engine Thrust Frame of the Ariane 5 Upper Cryogenic Stage ESC-B follows these most actual design philosophy methodologies, and combines a design for cost approach, to a design to cost optimization loop. Ariane 5 is the first member of a family of heavy-lift launchers. It aims to evolve into a family of launchers that responds to the space transportation challenges of the 21st century. New

  18. Bridging the gap between health and non-health investments: moving from cost-effectiveness analysis to a return on investment approach across sectors of economy.

    PubMed

    Sendi, Pedram

    2008-06-01

    When choosing from a menu of treatment alternatives, the optimal treatment depends on the objective function and the assumptions of the model. The classical decision rule of cost-effectiveness analysis may be formulated via two different objective functions: (i) maximising health outcomes subject to the budget constraint or (ii) maximising the net benefit of the intervention with the budget being determined ex post. We suggest a more general objective function of (iii) maximising return on investment from available resources with consideration of health and non-health investments. The return on investment approach allows to adjust the analysis for the benefits forgone by alternative non-health investments from a societal or subsocietal perspective. We show that in the presence of positive returns on non-health investments the decision-maker's willingness to pay per unit of effect for a treatment program needs to be higher than its incremental cost-effectiveness ratio to be considered cost-effective. PMID:18351456

  19. An optical relay approach to very low cost hybrid polymer-complementary metal-oxide semiconductor electrophoresis instrumentation.

    PubMed

    Hall, Gordon H; Sloan, David L; Ma, Tianchi; Couse, Madeline H; Martel, Stephane; Elliott, Duncan G; Glerum, D Moira; Backhouse, Christopher J

    2014-07-01

    Electrophoresis is an integral part of many molecular diagnostics protocols and an inexpensive implementation would greatly facilitate point-of-care (POC) applications. However, the high instrumentation cost presents a substantial barrier, much of it associated with fluorescence detection. The cost of such systems could be substantially reduced by placing the fluidic channel and photodiode directly above the detector in order to collect a larger portion of the fluorescent light. In future, this could be achieved through the integration and monolithic fabrication of photoresist microchannels on complementary metal-oxide semiconductor microelectronics (CMOS). However, the development of such a device is expensive due to high non-recurring engineering costs. To facilitate that development, we present a system that utilises an optical relay to integrate low-cost polymeric microfluidics with a CMOS chip that provides a photodiode, analog-digital conversion and a standard serial communication interface. This system embodies an intermediate level of microelectronic integration, and significantly decreases development costs. With a limit of detection of 1.3±0.4nM of fluorescently end-labeled deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), it is suitable for diagnostic applications. PMID:24856905

  20. Estimating Lifetime Costs of Social Care: A Bayesian Approach Using Linked Administrative Datasets from Three Geographical Areas.

    PubMed

    Steventon, Adam; Roberts, Adam

    2015-12-01

    We estimated lifetime costs of publicly funded social care, covering services such as residential and nursing care homes, domiciliary care and meals. Like previous studies, we constructed microsimulation models. However, our transition probabilities were estimated from longitudinal, linked administrative health and social care datasets, rather than from survey data. Administrative data were obtained from three geographical areas of England, and we estimated transition probabilities in each of these sites flexibly using Bayesian methods. This allowed us to quantify regional variation as well as the impact of structural and parameter uncertainty regarding the transition probabilities. Expected lifetime costs at age 65 were £20,200-27,000 for men and £38,700-49,000 for women, depending on which of the three areas was used to calibrate the model. Thus, patterns of social care spending differed markedly between areas, with mean costs varying by almost £10,000 (25%) across the lifetime for people of the same age and gender. Allowing for structural and parameter uncertainty had little impact on expected lifetime costs, but slightly increased the risk of very high costs, which will have implications for insurance products for social care through increasing requirements for capital reserves. PMID:25385010

  1. Defining Landscape Resistance Values in Least-Cost Connectivity Models for the Invasive Grey Squirrel: A Comparison of Approaches Using Expert-Opinion and Habitat Suitability Modelling

    PubMed Central

    Stevenson-Holt, Claire D.; Watts, Kevin; Bellamy, Chloe C.; Nevin, Owen T.; Ramsey, Andrew D.

    2014-01-01

    Least-cost models are widely used to study the functional connectivity of habitat within a varied landscape matrix. A critical step in the process is identifying resistance values for each land cover based upon the facilitating or impeding impact on species movement. Ideally resistance values would be parameterised with empirical data, but due to a shortage of such information, expert-opinion is often used. However, the use of expert-opinion is seen as subjective, human-centric and unreliable. This study derived resistance values from grey squirrel habitat suitability models (HSM) in order to compare the utility and validity of this approach with more traditional, expert-led methods. Models were built and tested with MaxEnt, using squirrel presence records and a categorical land cover map for Cumbria, UK. Predictions on the likelihood of squirrel occurrence within each land cover type were inverted, providing resistance values which were used to parameterise a least-cost model. The resulting habitat networks were measured and compared to those derived from a least-cost model built with previously collated information from experts. The expert-derived and HSM-inferred least-cost networks differ in precision. The HSM-informed networks were smaller and more fragmented because of the higher resistance values attributed to most habitats. These results are discussed in relation to the applicability of both approaches for conservation and management objectives, providing guidance to researchers and practitioners attempting to apply and interpret a least-cost approach to mapping ecological networks. PMID:25380289

  2. [The impact on costs and care of two approaches to reduce employees' dental plan expenses in a private company].

    PubMed

    Costa Filho, Luiz Cesar da; Duncan, Bruce Bartholow; Polanczyk, Carisi Anne; Sória, Marina Lara; Habekost, Ana Paula; Costa, Carolina Covolo da

    2008-05-01

    The present study evaluated the dental care plan offered to 4,000 employees of a private hospital and their respective families. The analysis covered three stages: (1) baseline (control), when dental care was provided by an outsourced company with a network of dentists paid for services, (2) a renegotiation of costs with the original dental care provider, and (3) provision of dental care by the hospital itself, through directly hired dentists on regular salaries. Monthly economic and clinical data were collected for this research. The dental plan renegotiation reduced costs by 37% in relation to baseline, and the hospital's own dental service reduced costs by 50%. Renegotiation led to a 31% reduction in clinical procedures, without altering the dental care profile; the hospital's own dental service did not reduce the total number of clinical procedures, but modified the profile of dental care, since procedures related to the causes of diseases increased and surgical/restorative procedures decreased. PMID:18461236

  3. Methods of Costing in Universities. Brief Comparison Between the NCHEMS Approach and the Approach Used by the French-Speaking Research Group Associated with the IMHE Programme.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cossu, Claude

    1975-01-01

    A group of French universities modified the NCHEMS accounting method for use in a study of its budget control procedures and cost-evaluation methods. The conceptual differences in French university education (as compared to American higher education) are keyed to the adjustments in the accounting method. French universities, rather than being…

  4. How Much? Cost Models for Online Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lorenzo, George

    2001-01-01

    Reviews some of the research being done in the area of cost models for online education. Describes a cost analysis handbook; an activity-based costing model that was based on an economic model for traditional instruction at the Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis; and blending other costing models. (LRW)

  5. A Novel, Low-Cost, Reduced-Sensor Approach for Providing Smart Renote Monitoring and Diagnostics for Packaged Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps

    SciTech Connect

    Brambley, Michael R.

    2009-09-01

    This report describes conceptually an approach to providing automated remote performance and conditioning monitoring and fault detection for air conditioners and heat pumps that shows great promise to reduce the capital and installation costs of such systems from over $1000 per unit to $200 to $400 per unit. The approach relies on non-intrusive electric load monitoring (NIELM) to enable separation of the power use signals of compressors and fans in the air conditioner or heat pump. Then combining information on the power uses and one or two air temperature measurements, changes in energy efficiency and occurrence of major faults would be detected. By decreasing the number of sensors used from between ten and twenty in current diagnostic monitoring systems to three for the envisaged system, the capital cost of the monitoring system hardware and the cost of labor for installation would be decreased significantly. After describing the problem being addressed and the concept for performance monitoring and fault detection in more detail, the report identifies specific conditions and faults that the proposed method would detect, discusses specific needs for successful use of the NIELM approach, and identifies the major elements in the path from concept to a commercialized monitoring and diagnostic system.

  6. A probabilistic approach for a cost-benefit analysis of oil spill management under uncertainty: A Bayesian network model for the Gulf of Finland.

    PubMed

    Helle, Inari; Ahtiainen, Heini; Luoma, Emilia; Hänninen, Maria; Kuikka, Sakari

    2015-08-01

    Large-scale oil accidents can inflict substantial costs to the society, as they typically result in expensive oil combating and waste treatment operations and have negative impacts on recreational and environmental values. Cost-benefit analysis (CBA) offers a way to assess the economic efficiency of management measures capable of mitigating the adverse effects. However, the irregular occurrence of spills combined with uncertainties related to the possible effects makes the analysis a challenging task. We develop a probabilistic modeling approach for a CBA of oil spill management and apply it in the Gulf of Finland, the Baltic Sea. The model has a causal structure, and it covers a large number of factors relevant to the realistic description of oil spills, as well as the costs of oil combating operations at open sea, shoreline clean-up, and waste treatment activities. Further, to describe the effects on environmental benefits, we use data from a contingent valuation survey. The results encourage seeking for cost-effective preventive measures, and emphasize the importance of the inclusion of the costs related to waste treatment and environmental values in the analysis. Although the model is developed for a specific area, the methodology is applicable also to other areas facing the risk of oil spills as well as to other fields that need to cope with the challenging combination of low probabilities, high losses and major uncertainties. PMID:25983196

  7. Enhancing a Low-Cost Virtual Reality Application through Constructivist Approach: The Case of Spatial Training of Middle Graders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Samsudin, Khairulanuar; Rafi, Ahmad; Mohamad Ali, Ahmad Zamzuri; Abd. Rashid, Nazre

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this study is to develop and to test a low-cost virtual reality spatial trainer in terms of its effectiveness in spatial training. The researchers adopted three features deriving from the constructivist perspective to guide the design of the trainer, namely interaction, instruction, and support. The no control pre test post test…

  8. INTEGRATED AIR POLLUTION CONTROL FOR COAL-FIRED UTILITY BOILERS: A COMPUTER MODEL APPROACH FOR DESIGN AND COST-ESTIMATING

    EPA Science Inventory

    The paper describes the Integrated Air Pollution Control System (IAPCS), a computerized program that can be used to estimate the cost and performance of pre-combustion, in situ, and post-combustion air pollution control configurations in pulverized-coal-fired utility boilers of 1...

  9. Comparison of response rates and cost-effectiveness for a community-based survey: postal, internet and telephone modes with generic or personalised recruitment approaches

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Epidemiological research often requires collection of data from a representative sample of the community or recruitment of specific groups through broad community approaches. The population coverage of traditional survey methods such as mail-outs to residential addresses, and telephone contact via public directories or random-digit-dialing is declining and survey response rates are falling. There is a need to explore new sampling frames and consider multiple response modes including those offered by changes in telecommunications and internet technology. Methods We evaluated response rates and cost-effectiveness for three modes of survey administration (postal invitation/postal survey, postal invitation/internet survey and postal invitation/telephone survey) and two styles of contact approach (personalised and generic) in a community survey of greywater use. Potential respondents were contacted only once, with no follow up of non-responders. Results The telephone survey produced the highest adjusted response rate (30.2%), followed by the personalised postal survey (10.5%), generic postal survey (7.5%) and then the internet survey (4.7% for the personalised approach and 2.2% for the generic approach). There were some differences in household characteristics and greywater use rates between respondents to different survey modes, and between respondents to personalised and generic approaches. These may be attributable to the differing levels of motivations needed for a response, and varying levels of interest in the survey topic among greywater users and non-users. The generic postal survey had the lowest costs per valid survey received (Australian $22.93), followed by the personalised postal survey ($24.75). Conclusions Our findings suggest that postal surveys currently remain the most economic option for population-based studies, with similar costs for personalised and generic approaches. Internet surveys may be effective for specialised groups where email

  10. Sacrificing power for more cost-effective treatment: A techno-economic approach for engineering microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Stoll, Zachary A; Ma, Zhaokun; Trivedi, Christopher B; Spear, John R; Xu, Pei

    2016-10-01

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are a promising energy-positive wastewater treatment technology, however, the system's cost-effectiveness has been overlooked. In this study, two new anode materials - hard felt (HF) and carbon foam (CF) - were evaluated against the standard graphite brush (GB) to determine if using inexpensive materials with less than ideal properties can achieve more cost-effective treatment than high-cost, high-performing materials. Using domestic wastewater as the substrate, power densities for the GB, HF and CF-MFCs were 393, 339 and 291 mW m(-2) normalized by cathodic surface area, respectively. Higher power densities correlated with larger anodic surface areas and anodic current densities but not with electrical conductivity. Cyclic voltammetry revealed that redox systems used for extracellular electron transport in the GB, HF and CF-MFCs were similar (-0.143 ± 0.046, -0.158 ± 0.004 and -0.100 ± 0.014 V vs. Ag/AgCl) and that the electrochemical kinetics of the MFCs showed no correlation with their respective electrical conductivity. 16S rRNA sequencing showed the GB, HF and CF microbial community compositions were not statistically different while organic removal rates were nearly identical for all MFCs. The HF-MFC generated a power output to electrode cost (W $(-1)) 1.9 times greater than the GB-MFC, despite producing 14% less power and 15% less anodic current, while having 2.6 times less anodic surface area, 2.1 times larger charge transfer resistance and an electrical conductivity three orders of magnitude lower. The results demonstrate that inexpensive materials are capable of achieving more cost-effective treatment than high-performing materials despite generating lower power when treating real wastewater. PMID:27395791

  11. Design-to-cost

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bradley, F. E.

    1974-01-01

    Attempts made to design to costs equipment, vehicles and subsystems for various space projects are discussed. A systematic approach, based on mission requirement analysis, definition of a mission baseline design, benefit and cost analysis, and a benefit-cost analysis was proposed for implementing the cost control program.

  12. Activity-based differentiation of pathologists' workload in surgical pathology.

    PubMed

    Meijer, G A; Oudejans, J J; Koevoets, J J M; Meijer, C J L M

    2009-06-01

    Adequate budget control in pathology practice requires accurate allocation of resources. Any changes in types and numbers of specimens handled or protocols used will directly affect the pathologists' workload and consequently the allocation of resources. The aim of the present study was to develop a model for measuring the pathologists' workload that can take into account the changes mentioned above. The diagnostic process was analyzed and broken up into separate activities. The time needed to perform these activities was measured. Based on linear regression analysis, for each activity, the time needed was calculated as a function of the number of slides or blocks involved. The total pathologists' time required for a range of specimens was calculated based on standard protocols and validated by comparing to actually measured workload. Cutting up, microscopic procedures and dictating turned out to be highly correlated to number of blocks and/or slides per specimen. Calculated workload per type of specimen was significantly correlated to the actually measured workload. Modeling pathologists' workload based on formulas that calculate workload per type of specimen as a function of the number of blocks and slides provides a basis for a comprehensive, yet flexible, activity-based costing system for pathology. PMID:19399515

  13. Costs and effects of a 'healthy living' approach to community development in two deprived communities: findings from a mixed methods study

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Inequalities in health have proved resistant to 'top down' approaches. It is increasingly recognised that health promotion initiatives are unlikely to succeed without strong local involvement at all stages of the process and many programmes now use grass roots approaches. A healthy living approach to community development (HLA) was developed as an innovative response to local concerns about a lack of appropriate services in two deprived communities in Pembrokeshire, West Wales. We sought to assess feasibility, costs, benefits and working relationships of this HLA. Methods The HLA intervention operated through existing community forums and focused on the whole community and its relationship with statutory and voluntary sectors. Local people were trained as community researchers and gathered views about local needs though resident interviews. Forums used interview results to write action plans, disseminated to commissioning organisations. The process was supported throughout through the project. The evaluation used a multi-method before and after study design including process and outcome formative and summative evaluation; data gathered through documentary evidence, diaries and reflective accounts, semi-structured interviews, focus groups and costing proformas. Main outcome measures were processes and timelines of implementation of HLA; self reported impact on communities and participants; community-agency processes of liaison; costs. Results Communities were able to produce and disseminate action plans based on locally-identified needs. The process was slower than anticipated: few community changes had occurred but expectations were high. Community participants gained skills and confidence. Cross-sector partnership working developed. The process had credibility within service provider organisations but mechanisms for refocusing commissioning were patchy. Intervention costs averaged £58,304 per community per annum. Conclusions The intervention was

  14. Teaching for Democracy in Ukraine: Activity-Based Developmental and Dialogical Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Koshmanova, Tetyana

    2006-01-01

    This article addresses the issues of how cultural historical theory of activity can help design democratic teacher education classrooms aimed at developmental learning and dialogical, humanitarian thinking of students and prospective teachers. On the basis of retrospective analysis, the author begins by summarizing activity-based approaches to…

  15. A Comparison of Activity-Based Intervention and Embedded Direct Instruction When Teaching Emergent Literacy Skills

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Botts, Dawn C.; Losardo, Angela S.; Tillery, Christina Y.; Werts, Margaret G.

    2014-01-01

    This replication study focused on the effectiveness of two different intervention approaches, activity-based intervention and embedded direct instruction, on the acquisition, generalization, and maintenance of phonological awareness, a key area of emergent literacy, by preschool children with language delays. Five male preschool participants with…

  16. Exposure assessment in SMES: a low-cost approach to bring OHS services to small-scale enterprises.

    PubMed

    Seneviratne, Mahinda; Phoon, Wai On

    2006-01-01

    There is increased attention to improving occupational health and safety in small to medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs). The Workers Health Centre, a not-for-profit OHS service in western Sydney, assessed workplace exposures in two SMEs following intervention by regulatory agencies. A low-cost monitoring program for noise, airbone dust, fibers and chemicals was conducted at these two metal working industry workplaces. Results showed that exposure to the hazards were above the statutory limits and there was generally an unhealthy access to OHS information by the predominantly immigrant or low literate worker population, were identified. The potential for using a program of low-cost exposure assessments, accompanied by a strategy to provide OHSs information for workers in small-scale enterprises, is discussed. PMID:16610529

  17. A Low-Cost, Hands-on Module to Characterize Antimicrobial Compounds Using an Interdisciplinary, Biophysical Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gordon, Vernita; Kaushik, Karishma; Kessel, Ashley; Ratnayeke, Nalin

    2015-03-01

    We have developed a hands-on, experimental module that combines biology experiments with a physics-based analytical model to characterize antimicrobial compounds. To understand antibiotic resistance, participants perform a disc diffusion assay to test the antimicrobial activity of different compounds, then apply a diffusion-based analytical model to gain insights into the behavior of the active antimicrobial component. In our experience, this module was robust, reproducible, and cost-effective, suggesting that it could be implemented in diverse settings such as undergraduate research, STEM camps, school programs, and laboratory training workshops. This module addresses the paucity of structured training or education programs that integrate diverse scientific fields by providing valuable, interdisciplinary research experience in science outreach and education initiatives. Its low cost requirements make it especially suitable for use in resource-limited settings.

  18. Participatory operations model for cost-efficient monitoring and modeling of river basins--A systematic approach.

    PubMed

    Malve, Olli; Hjerppe, Turo; Tattari, Sirkka; Väisänen, Sari; Huttunen, Inese; Kotamäki, Niina; Kallio, Kari; Taskinen, Antti; Kauppila, Pirkko

    2016-01-01

    The worldwide economic downturn and the climate change in the beginning of 21st century have stressed the need for cost efficient and systematic operations model for the monitoring and management of surface waters. However, these processes are still all too fragmented and incapable to respond these challenges. For example in Finland, the estimation of the costs and benefits of planned management measures is insufficient. On this account, we present a new operations model to streamline these processes and to ensure the lucid decision making and the coherent implementation which facilitate the participation of public and all the involved stakeholders. The model was demonstrated in the real world management of a lake. The benefits, pitfalls and development needs were identified. After the demonstration, the operations model was put into operation and has been actively used in several other management projects throughout Finland. PMID:26184863

  19. A Cost-effective Satellite-aircraft-drogue Approach for Studying Estuarine Circulation and Shelf Waste Dispersion. [Delaware Bay

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Klemas, V. (Principal Investigator); Davis, G.; Wang, H.; Whelan, W.; Tornatore, G.

    1975-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. Satellites, such as ERTS-1, can be used to obtain a synoptic view of current circulation over large coastal areas. Since in turbid coastal regions suspended sediment acts as a natural tracer, cost is minimized by eliminating the need for expensive injections of large volumes of dye such as Rhodamine-B. One of the principal shortcomings of satellite imaging of coastal currents was its inability to determine current magnitude and to penetrate beyond the upper few meters of the water column. These objections were overcome by complementing satellite observations with drogues tracking currents at various selected depths. By combining the satellite's wide coverage with aircraft or shore stations capable of tracking expendable drogues, a cost effective, integrated system was devised for monitoring currents over large areas, various depths, and under severe environmental conditions.

  20. Argonne`s Expedited Site Characterization: An integrated approach to cost- and time-effective remedial investigation

    SciTech Connect

    Burton, J.C.; Walker, J.L.; Aggarwal, P.K.; Meyer, W.T.

    1995-07-01

    Argonne National Laboratory has developed a methodology for remedial site investigation that has proven to be both technically superior to and more cost- and time-effective than traditional methods. This methodology is referred to as the Argonne Expedited Site Characterization (ESC). Quality is the driving force within the process. The Argonne ESC process is abbreviated only in time and cost and never in terms of quality. More usable data are produced with the Argonne ESC process than with traditional site characterization methods that are based on statistical-grid sampling and multiple monitoring wells. This paper given an overview of the Argonne ESC process and compares it with traditional methods for site characterization. Two examples of implementation of the Argonne ESC process are discussed to illustrate the effectiveness of the process in CERCLA (Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act) and RCRA (Resource Conservation and Recovery Act) programs.

  1. A Low-Cost, Hands-on Module to Characterize Antimicrobial Compounds Using an Interdisciplinary, Biophysical Approach

    PubMed Central

    Kaushik, Karishma S.; Kessel, Ashley; Ratnayeke, Nalin; Gordon, Vernita D.

    2015-01-01

    We have developed a hands-on experimental module that combines biology experiments with a physics-based analytical model in order to characterize antimicrobial compounds. To understand antibiotic resistance, participants perform a disc diffusion assay to test the antimicrobial activity of different compounds and then apply a diffusion-based analytical model to gain insights into the behavior of the active antimicrobial component. In our experience, this module was robust, reproducible, and cost-effective, suggesting that it could be implemented in diverse settings such as undergraduate research, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) camps, school programs, and laboratory training workshops. By providing valuable interdisciplinary research experience in science outreach and education initiatives, this module addresses the paucity of structured training or education programs that integrate diverse scientific fields. Its low-cost requirements make it especially suitable for use in resource-limited settings. PMID:25602254

  2. Highly reusable space transportation: Approaches for reducing ETO launch costs to $100 - $200 per pound of payload

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Olds, John R.

    1995-01-01

    The Commercial Space Transportation Study (CSTS) suggests that considerable market expansion in earth-to-orbit transportation would take place if current launch prices could be reduced to around $400 per pound of payload. If these low prices can be achieved, annual payload delivered to low earth orbit (LEO) is predicted to reach 6.7 million pounds. The primary market growth will occur in communications, government missions, and civil transportation. By establishing a cost target of $100-$200 per pound of payload for a new launch system, the Highly Reusable Space Transportation (HRST) program has clearly set its sights on removing the current restriction on market growth imposed by today's high launch costs. In particular, achieving the goal of $100-$200 per pound of payload will require significant coordinated efforts in (1) marketing strategy development, (2) business planning, (3) system operational strategy, (4) vehicle technical design, and (5) vehicle maintenance strategy.

  3. [Femicide Across Europe COST Action, a transnational cooperation network for the study of and approach to femicide in Europe].

    PubMed

    Sanz-Barbero, Belén; Otero-García, Laura; Boira, Santiago; Marcuello, Chaime; Vives Cases, Carmen

    2016-01-01

    Femicide or the murder of women because of their gender is a recognised public health problem as well as a serious violation of human rights. Its magnitude worldwide is still unknown, given the methodological difficulties to differentiate these murders from other female homicides. The European Union programme entitled «European Cooperation in Science and Technology» (COST) launched the «Femicide across Europe» COST Action in 2013, establishing an optimal European framework for transnational cooperation among experts addressing great social and public health challenges such as femicide. This field note describes the main objectives, the participating groups of experts and the mid-term results of this experience. PMID:27321371

  4. Predation-Related Costs and Benefits of Conspecific Attraction in Songbirds—An Agent-Based Approach

    PubMed Central

    Szymkowiak, Jakub; Kuczyński, Lechosław

    2015-01-01

    Songbirds that follow a conspecific attraction strategy in the habitat selection process prefer to settle in habitat patches already occupied by other individuals. This largely affects the patterns of their spatio-temporal distribution and leads to clustered breeding. Although making informed settlement decisions is expected to be beneficial for individuals, such territory clusters may potentially provide additional fitness benefits (e.g., through the dilution effect) or costs (e.g., possibly facilitating nest localization if predators respond functionally to prey distribution). Thus, we hypothesized that the fitness consequences of following a conspecific attraction strategy may largely depend on the composition of the predator community. We developed an agent-based model in which we simulated the settling behavior of birds that use a conspecific attraction strategy and breed in a multi-predator landscape with predators that exhibited different foraging strategies. Moreover, we investigated whether Bayesian updating of prior settlement decisions according to the perceived predation risk may improve the fitness of birds that rely on conspecific cues. Our results provide evidence that the fitness consequences of conspecific attraction are predation-related. We found that in landscapes dominated by predators able to respond functionally to prey distribution, clustered breeding led to fitness costs. However, this cost could be reduced if birds performed Bayesian updating of prior settlement decisions and perceived nesting with too many neighbors as a threat. Our results did not support the hypothesis that in landscapes dominated by incidental predators, clustered breeding as a byproduct of conspecific attraction provides fitness benefits through the dilution effect. We suggest that this may be due to the spatial scale of songbirds’ aggregative behavior. In general, we provide evidence that when considering the fitness consequences of conspecific attraction for

  5. Cost Modeling for low-cost planetary missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kwan, Eric; Habib-Agahi, Hamid; Rosenberg, Leigh

    2005-01-01

    This presentation will provide an overview of the JPL parametric cost models used to estimate flight science spacecrafts and instruments. This material will emphasize the cost model approaches to estimate low-cost flight hardware, sensors, and instrumentation, and to perform cost-risk assessments. This presentation will also discuss JPL approaches to perform cost modeling and the methodologies and analyses used to capture low-cost vs. key cost drivers.

  6. New Physical Deposition Approach for Low Cost Inorganic Hole Transport Layer in Normal Architecture of Durable Perovskite Solar Cells.

    PubMed

    Nejand, Bahram Abdollahi; Ahmadi, Vahid; Shahverdi, Hamid Reza

    2015-10-01

    In this work we reported sputter deposited NiOx/Ni double layer as an HTM/contact couple in normal architecture of perovskite solar cell. A perovskite solar cell that is durable for more than 60 days was achieved, with increasing efficiency from 1.3% to 7.28% within 6 days. Moreover, low temperature direct deposition of NiOx layer on perovskite layer was introduced as a potential hole transport material for an efficient cost-effective solar cell applicable for various morphologies of perovskite layers, even for perovskite layers containing pinholes, which is a notable challenge in perovskite solar cells. The angular deposition of NiOx layers by dc reactive magnetron sputtering showed uniform and crack-free coverage of the perovskite layer with no negative impact on perovskite structure that is suitable for nickel back contact layer, surface shielding against moisture, and mechanical damages. Replacing the expensive complex materials in previous perovskite solar cells with low cost available materials introduces cost-effective scalable perovskite solar cells. PMID:26402149

  7. Innovative approach to the design of low-cost Zr-based BMG composites with good glass formation

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Jia-Lin; Chen, Guang; Liu, Chain-Tsuan; Li, Yi

    2013-01-01

    The high manufacturing cost for metallic glasses hampers actual commercial applications of this class of fascinating materials. In this letter, the effect of oxygen impurity on the glass forming ability and tensile properties of Zr-BMG composites were studied. Our results have demonstrated that oxygen was absorbed and concentrated only in the precipitated β-Zr phase, leading that the remainder molten metal retains good glass forming ability. The high oxygen concentration in the β-Zr phase induces a significant solid-solution strengthening effect, this resulting in an enhanced strength of the BMG composites without sacrificing their overall ductility. Based on this alloying strategy, we have successfully developed the low-cost Zr-based BMG composites with excellent tensile properties and good glass forming ability, using the low grade industrial raw materials processed under industrial vacuum systems. This finding is expected to greatly cut down the manufacturing cost and greatly promote the commercial applications of the BMG composites. PMID:23807140

  8. A Multi-Resolution Approach for an Automated Fusion of Different Low-Cost 3D Sensors

    PubMed Central

    Dupuis, Jan; Paulus, Stefan; Behmann, Jan; Plümer, Lutz; Kuhlmann, Heiner

    2014-01-01

    The 3D acquisition of object structures has become a common technique in many fields of work, e.g., industrial quality management, cultural heritage or crime scene documentation. The requirements on the measuring devices are versatile, because spacious scenes have to be imaged with a high level of detail for selected objects. Thus, the used measuring systems are expensive and require an experienced operator. With the rise of low-cost 3D imaging systems, their integration into the digital documentation process is possible. However, common low-cost sensors have the limitation of a trade-off between range and accuracy, providing either a low resolution of single objects or a limited imaging field. Therefore, the use of multiple sensors is desirable. We show the combined use of two low-cost sensors, the Microsoft Kinect and the David laserscanning system, to achieve low-resolved scans of the whole scene and a high level of detail for selected objects, respectively. Afterwards, the high-resolved David objects are automatically assigned to their corresponding Kinect object by the use of surface feature histograms and SVM-classification. The corresponding objects are fitted using an ICP-implementation to produce a multi-resolution map. The applicability is shown for a fictional crime scene and the reconstruction of a ballistic trajectory. PMID:24763255

  9. Helping the Noncompliant Child: An Assessment of Program Costs and Cost-Effectiveness

    PubMed Central

    Honeycutt, Amanda A.; Jones, Deborah J.; Cuellar, Jessica; Forehand, Rex L.

    2014-01-01

    Disruptive behavior disorders (DBD) in children can lead to delinquency in adolescence and antisocial behavior in adulthood. Several evidence-based behavioral parent training (BPT) programs have been created to treat early onset DBD. This paper focuses on one such program, Helping the Noncompliant Child (HNC), and provides detailed cost estimates from a recently completed pilot study for the HNC program. The study also assesses the average cost-effectiveness of the HNC program by combining program cost estimates with data on improvements in child participants’ disruptive behavior. The cost and effectiveness estimates are based on implementation of HNC with low-income families. Investigators developed a Microsoft Excel-based costing instrument to collect data from therapists on their time spent delivering the HNC program. The instrument was designed using an activity-based costing approach, where each therapist reported program time by family, by date, and for each skill that the family was working to master. Combining labor and non-labor costs, it is estimated that delivering the HNC program costs an average of $501 per family from a payer perspective. It also costs an average of $13 to improve the Eyberg Child Behavior Inventory intensity score by 1 point for children whose families participated in the HNC pilot program. The cost of delivering the HNC program appears to compare favorably with the costs of similar BPT programs. These cost estimates are the first to be collected systematically and prospectively for HNC. Program managers may use these estimates to plan for the resources needed to fully implement HNC. PMID:25642124

  10. An Analysis of the Costs, Benefits, and Implications of Different Approaches to Capturing the Value of Renewable Energy Tax Incentives

    SciTech Connect

    Bolinger, Mark

    2014-04-09

    This report compares the relative costs, benefits, and implications of capturing the value of renewable energy tax benefits in these three different ways – applying them against outside income , carrying them forward in time until they can be fully absorbed internally, or monetizing them through third-party tax equity investors – to see which method is most competitive under various scenarios. It finds that under current law and late-2013 market conditions, monetization makes sense for all but the most tax-efficient project sponsors. In other words, for most project sponsors, bringing in third-party tax equity currently provides net benefits to a project.

  11. Delay-dependent guaranteed-cost control based on combination of Smith predictor and equivalent-input-disturbance approach.

    PubMed

    Gao, Fang; Wu, Min; She, Jinhua; He, Yong

    2016-05-01

    This paper presents a new system configuration and a design method to improve control performance for a system with an input time delay and disturbances. The equivalent-input-disturbance approach is extended to handle a time-delay system. It is combined with the Smith predictor to reject disturbances. A delay-dependent stability condition is devised in terms of a matrix inequality by using the free-weighting matrix approach. The gain of the observer is designed by applying the cone complementary linearization method to the matrix inequality. A numerical example demonstrates the validity of the method. PMID:26948118

  12. A qualitative approach to measure the effectiveness of active avian influenza virus surveillance with respect to its cost: a case study from Switzerland.

    PubMed

    Häsler, B; Howe, K S; Hauser, R; Stärk, K D C

    2012-07-01

    The aim of the project was to apply cost-effectiveness analysis to the economic appraisal of avian influenza virus (AIV) surveillance, using the implemented surveillance programme in Switzerland as a case study. First a qualitative risk assessment approach was used to assess the expected impact of surveillance on the transmission and spread of AIV. The effectiveness of surveillance was expressed as the difference in defined probabilities between a scenario with surveillance and a scenario without surveillance. The following probabilities were modelled (i) transmission of highly pathogenic AIV (HPAIV) from wild birds to poultry, (ii) mutation from low pathogenic AIV (LPAIV) into HPAIV in poultry, and (iii) transmission of HPAIV to other poultry holdings given a primary outbreak. The cost-effectiveness ratio was defined conventionally as the difference in surveillance costs (ΔC) divided by the change in probability (ΔP), the technical objective, on the presumption that surveillance diminishes the respective probabilities. However, results indicated that surveillance in both wild birds and poultry was not expected to change the probabilities of primary and secondary AIV outbreaks in Switzerland. The overall surveillance costs incurred were estimated at 31,000 €/year, which, to be a rational investment of resources, must still reflect the value policy makers attribute to other benefits from having surveillance (e.g. peace of mind). The advantage of the approach adopted is that it is practical, transparent, and thus able to clarify for policy makers the key variables to be taken into account when evaluating the economic efficiency of resources invested in surveillance, prevention and intervention to exclude AIV. PMID:22296733

  13. Activity based financing in England: the need for continual refinement of payment by results.

    PubMed

    Street, Andrew; Maynard, Alan

    2007-10-01

    The English National Health Service is introducing activity based tariff systems or Payment by Results (PbR) as the basis for hospital funding. The funding arrangements provide incentives for increasing activity, particularly day surgery, and, uniquely, are based on costing data from all hospitals. But prices should not be based on average costs and the potential of PbR to improve the quality of care is yet to be exploited. Without refinement, PbR threatens to undermine expenditure control, to divert resources away from primary care, and to distort needs based funding. PMID:18634642

  14. Comparison of algae cultivation methods for bioenergy production using a combined life cycle assessment and life cycle costing approach.

    PubMed

    Resurreccion, Eleazer P; Colosi, Lisa M; White, Mark A; Clarens, Andres F

    2012-12-01

    Algae are an attractive energy source, but important questions still exist about the sustainability of this technology on a large scale. Two particularly important questions concern the method of cultivation and the type of algae to be used. This present study combines elements of life cycle analysis (LCA) and life cycle costing (LCC) to evaluate open pond (OP) systems and horizontal tubular photobioreactors (PBRs) for the cultivation of freshwater (FW) or brackish-to-saline water (BSW) algae. Based on the LCA, OPs have lower energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions than PBRs; e.g., 32% less energy use for construction and operation. According to the LCC, all four systems are currently financially unattractive investments, though OPs are less so than PBRs. BSW species deliver better energy and GHG performance and higher profitability than FW species in both OPs and PBRs. Sensitivity analyses suggest that improvements in critical cultivation parameters (e.g., CO(2) utilization efficiency or algae lipid content), conversion parameters (e.g., anaerobic digestion efficiency), and market factors (e.g., costs of CO(2) and electricity, or sale prices for algae biodiesel) could alter these results. PMID:23117186

  15. An analytical approach to air defense: cost, effectiveness and SWOT analysis of employing fighter aircraft and modern SAM systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kus, Orcun; Kocaman, Ibrahim; Topcu, Yucel; Karaca, Volkan

    2012-05-01

    The problem of defending a specific airspace is among the main issues a military commander to solve. Proper protection of own airspace is crucial for mission success at the battlefield. The military doctrines of most world armed forces involve two main options of defending the airspace. One of them is utilizing formations of fighter aircraft, which is a flexible choice. The second option is deploying modern SAM (Surface to Air Missile) systems, which is more expansive. On the other hand the decision makers are to cope with miscellaneous restrictions such as the budgeting problems. This study defines air defense concept according to modern air warfare doctrine. It considers an air defense scenario over an arbitrary airspace and compares the performance and cost-effectiveness of employing fighter aircraft and SAM systems. It also presents SWOT (Strenghts - Weakness - Opportunities - Threats) analyses of air defense by fighter aircraft and by modern SAMs and tries to point out whichever option is better. We conclude that deploying SAMs has important advantages over using fighter aircraft by means of interception capacity within a given time period and is cost-effective.

  16. Aluminium alloyed iron-silicide/silicon solar cells: A simple approach for low cost environmental-friendly photovoltaic technology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kumar Dalapati, Goutam; Masudy-Panah, Saeid; Kumar, Avishek; Cheh Tan, Cheng; Ru Tan, Hui; Chi, Dongzhi

    2015-12-01

    This work demonstrates the fabrication of silicide/silicon based solar cell towards the development of low cost and environmental friendly photovoltaic technology. A heterostructure solar cells using metallic alpha phase (α-phase) aluminum alloyed iron silicide (FeSi(Al)) on n-type silicon is fabricated with an efficiency of 0.8%. The fabricated device has an open circuit voltage and fill-factor of 240 mV and 60%, respectively. Performance of the device was improved by about 7 fold to 5.1% through the interface engineering. The α-phase FeSi(Al)/silicon solar cell devices have promising photovoltaic characteristic with an open circuit voltage, short-circuit current and a fill factor (FF) of 425 mV, 18.5 mA/cm2, and 64%, respectively. The significant improvement of α-phase FeSi(Al)/n-Si solar cells is due to the formation p+-n homojunction through the formation of re-grown crystalline silicon layer (~5-10 nm) at the silicide/silicon interface. Thickness of the regrown silicon layer is crucial for the silicide/silicon based photovoltaic devices. Performance of the α-FeSi(Al)/n-Si solar cells significantly depends on the thickness of α-FeSi(Al) layer and process temperature during the device fabrication. This study will open up new opportunities for the Si based photovoltaic technology using a simple, sustainable, and los cost method.

  17. Bottom-up approach for the low-cost synthesis of graphene-alumina nanosheet interfaces using bimetallic alloys.

    PubMed

    Omiciuolo, Luca; Hernández, Eduardo R; Miniussi, Elisa; Orlando, Fabrizio; Lacovig, Paolo; Lizzit, Silvano; Menteş, Tevfik Onur; Locatelli, Andrea; Larciprete, Rosanna; Bianchi, Marco; Ulstrup, Søren; Hofmann, Philip; Alfè, Dario; Baraldi, Alessandro

    2014-01-01

    The production of high-quality graphene-oxide interfaces is normally achieved by graphene growth via chemical vapour deposition on a metallic surface, followed by transfer of the C layer onto the oxide, by atomic layer and physical vapour deposition of the oxide on graphene or by carbon deposition on top of oxide surfaces. These methods, however, come with a series of issues: they are complex, costly and can easily result in damage to the carbon network, with detrimental effects on the carrier mobility. Here we show that the growth of a graphene layer on a bimetallic Ni3Al alloy and its subsequent exposure to oxygen at 520 K result in the formation of a 1.5 nm thick alumina nanosheet underneath graphene. This new, simple and low-cost strategy based on the use of alloys opens a promising route to the direct synthesis of a wide range of interfaces formed by graphene and high-κ dielectrics. PMID:25262792

  18. Excitation Energies with Cost-Reduced Variant of the Active-Space EOMCCSDT Method: The EOMCCSDt-3̅ Approach.

    PubMed

    Hu, Han-Shi; Kowalski, Karol

    2013-11-12

    In this paper, we discuss the performance of several simplified variants of equation-of-motion coupled cluster method (EOMCC) with iterative inclusion of singles, doubles, and active-space triples (EOMCCSDt). In particular, we explore simplified EOMCCSDt approaches that enable one to generate the triply excited amplitudes in an on-the-fly manner. The original EOMCCSDt formulation has already demonstrated great success in encapsulating the most important excited-state correlation effects due to triples. In analogy to the original EOMCCSDT-3 formulation, the proposed approach can bypass the typical bottlenecks associated with the need for storing triply excited amplitudes. In this paper, we illustrate the performance of several approximate EOMCCSDt methods, named EOMCCSDt-3̅ and EOMCCSDt-3̅, on typical benchmark systems including C2, N2, ozone, ethene, and E-butadiene molecules. These new methods yield excitation energies close to the EOMCCSDt ones. The extrapolation of excitation energies for basis sets ranging from cc-pVDZ to cc-pV6Z for N2 and C2 shows very good convergence to the experimental results for states dominated by single excitations. The performance of the EOMCCSDt-3̅x approach is also compared with the results obtained with popular CCSDR(3) and CC3 approaches. PMID:26583394

  19. Activity Based Startup Plan for Prototype Vertical Denitration Calciner

    SciTech Connect

    SUTTER, C.S.

    1999-08-31

    Testing activities on the Prototype Vertical Denitration Calciner at PFP were suspended in January 1997 due to the hold on fissile material handling in the facility. The restart of testing activities will require a review through an activity based startup process based upon Integrated Safety Management (ISM) principles to verify readiness. The Activity Based Startup Plan has been developed for this process.

  20. SPS cost considerations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Woodcock, G. R.

    1978-01-01

    Recent solar power satellite (SPS) system definition studies have emphasized cost estimation for the operational phase of an SPS program, in order to assess economic practicality of SPS. A cost analysis approach is described. Cost results for a silicon photovoltaic SPS are reported, showing SPS costs from $1700 to $2700 per kilowatt and busbar power costs from 3 cents to 7 cents per kilowatt-hour. Rationales behind the estimates are discussed.

  1. Low cost and high performance GPON, GEPON and RFoG optical network pentaplexer module design using diffractive grating approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, I.-Ju; Chi, Chang-Chia; Tarn, Chen-Wen

    2016-01-01

    A new architecture of a pentaplexer transceiver module which can be used in GPON/GEPON and RFoG triple play optical networks with supporting of the multiple optical wavelengths of 1310 nm, 1490 nm, 1550 nm, 1610 nm, and 1650 nm, is proposed. By using diffractive grating elements combing with market readily available GRIN (Gradient-Index) lens, grating, mirrors, beamsplitter, LDs (Laser Diodes), and PDs (Photodetectors), the proposed design have the advantages of low cost, high efficiency/performance, easy design and manufacturing, over the contemporary triplex transceivers which are made of multilayer filters or waveguides that increase the complexity of manufacturing and reduce the performance efficiency. With the proposed design, a pentaplexer system can accommodate GPON/GEPON, RFoG, and monitoring integration services, total five optical wavelength channels into a hybrid-integrated TO-CAN package platform with sufficient efficiency.

  2. Aluminium alloyed iron-silicide/silicon solar cells: A simple approach for low cost environmental-friendly photovoltaic technology

    PubMed Central

    Kumar Dalapati, Goutam; Masudy-Panah, Saeid; Kumar, Avishek; Cheh Tan, Cheng; Ru Tan, Hui; Chi, Dongzhi

    2015-01-01

    This work demonstrates the fabrication of silicide/silicon based solar cell towards the development of low cost and environmental friendly photovoltaic technology. A heterostructure solar cells using metallic alpha phase (α-phase) aluminum alloyed iron silicide (FeSi(Al)) on n-type silicon is fabricated with an efficiency of 0.8%. The fabricated device has an open circuit voltage and fill-factor of 240 mV and 60%, respectively. Performance of the device was improved by about 7 fold to 5.1% through the interface engineering. The α-phase FeSi(Al)/silicon solar cell devices have promising photovoltaic characteristic with an open circuit voltage, short-circuit current and a fill factor (FF) of 425 mV, 18.5 mA/cm2, and 64%, respectively. The significant improvement of α-phase FeSi(Al)/n-Si solar cells is due to the formation p+−n homojunction through the formation of re-grown crystalline silicon layer (~5–10 nm) at the silicide/silicon interface. Thickness of the regrown silicon layer is crucial for the silicide/silicon based photovoltaic devices. Performance of the α-FeSi(Al)/n-Si solar cells significantly depends on the thickness of α-FeSi(Al) layer and process temperature during the device fabrication. This study will open up new opportunities for the Si based photovoltaic technology using a simple, sustainable, and los cost method. PMID:26632759

  3. Incentivising effort in governance of public hospitals: Development of a delegation-based alternative to activity-based remuneration.

    PubMed

    Søgaard, Rikke; Kristensen, Søren Rud; Bech, Mickael

    2015-08-01

    This paper is a first examination of the development of an alternative to activity-based remuneration in public hospitals, which is currently being tested at nine hospital departments in a Danish region. The objective is to examine the process of delegating the authority of designing new incentive schemes from the principal (the regional government) to the agents (the hospital departments). We adopt a theoretical framework where, when deciding about delegation, the principal should trade off an initiative effect against the potential cost of loss of control. The initiative effect is evaluated by studying the development process and the resulting incentive schemes for each of the departments. Similarly, the potential cost of loss of control is evaluated by assessing the congruence between focus of the new incentive schemes and the principal's objectives. We observe a high impact of the effort incentive in the form of innovative and ambitious selection of projects by the agents, leading to nine very different solutions across departments. However, we also observe some incongruence between the principal's stated objectives and the revealed private interests of the agents. Although this is a baseline study involving high uncertainty about the future, the findings point at some issues with the delegation approach that could lead to inefficient outcomes. PMID:25823577

  4. Interfacial activation-based molecular bioimprinting of lipolytic enzymes.

    PubMed Central

    Mingarro, I; Abad, C; Braco, L

    1995-01-01

    Interfacial activation-based molecular (bio)-imprinting (IAMI) has been developed to rationally improve the performance of lipolytic enzymes in nonaqueous environments. The strategy combinedly exploits (i) the known dramatic enhancement of the protein conformational rigidity in a water-restricted milieu and (ii) the reported conformational changes associated with the activation of these enzymes at lipid-water interfaces, which basically involves an increased substrate accessibility to the active site and/or an induction of a more competent catalytic machinery. Six model enzymes have been assayed in several model reactions in nonaqueous media. The results, rationalized in light of the present biochemical and structural knowledge, show that the IAMI approach represents a straightforward, versatile method to generate manageable, activated (kinetically trapped) forms of lipolytic enzymes, providing under optimal conditions nonaqueous rate enhancements of up to two orders of magnitude. It is also shown that imprintability of lipolytic enzymes depends not only on the nature of the enzyme but also on the "quality" of the interface used as the template. PMID:7724558

  5. Children's exposure to harmful elements in toys and low-cost jewelry: characterizing risks and developing a comprehensive approach.

    PubMed

    Guney, Mert; Zagury, Gerald J

    2014-04-30

    Contamination problem in jewelry and toys and children's exposure possibility have been previously demonstrated. For this study, risk from oral exposure has been characterized for highly contaminated metallic toys and jewelry ((MJ), n=16) considering three scenarios. Total and bioaccessible concentrations of Cd, Cu, Ni, and Pb were high in selected MJ. First scenario (ingestion of parts or pieces) caused unacceptable risk for eight items for Cd, Ni, and/or Pb (hazard index (HI)>1, up to 75, 5.8, and 43, respectively). HI for ingestion of scraped-off material scenario was always <1. Finally, saliva mobilization scenario caused HI>1 in three samples (two for Cd, one for Ni). Risk characterization identified different potentially hazardous items compared to United States, Canadian, and European Union approaches. A comprehensive approach was also developed to deal with complexity and drawbacks caused by various toy/jewelry definitions, test methods, exposure scenarios, and elements considered in different regulatory approaches. It includes bioaccessible limits for eight priority elements (As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Hg, Ni, Pb, and Sb). Research is recommended on metals bioaccessibility determination in toys/jewelry, in vitro bioaccessibility test development, estimation of material ingestion rates and frequency, presence of hexavalent Cr and organic Sn, and assessment of prolonged exposure to MJ. PMID:24641994

  6. Brain stimulation for the treatment of pain: A review of costs, clinical effects, and mechanisms of treatment for three different central neuromodulatory approaches

    PubMed Central

    Zaghi, Soroush; Heine, Nikolas; Fregni, Felipe

    2010-01-01

    Methods of cortical stimulation including epidural motor cortex stimulation (MCS), repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) are emerging as alternatives in the management of pain in patients with chronic medically-refractory pain disorders. Here we consider the three methods of brain stimulation that have been investigated for the treatment of central pain: MCS, rTMS, and tDCS. While all three treatment modalities appear to induce significant clinical gains in patients with chronic pain, tDCS is revealed as the most cost-effective approach (compared to rTMS and MCS) when considering a single year of treatment. However, if a 5-year treatment is considered, MCS is revealed as the most cost-effective modality (as compared to rTMS and tDCS) for the neuromodulatory treatment of chronic pain. We discuss the theory behind the application of each modality as well as efficacy, cost, safety, and practical considerations. PMID:20585474

  7. Local infiltration of rabies immunoglobulins without systemic intramuscular administration: An alternative cost effective approach for passive immunization against rabies

    PubMed Central

    Bharti, Omesh Kumar; Madhusudana, Shampur Narayan; Gaunta, Pyare Lal; Belludi, Ashwin Yajaman

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Presently the dose of rabies immunoglobulin (RIG) which is an integral part of rabies post exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is calculated based on body weight though the recommendation is to infiltrate the wound(s). This practice demands large quantities of RIG which may be unaffordable to many patients. In this background, we conducted this study to know if the quantity and cost of RIG can be reduced by restricting passive immunization to local infiltration alone and avoiding systemic intramuscular administration based on the available scientific evidence. Two hundred and sixty nine category III patients bitten by suspect or confirmed rabid dogs/animals were infiltrated with equine rabies immunoglobulin (ERIGs) in and around the wound. The quantity of ERIG used was proportionate to the size and number of wounds irrespective of their body weight. They were followed with a regular course of rabies vaccination by intra-dermal route. As against 363 vials of RIGs required for all these cases as per current recommendation based on body weight, they required only 42 vials of 5ml RIG. Minimum dose of RIGs given was 0.25 ml and maximum dose given was 8 ml. On an average 1.26 ml of RIGs was required per patient that costs Rs. 150 ($3). All the patients were followed for 9 months and they were healthy and normal at the end of observation period. With local infiltration, that required small quantities of RIG, the RIGs could be made available to all patients in times of short supply in the market. A total of 30 (11%) serum samples of patients were tested for rabies virus neutralizing antibodies by the rapid fluorescent focus inhibition test (RFFIT) and all showed antibody titers >0.5 IU/mL by day 14. In no case the dose was higher than that required based on body weight and no immunosuppression resulted. To conclude, this pilot study shows that local infiltration of RIG need to be considered in times of non-availability in the market or unaffordability by poor patients

  8. Local infiltration of rabies immunoglobulins without systemic intramuscular administration: An alternative cost effective approach for passive immunization against rabies.

    PubMed

    Bharti, Omesh Kumar; Madhusudana, Shampur Narayan; Gaunta, Pyare Lal; Belludi, Ashwin Yajaman

    2016-03-01

    Presently the dose of rabies immunoglobulin (RIG) which is an integral part of rabies post exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is calculated based on body weight though the recommendation is to infiltrate the wound(s). This practice demands large quantities of RIG which may be unaffordable to many patients. In this background, we conducted this study to know if the quantity and cost of RIG can be reduced by restricting passive immunization to local infiltration alone and avoiding systemic intramuscular administration based on the available scientific evidence. Two hundred and sixty nine category III patients bitten by suspect or confirmed rabid dogs/animals were infiltrated with equine rabies immunoglobulin (ERIGs) in and around the wound. The quantity of ERIG used was proportionate to the size and number of wounds irrespective of their body weight. They were followed with a regular course of rabies vaccination by intra-dermal route. As against 363 vials of RIGs required for all these cases as per current recommendation based on body weight, they required only 42 vials of 5ml RIG. Minimum dose of RIGs given was 0.25 ml and maximum dose given was 8 ml. On an average 1.26 ml of RIGs was required per patient that costs Rs. 150 ($3). All the patients were followed for 9 months and they were healthy and normal at the end of observation period. With local infiltration, that required small quantities of RIG, the RIGs could be made available to all patients in times of short supply in the market. A total of 30 (11%) serum samples of patients were tested for rabies virus neutralizing antibodies by the rapid fluorescent focus inhibition test (RFFIT) and all showed antibody titers >0.5 IU/mL by day 14. In no case the dose was higher than that required based on body weight and no immunosuppression resulted. To conclude, this pilot study shows that local infiltration of RIG need to be considered in times of non-availability in the market or unaffordability by poor patients. This

  9. Possibility of the most cost efficient choice: a divided process approach to method and location selection for municipal solid waste management.

    PubMed

    Korucu, M Kemal; Cihan, Ahmet; Alkan, Atakan; Ozbay, Ismail; Karademir, Aykan; Aladag, Zerrin

    2014-11-01

    As studies on municipal solid waste management increased in recent years, many new mathematical models and approaches with a focus on determining the best treatment and disposal scenario were developed and applied. In this study, a mixed integer linear programming model was developed to be used as a facilitative tool for the cost minimisation of municipal solid waste management practices. Since municipal solid waste mass is a mixed composition of various types of waste components with different physical and chemical properties, the model was designed to include all the suitable treatment and disposal methods for these different waste components. The method alternatives with multiple waste inputs, such as aerobic biological treatment and the thermal processes, were divided into a number of inputs to remove their non-linear structures. This way, linear programming could be used, and the linear cost function could be minimised over a set of linear constraints with integer variables. The model was applied to the city of Kocaeli, which will require a new waste management application in the future, beginning from 2015. The results obtained for different haul distance constraints in the study area were presented and assessed. The results showed that all the information required for a comprehensive management task could be modelled by a linear optimisation model with a divided processes approach easily. PMID:25245295

  10. Technical Note: Cost-efficient approaches to measure carbon dioxide (CO2) fluxes and concentrations in terrestrial and aquatic environments using mini loggers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bastviken, D.; Sundgren, I.; Natchimuthu, S.; Reyier, H.; Gålfalk, M.

    2015-06-01

    Fluxes of CO2 are important for our understanding of the global carbon cycle and greenhouse gas balances. Several significant CO2 fluxes in nature may still be unknown as illustrated by recent findings of high CO2 emissions from aquatic environments, previously not recognized in global carbon balances. Therefore, it is important to develop convenient and affordable ways to measure CO2 in many types of environments. At present, direct measurements of CO2 fluxes from soil or water, or CO2 concentrations in surface water, are typically labor intensive or require costly equipment. We here present an approach with measurement units based on small inexpensive CO2 loggers, originally made for indoor air quality monitoring, that were tested and adapted for field use. Measurements of soil-atmosphere and lake-atmosphere fluxes, as well as of spatiotemporal dynamics of water CO2 concentrations (expressed as the equivalent partial pressure, pCO2aq) in lakes and a stream network are provided as examples. Results from all these examples indicate that this approach can provide a cost- and labor-efficient alternative for direct measurements and monitoring of CO2 flux and pCO2aq in terrestrial and aquatic environments.

  11. Technical Note: Cost-efficient approaches to measure carbon dioxide (CO2) fluxes and concentrations in terrestrial and aquatic environments using mini loggers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bastviken, D.; Sundgren, I.; Natchimuthu, S.; Reyier, H.; Gålfalk, M.

    2015-02-01

    Fluxes of CO2 are important for our understanding of the global carbon cycle and greenhouse gas balances. Several significant CO2 fluxes in nature may still be neglected as illustrated by recent findings of high CO2 emissions from aquatic environments, previously not recognized in global carbon balances. Therefore it is important to develop convenient and affordable ways to measure CO2 in many types of environments. At present, direct measurements of CO2 fluxes from soils or waters, or CO2 concentrations in surface water, are typically labour intensive or require costly equipment. We here present an approach with measurement units based on small inexpensive CO2 loggers, originally made for indoor air quality monitoring, that were tested and adapted for field use. Measurements of soil-atmosphere and lake-atmosphere fluxes, as well as of spatio-temporal dynamics of water CO2 concentrations (expressed as the equivalent partial pressure, pCO2aq) in lakes and a stream network are provided as examples. Results from all these examples indicate that this approach can provide a cost- and labor efficient alternative for direct measurements and monitoring of CO2 flux and pCO2aq in terrestrial and aquatic environments.

  12. Research misconduct oversight: defining case costs.

    PubMed

    Gammon, Elizabeth; Franzini, Luisa

    2013-01-01

    This study uses a sequential mixed method study design to define cost elements of research misconduct among faculty at academic medical centers. Using time driven activity based costing, the model estimates a per case cost for 17 cases of research misconduct reported by the Office of Research Integrity for the period of 2000-2005. Per case cost of research misconduct was found to range from $116,160 to $2,192,620. Research misconduct cost drivers are identified. PMID:24551963

  13. A low cost sensor network approach to investigate spatio-temporal patterns of stream temperatures and electrical conductivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lieder, Ernestine; Weiler, Markus; Blume, Theresa

    2016-04-01

    Understanding water and energy fluxes at the stream and catchment scale remains a challenging task. Within the CAOS-project-framework it is our aim to investigate spatiotemporal patterns of stream temperature and to deduce understanding about the underlying hydrological system. A low cost sensor network was installed in summer 2015 to monitor stream temperature and EC patterns in time and space. 90 HOBO temperature sensors, which were modified to additionally measure EC, were installed at 30 confluences across the Attert catchment (288 km²) in Luxembourg. The design of the sensor network allows for the investigation of three research questions: a) spatial patterns of stream temperatures and EC and their dynamics across the region b) estimation of relative streamflow contributions and their temporal dynamics by using simple mixing models and c) estimation of heat transport. The data will thus provide valuable insight in runoff contributions from different sub-catchments, and a combined analysis with distributed measurements of soil moisture and shallow groundwater will improve our process understanding by linking hillslope scale processes with stream responses. First results indicate that streams in different geologies show distinct temperature and EC patterns throughout the observation period. Differences are also found with respect to temporal dynamics both for longer periods as well as diurnal fluctuations. These differences are likely to be caused by differences in flow paths on the one hand (e.g. amount of groundwater contribution) and exposure to direct radiation on the other hand.

  14. Digital versatile disc bipolar electrode: A fast and low-cost approach for visual sensing of analytes and electrocatalysts screening.

    PubMed

    Shayan, Mohsen; Kiani, Abolfazl

    2015-08-12

    This work represents a new, extremely low cost and easy method for fabrication of bipolar electrode (BPE) for rapid and simultaneous screening of potential candidates for electrocatalytic reactions and sensing applications. Our method takes advantage of the silver reflective layer deposited on already available recordable digital versatile disc (DVD-R) polycarbonate substrate which acts as BPE. Oxidation of the reflective layer of the DVD-R in anodic pole of the BPE results in a permanent and visually measurable dissolute length. Therefore, one could correlate the electrocatalytic activity of the catalyst at the cathodic pole of the BPE, as well as the concentration of analyte in the solution, to the dissolution length of the BPE. To illustrate the promising applications of this new substrate as BPE, p-benzoquinone (BQ) and hydrogen peroxide were tested as model targets for the sensing application. Moreover, in order to show the feasibility of using DVD BPEs for screening applications, the electrocatalytic activity of Pt, Pd, Au, and pristine DVD substrate toward hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) were compared using an array of BPEs prepared on DVD substrate. PMID:26320958

  15. Enabling Low Cost Biopharmaceuticals: A Systematic Approach to Delete Proteases from a Well-Known Protein Production Host Trichoderma reesei

    PubMed Central

    Landowski, Christopher P.; Huuskonen, Anne; Wahl, Ramon; Westerholm-Parvinen, Ann; Kanerva, Anne; Hänninen, Anna-Liisa; Salovuori, Noora; Penttilä, Merja; Natunen, Jari; Ostermeier, Christian; Helk, Bernhard; Saarinen, Juhani; Saloheimo, Markku

    2015-01-01

    The filamentous fungus Trichoderma reesei has tremendous capability to secrete proteins. Therefore, it would be an excellent host for producing high levels of therapeutic proteins at low cost. Developing a filamentous fungus to produce sensitive therapeutic proteins requires that protease secretion is drastically reduced. We have identified 13 major secreted proteases that are related to degradation of therapeutic antibodies, interferon alpha 2b, and insulin like growth factor. The major proteases observed were aspartic, glutamic, subtilisin-like, and trypsin-like proteases. The seven most problematic proteases were sequentially removed from a strain to develop it for producing therapeutic proteins. After this the protease activity in the supernatant was dramatically reduced down to 4% of the original level based upon a casein substrate. When antibody was incubated in the six protease deletion strain supernatant, the heavy chain remained fully intact and no degradation products were observed. Interferon alpha 2b and insulin like growth factor were less stable in the same supernatant, but full length proteins remained when incubated overnight, in contrast to the original strain. As additional benefits, the multiple protease deletions have led to faster strain growth and higher levels of total protein in the culture supernatant. PMID:26309247

  16. Forest fires and environmental haze in Southeast Asia: using the 'stakeholder' approach to assign costs and responsibilities.

    PubMed

    Quah, E; Johnston, D

    2001-10-01

    The 'seasonal haze' problem is one which afflicts large parts of Southeast Asia in years of drought. The major cause is forest, bush and field fires in the states of Kalimantan and Sumatra in Indonesia, and to a lesser extent in Sabah, Sarawak, and other parts of Malaysia. Almost all of these fires now seem preventable, since they are intentionally set to clear land for cultivation. Theoretically, the government authorities at central, provincial and local levels in these countries should be responsible for controlling activities in their territory. In practice, however, air pollution control through regulatory policies and practices is extraordinarily difficult to implement and maintain in a situation of this kind in developing countries, especially at a time of crippling economic setbacks. Moreover, the establishment of legal liability, through an international tribunal or otherwise, hardly seems a politically feasible course of action for the government of an affluent 'victim state' such as Singapore. Faith in the usual solutions--science, regulation, law and diplomacy--is weakened by one's sense of current realities. The purpose of this paper is to review the issues and suggested responses, the cost implications of each, the responsibilities as well as entitlements that might apply to the various stakeholders, and the special role of Singapore as an affluent 'victim state'. We also discuss the incentive mechanisms that would be needed to manage forest fires. PMID:11721597

  17. Estimating the cost of improving service quality in water supply: A shadow price approach for England and wales.

    PubMed

    Molinos-Senante, María; Maziotis, Alexandros; Sala-Garrido, Ramón

    2016-01-01

    Service quality to customers is an aspect that cannot be ignored in the performance assessment of water companies. Nowadays water regulators introduce awards or penalties to incentivize companies to improve service quality to customers when setting prices. In this study, the directional distance function is employed to estimate the shadow prices of variables indicating the lack of service quality to customers in the water industry i.e., written complaints, unplanned interruptions and properties below the reference level. To calculate the shadow price of each undesirable output for each water company, it is needed to ascribe a reference price for the desirable output which is the volume of water delivered. An empirical application is carried out for water companies in England and Wales. Hence, the shadow price of each undesirable output is expressed both as a percentage of the price of the desirable output and in pence per cubic meter of water delivered The estimated results indicate that on average, each additional written complaint that needs to be dealt with by the water company includes a service quality cost of 0.399p/m(3). As expected, when looking at the other service quality variables which involve network repair or replacement, these values are considerably higher. On average, the water company must spend an extra 0.622p/m(3) to prevent one unplanned interruption and 0.702p/m(3) to avoid one water pressure below the reference level. The findings of this study are of great importance for regulated companies and regulators as it has been illustrated that improvements in the service quality in terms of customer service could be challenging and therefore ongoing investments will be required to address these issues. PMID:26379261

  18. A New, Effective and Low-Cost Three-Dimensional Approach for the Estimation of Upper-Limb Volume

    PubMed Central

    Buffa, Roberto; Mereu, Elena; Lussu, Paolo; Succa, Valeria; Pisanu, Tonino; Buffa, Franco; Marini, Elisabetta

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this research was to validate a new procedure (SkanLab) for the three-dimensional estimation of total arm volume. SkanLab is based on a single structured-light Kinect sensor (Microsoft, Redmond, WA, USA) and on Skanect (Occipital, San Francisco, CA, USA) and MeshLab (Visual Computing Lab, Pisa, Italy) software. The volume of twelve plastic cylinders was measured using geometry, as the reference, water displacement and SkanLab techniques (two raters and repetitions). The right total arm volume of thirty adults was measured by water displacement (reference) and SkanLab (two raters and repetitions). The bias and limits of agreement (LOA) between techniques were determined using the Bland–Altman method. Intra- and inter-rater reliability was assessed using the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) and the standard error of measurement. The bias of SkanLab in measuring the cylinders volume was −21.9 mL (−5.7%) (LOA: −62.0 to 18.2 mL; −18.1% to 6.7%) and in measuring the volume of arms’ was −9.9 mL (−0.6%) (LOA: −49.6 to 29.8 mL; −2.6% to 1.4%). SkanLab’s intra- and inter-rater reliabilities were very high (ICC >0.99). In conclusion, SkanLab is a fast, safe and low-cost method for assessing total arm volume, with high levels of accuracy and reliability. SkanLab represents a promising tool in clinical applications. PMID:26016917

  19. A new, effective and low-cost three-dimensional approach for the estimation of upper-limb volume.

    PubMed

    Buffa, Roberto; Mereu, Elena; Lussu, Paolo; Succa, Valeria; Pisanu, Tonino; Buffa, Franco; Marini, Elisabetta

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this research was to validate a new procedure (SkanLab) for the three-dimensional estimation of total arm volume. SkanLab is based on a single structured-light Kinect sensor (Microsoft, Redmond, WA, USA) and on Skanect (Occipital, San Francisco, CA, USA) and MeshLab (Visual Computing Lab, Pisa, Italy) software. The volume of twelve plastic cylinders was measured using geometry, as the reference, water displacement and SkanLab techniques (two raters and repetitions). The right total arm volume of thirty adults was measured by water displacement (reference) and SkanLab (two raters and repetitions). The bias and limits of agreement (LOA) between techniques were determined using the Bland-Altman method. Intra- and inter-rater reliability was assessed using the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) and the standard error of measurement. The bias of SkanLab in measuring the cylinders volume was -21.9 mL (-5.7%) (LOA: -62.0 to 18.2 mL; -18.1% to 6.7%) and in measuring the volume of arms' was -9.9 mL (-0.6%) (LOA: -49.6 to 29.8 mL; -2.6% to 1.4%). SkanLab's intra- and inter-rater reliabilities were very high (ICC >0.99). In conclusion, SkanLab is a fast, safe and low-cost method for assessing total arm volume, with high levels of accuracy and reliability. SkanLab represents a promising tool in clinical applications. PMID:26016917

  20. Costs of integrating demand-based reproductive health commodity model into the Government and NGO service delivery systems in Bangladesh: a supply side perspective.

    PubMed

    Islam, Ziaul; Sarker, Abdur Razzaque; Anwar, Shahela; Kabir, Humayun; Gazi, Rukhsana

    2015-01-01

    To estimate additional total cost and average cost of integrating the demand-based reproductive health commodity model into the existing Government and NGO facilities in Bangladesh. Activity based cost analysis was conducted during 2006-2008 in two low performing rural sub-districts (Nabigong and Raipur sub-district) and one urban slum area in Dhaka city, Bangladesh. Activity-based cost data were collected using ingredient approach, which comprised of listing all types of inputs by activity, quantities and prices for each input. Total cost was presented according to capital and recurrent items. The supply side perspective was considered for entire analysis. The total cost of integrating demand-based reproductive health commodity (DBRHC) model into the Government and NGO service delivery system was estimated to BDT 18,667,634 (US$274,524). The proportion of capital cost was 59 % and the recurrent cost was 41 % of the total cost. The average cost per beneficiaries was BDT 230 (US$3.38) only for introducing this model into the existing health system. The built-in interventions of DBRHC model were doable at low-cost at the selected Government and NGO settings at the grass-root level. The model has potential of further cost containment during scaling up-if the intervention costs are adjusted with the existing functionaries of the Government and NGOs. PMID:26722628

  1. Teaching ABC & Cost Behaviors to Non-Numbers People

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Taylor, Virginia Anne; Rudnick, Martin

    2007-01-01

    Simply put, a cost analysis studies how you spend your money. Activity based costing models associate costs with services and cost benefit analysis weighs whether or not the costs expended were worth the money given the efforts involved and the results achieved. This study seeks to understand the financial choices and information seeking behaviors…

  2. Plagiarism and Costs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liebler, Robert

    2009-01-01

    It is costly for faculty to deal with cheating. Keith-Spiegel et al. (1998) identified several of these costs and argued that they can be grouped into four categories: emotionality, difficult, fear, and denial. I argue that the emotional and fear costs for faculty make it unlikely that the common approaches to dealing with plagiarism will be…

  3. Activity Based Startup Plan for Prototype Vertical Denitration Calciner

    SciTech Connect

    SUTTER, C.S.

    1999-08-16

    Testing activities on the Prototype Vertical Denitration Calciner at Plutonium Finish Plant (PFP) were suspended in January 1997 due to the hold on fissile material handling in the facility. The restart of testing activities will require a review through an activity based startup process based upon Integrated Safety Management (ISM) principles to verify readiness. The Activity Based Startup Plan for the Prototype vertical Denitration Calciner has been developed for this process.

  4. Smartphones for post-event analysis: a low-cost and easily accessible approach for mapping natural hazards

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tarolli, Paolo; Prosdocimi, Massimo; Sofia, Giulia; Dalla Fontana, Giancarlo

    2015-04-01

    A real opportunity and challenge for the hazard mapping is offered by the use of smartphones and low-cost and flexible photogrammetric technique (i.e. 'Structure-from-Motion'-SfM-). Differently from the other traditional photogrammetric methods, the SfM allows to reconstitute three-dimensional geometries (Digital Surface Models, DSMs) from randomly acquired images. The images can be acquired by standalone digital cameras (compact or reflex), or even by smartphones built-in cameras. This represents a "revolutionary" advance compared with more expensive technologies and applications (e.g. Terrestrial Laser Scanner TLS, airborne lidar) (Tarolli, 2014). Through fast, simple and consecutive field surveys, anyone with a smartphone can take a lot of pictures of the same study area. This way, high-resolution and multi-temporal DSMs may be obtained and used to better monitor and understand erosion and deposition processes. Furthermore, these topographic data can also facilitate to quantify volumes of eroded materials due to landslides and recognize the major critical issues that usually occur during a natural hazard (e.g. river bank erosion and/or collapse due to floods). In this work we considered different case studies located in different environmental contexts of Italy, where extensive photosets were obtained using smartphones. TLS data were also considered in the analysis as benchmark to compare with SfM data. Digital Surface Models (DSMs) derived from SfM at centimeter grid-cell resolution revealed to be effective to automatically recognize areas subject to surface instabilities, and estimate quantitatively erosion and deposition volumes, for example. Morphometric indexes such as landform curvature and surface roughness, and statistical thresholds (e.g. standard deviation) of these indices, served as the basis for the proposed analyses. The results indicate that SfM technique through smartphones really offers a fast, simple and affordable alternative to lidar

  5. Beyond cost-of-energy, the value-of-energy metric and value-centric approaches to design, operations, and maintenance of wind turbines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fernandes, Kevin

    This thesis is oriented toward developers, owners, operators and investors of renewable energy projects. With increasing demand of renewables, our energy dependence comes down to reducing costs associated with this sector so as to compete with the existing sources. One way of valuing investment potential is to determine and then compare the overall value derived by investing in a particular project. Several engineering and financial levers, one of which is operation and maintenance, affect this value. This thesis provides a useful visual aid to owners and operators by which they can operate and maintain their wind farm so as to achieve maximum value throughout its lifetime. All the necessary components that go into developing a business model of a wind farm project will be discussed. Finally, this tool is valid within the assumptions that are explicitly stated. Real world data and trends are used to provide a practical approach to the optimization.

  6. The Near Earth Object (NEO) Scout Spacecraft: A Low-cost Approach to In-situ Characterization of the NEO Population

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Woeppel, Eric A.; Balsamo, James M.; Fischer, Karl J.; East, Matthew J.; Styborski, Jeremy A.; Roche, Christopher A.; Ott, Mackenzie D.; Scorza, Matthew J.; Doherty, Christopher D.; Trovato, Andrew J.; Volk, Christopher P.; Koontz, Steven L.; Bevilacqua, Riccardo; Swenson, Charles

    2014-01-01

    This paper describes a microsatellite spacecraft with supporting mission profile and architecture, designed to enable preliminary in-situ characterization of a significant number of Near Earth Objects (NEOs) at reasonably low cost. The spacecraft will be referred to as the NEO-Scout. NEO-Scout spacecraft are to be placed in Geosynchronous Equatorial Orbit (GEO), cis-lunar space, or on earth escape trajectories as secondary payloads on launch vehicles headed for GEO or beyond, and will begin their mission after deployment from the launcher. A distinguishing key feature of the NEO-Scout system is to design the spacecraft and mission timeline so as to enable rendezvous with and landing on the target NEO during NEO close approach (<0.3 AU) to the Earth-Moon system using low-thrust/high-impulse propulsion systems. Mission durations are on the order 100 to 400 days. Mission feasibility and preliminary design analysis are presented, along with detailed trajectory calculations.

  7. Holistic approach using accuracy of diffraction-based integrated metrology to improve on-product performance, reduce cycle time, and cost at litho

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhattacharyya, Kaustuve; den Boef, Arie; Jak, Martin; Zhang, Gary; Maassen, Martijn; Tijssen, Robin; Adam, Omer; Fuchs, Andreas; Zhang, Youping; Huang, Jacky; Couraudon, Vincent; Tzeng, Wilson; Su, Eason; Wang, Cathy; Kavanagh, Jim; Fouquet, Christophe

    2015-03-01

    High-end semiconductor lithography requirements for CD, focus and overlay control drive the need for diffraction-based metrology1,2,3,4 and integrated metrology5. In the advanced nodes, more complex lithography techniques (such as multiple patterning), use of multi-layer overlay measurements in process control, advanced device designs (such as advanced FinFET), as well as advanced materials (like hardmasks) are introduced. These pose new challenges for lithometro cycle time, cost, process control and metrology accuracy. In this publication a holistic approach is taken to face these challenges via a novel target design, a brand new implementation of multi-layer overlay measurement capability in diffraction-based mode and integrated metrology.

  8. Activity-Based Costing Models for Alternative Modes of Delivering On-Line Courses

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Garbett, Chris

    2011-01-01

    In recent years there has been growth in online distance learning courses. This has been prompted by; new technology such as the Internet, mobile learning, video and audio conferencing: the explosion in student numbers in Higher Education, and the need for outreach to a world wide market. Web-based distance learning is seen as a solution to…

  9. Activity-based funding model provides foundation for province-wide best practices in renal care.

    PubMed

    Levin, Adeera; Lo, Clifford; Noel, Kevin; Djurdjev, Ogjnenka; Amano, Erlyn C

    2013-01-01

    British Columbia has a unique funding model for renal care in Canada. Patient care is delivered through six health authorities, while funding is administered by the Provincial Renal Agency using an activity-based funding model. The model allocates funding based on a schedule of costs for every element of renal care, excluding physician fees. Accountability, transparency of allocation and tracking of outcomes are key features that ensure successful implementation. The model supports province-wide best practices and equitable care and fosters innovation. Since its introduction, the outpatient renal services budget has grown less than the population, while maintaining or improving clinical outcomes. PMID:24485244

  10. Cost and performance analysis of conceptual designs of physical protection systems

    SciTech Connect

    Hicks, M.J.; Snell, M.S.; Sandoval, J.S.; Potter, C.S.

    1998-06-01

    CPA -- Cost and Performance Analysis -- is a methodology that joins Activity Based Cost (ABC) estimation with performance based analysis of physical protection systems. CPA offers system managers an approach that supports both tactical decision making and strategic planning. Current exploratory applications of the CPA methodology are addressing analysis of alternative conceptual designs. To support these activities, the original architecture for CPA, is being expanded to incorporate results from a suite of performance and consequence analysis tools such as JTS (Joint Tactical Simulation), ERAD (Explosive Release Atmospheric Dispersion) and blast effect models. The process flow for applying CPA to the development and analysis conceptual designs is illustrated graphically.

  11. Ion propulsion cost effectivity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zafran, S.; Biess, J. J.

    1978-01-01

    Ion propulsion modules employing 8-cm thrusters and 30-cm thrusters were studied for Multimission Modular Spacecraft (MMS) applications. Recurring and nonrecurring cost elements were generated for these modules. As a result, ion propulsion cost drivers were identified to be Shuttle charges, solar array, power processing, and thruster costs. Cost effective design approaches included short length module configurations, array power sharing, operation at reduced thruster input power, simplified power processing units, and power processor output switching. The MMS mission model employed indicated that nonrecurring costs have to be shared with other programs unless the mission model grows. Extended performance missions exhibited the greatest benefits when compared with monopropellant hydrazine propulsion.

  12. Activity-Based Intervention Practices in Special Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ozen, Arzu; Ergenekon, Yasemin

    2011-01-01

    Teaching practices in natural settings such as activity-based intervention (ABI) are suggested as alternatives to be used in effective early childhood education. As a multidisciplinary model, ABI consists of four components, which are choosing activities according to the child's interests; teaching generalizable goals embedded in routines and…

  13. Activity Based Curriculum for Elementary Education. Additional Activities, K-6.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wichita Public Schools, KS.

    This elementary curriculum is a vehicle to provide manipulative activities that reinforce academic skills through meaningful, relevant, activity-based awareness of modern society. The twenty-six activity plans included in the curriculum place a major emphasis upon realistic or concrete experiences that deal with the manipulation and exploration of…

  14. Assessing DRG cost accounting with respect to resource allocation and tariff calculation: the case of Germany

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to analyze the German diagnosis related groups (G-DRG) cost accounting scheme by assessing its resource allocation at hospital level and its tariff calculation at national level. First, the paper reviews and assesses the three steps in the G-DRG resource allocation scheme at hospital level: (1) the groundwork; (2) cost-center accounting; and (3) patient-level costing. Second, the paper reviews and assesses the three steps in G-DRG national tariff calculation: (1) plausibility checks; (2) inlier calculation; and (3) the “one hospital” approach. The assessment is based on the two main goals of G-DRG introduction: improving transparency and efficiency. A further empirical assessment attests high costing quality. The G-DRG cost accounting scheme shows high system quality in resource allocation at hospital level, with limitations concerning a managerially relevant full cost approach and limitations in terms of advanced activity-based costing at patient-level. However, the scheme has serious flaws in national tariff calculation: inlier calculation is normative, and the “one hospital” model causes cost bias, adjustment and representativeness issues. The G-DRG system was designed for reimbursement calculation, but developed to a standard with strategic management implications, generalized by the idea of adapting a hospital’s cost structures to DRG revenues. This combination causes problems in actual hospital financing, although resource allocation is advanced at hospital level. PMID:22935314

  15. Assessing DRG cost accounting with respect to resource allocation and tariff calculation: the case of Germany.

    PubMed

    Vogl, Matthias

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to analyze the German diagnosis related groups (G-DRG) cost accounting scheme by assessing its resource allocation at hospital level and its tariff calculation at national level. First, the paper reviews and assesses the three steps in the G-DRG resource allocation scheme at hospital level: (1) the groundwork; (2) cost-center accounting; and (3) patient-level costing. Second, the paper reviews and assesses the three steps in G-DRG national tariff calculation: (1) plausibility checks; (2) inlier calculation; and (3) the "one hospital" approach. The assessment is based on the two main goals of G-DRG introduction: improving transparency and efficiency. A further empirical assessment attests high costing quality. The G-DRG cost accounting scheme shows high system quality in resource allocation at hospital level, with limitations concerning a managerially relevant full cost approach and limitations in terms of advanced activity-based costing at patient-level. However, the scheme has serious flaws in national tariff calculation: inlier calculation is normative, and the "one hospital" model causes cost bias, adjustment and representativeness issues. The G-DRG system was designed for reimbursement calculation, but developed to a standard with strategic management implications, generalized by the idea of adapting a hospital's cost structures to DRG revenues. This combination causes problems in actual hospital financing, although resource allocation is advanced at hospital level. PMID:22935314

  16. Utilizing Expert Knowledge in Estimating Future STS Costs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fortner, David B.; Ruiz-Torres, Alex J.

    2004-01-01

    A method of estimating the costs of future space transportation systems (STSs) involves classical activity-based cost (ABC) modeling combined with systematic utilization of the knowledge and opinions of experts to extend the process-flow knowledge of existing systems to systems that involve new materials and/or new architectures. The expert knowledge is particularly helpful in filling gaps that arise in computational models of processes because of inconsistencies in historical cost data. Heretofore, the costs of planned STSs have been estimated following a "top-down" approach that tends to force the architectures of new systems to incorporate process flows like those of the space shuttles. In this ABC-based method, one makes assumptions about the processes, but otherwise follows a "bottoms up" approach that does not force the new system architecture to incorporate a space-shuttle-like process flow. Prototype software has been developed to implement this method. Through further development of software, it should be possible to extend the method beyond the space program to almost any setting in which there is a need to estimate the costs of a new system and to extend the applicable knowledge base in order to make the estimate.

  17. A single-nucleotide polymorphism-based approach for rapid and cost-effective genetic wolf monitoring in Europe based on noninvasively collected samples.

    PubMed

    Kraus, Robert H S; vonHoldt, Bridgett; Cocchiararo, Berardino; Harms, Verena; Bayerl, Helmut; Kühn, Ralph; Förster, Daniel W; Fickel, Jörns; Roos, Christian; Nowak, Carsten

    2015-03-01

    Noninvasive genetics based on microsatellite markers has become an indispensable tool for wildlife monitoring and conservation research over the past decades. However, microsatellites have several drawbacks, such as the lack of standardisation between laboratories and high error rates. Here, we propose an alternative single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)-based marker system for noninvasively collected samples, which promises to solve these problems. Using nanofluidic SNP genotyping technology (Fluidigm), we genotyped 158 wolf samples (tissue, scats, hairs, urine) for 192 SNP loci selected from the Affymetrix v2 Canine SNP Array. We carefully selected an optimised final set of 96 SNPs (and discarded the worse half), based on assay performance and reliability. We found rates of missing data in this SNP set of <10% and genotyping error of ~1%, which improves genotyping accuracy by nearly an order of magnitude when compared to published data for other marker types. Our approach provides a tool for rapid and cost-effective genotyping of noninvasively collected wildlife samples. The ability to standardise genotype scoring combined with low error rates promises to constitute a major technological advancement and could establish SNPs as a standard marker for future wildlife monitoring. PMID:25042673

  18. Planning for Cost Effectiveness.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schlaebitz, William D.

    1984-01-01

    A heat pump life-cycle cost analysis is used to explain the technique. Items suggested for the life-cycle analysis approach include lighting, longer-life batteries, site maintenance, and retaining experts to inspect specific building components. (MLF)

  19. Analyzing Bilingual Education Costs.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bernal, Joe J.

    This paper examines the particular problems involved in analyzing the costs of bilingual education and suggests that cost analysis of bilingual education requires a fundamentally different approach than that followed in other recent school finance studies. Focus of the discussion is the Intercultural Development Research Association's (IDRA)…

  20. Costs analysis of a population level rabies control programme in Tamil Nadu, India.

    PubMed

    Abbas, Syed Shahid; Kakkar, Manish; Rogawski, Elizabeth Tacket

    2014-02-01

    The study aimed to determine costs to the state government of implementing different interventions for controlling rabies among the entire human and animal populations of Tamil Nadu. This built upon an earlier assessment of Tamil Nadu's efforts to control rabies. Anti-rabies vaccines were made available at all health facilities. Costs were estimated for five different combinations of animal and human interventions using an activity-based costing approach from the provider perspective. Disease and population data were sourced from the state surveillance data, human census and livestock census. Program costs were extrapolated from official documents. All capital costs were depreciated to estimate annualized costs. All costs were inflated to 2012 Rupees. Sensitivity analysis was conducted across all major cost centres to assess their relative impact on program costs. It was found that the annual costs of providing Anti-rabies vaccine alone and in combination with Immunoglobulins was $0.7 million (Rs 36 million) and $2.2 million (Rs 119 million), respectively. For animal sector interventions, the annualised costs of rolling out surgical sterilisation-immunization, injectable immunization and oral immunizations were estimated to be $ 44 million (Rs 2,350 million), $23 million (Rs 1,230 million) and $ 11 million (Rs 590 million), respectively. Dog bite incidence, health systems coverage and cost of rabies biologicals were found to be important drivers of costs for human interventions. For the animal sector interventions, the size of dog catching team, dog population and vaccine costs were found to be driving the costs. Rabies control in Tamil Nadu seems a costly proposition the way it is currently structured. Policy makers in Tamil Nadu and other similar settings should consider the long-term financial sustainability before embarking upon a state or nation-wide rabies control programme. PMID:24587471

  1. Costs Analysis of a Population Level Rabies Control Programme in Tamil Nadu, India

    PubMed Central

    Abbas, Syed Shahid; Kakkar, Manish; Rogawski, Elizabeth Tacket

    2014-01-01

    The study aimed to determine costs to the state government of implementing different interventions for controlling rabies among the entire human and animal populations of Tamil Nadu. This built upon an earlier assessment of Tamil Nadu's efforts to control rabies. Anti-rabies vaccines were made available at all health facilities. Costs were estimated for five different combinations of animal and human interventions using an activity-based costing approach from the provider perspective. Disease and population data were sourced from the state surveillance data, human census and livestock census. Program costs were extrapolated from official documents. All capital costs were depreciated to estimate annualized costs. All costs were inflated to 2012 Rupees. Sensitivity analysis was conducted across all major cost centres to assess their relative impact on program costs. It was found that the annual costs of providing Anti-rabies vaccine alone and in combination with Immunoglobulins was $0.7 million (Rs 36 million) and $2.2 million (Rs 119 million), respectively. For animal sector interventions, the annualised costs of rolling out surgical sterilisation-immunization, injectable immunization and oral immunizations were estimated to be $ 44 million (Rs 2,350 million), $23 million (Rs 1,230 million) and $ 11 million (Rs 590 million), respectively. Dog bite incidence, health systems coverage and cost of rabies biologicals were found to be important drivers of costs for human interventions. For the animal sector interventions, the size of dog catching team, dog population and vaccine costs were found to be driving the costs. Rabies control in Tamil Nadu seems a costly proposition the way it is currently structured. Policy makers in Tamil Nadu and other similar settings should consider the long-term financial sustainability before embarking upon a state or nation-wide rabies control programme. PMID:24587471

  2. Aerobraking cost/risk decisions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Spencer, David A.; Tolson, Robert

    2005-01-01

    this paper provides a brief history of past and future aerobraking missions, describes the aerobraking technique, summarizes the costs associated with aerobraking, and concludes with a suggested methodology for evaluating the cost/risk trade when selecting the aerobraking approach.

  3. Benchmarking Non-Hardware Balance-of-System (Soft) Costs for U.S. Photovoltaic Systems, Using a Bottom-Up Approach and Installer Survey - Second Edition

    SciTech Connect

    Friedman, B.; Ardani, K.; Feldman, D.; Citron, R.; Margolis, R.; Zuboy, J.

    2013-10-01

    This report presents results from the second U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) sponsored, bottom-up data-collection and analysis of non-hardware balance-of-system costs -- often referred to as 'business process' or 'soft' costs -- for U.S. residential and commercial photovoltaic (PV) systems. In service to DOE's SunShot Initiative, annual expenditure and labor-hour-productivity data are analyzed to benchmark 2012 soft costs related to (1) customer acquisition and system design (2) permitting, inspection, and interconnection (PII). We also include an in-depth analysis of costs related to financing, overhead, and profit. Soft costs are both a major challenge and a major opportunity for reducing PV system prices and stimulating SunShot-level PV deployment in the United States. The data and analysis in this series of benchmarking reports are a step toward the more detailed understanding of PV soft costs required to track and accelerate these price reductions.

  4. Factory Cost Model

    1996-12-17

    The Factory Cost Model (FCM) is an economic analysis tool intended to provide flat panel display (FPD) and other similar discrete component manufacturers with the ability to make first-order estimates of the cost of unit production. This software has several intended uses. Primary among these is the ability to provide first-order economic analysis for future factories. Consequently, the model requires a minimal level of input detail, and accomodates situations where actual production data are notmore » available. This software is designed to be activity based such that most of the calculated direct costs are associated with the steps of a manufacturibg process. The FCM architecture has the ability to accomodate the analysis of existing manufacturing facilities. The FCM can provide assistance with strategic economic decisions surrounding production related matters. For instance, the program can project the effect on costs and resources of a new product''s introduction, or it can assess the potential cost reduction produced by step yield improvements in the manufacturing process.« less

  5. Having a multi facetted approach to complex organic molecules formation: the European COST initiative ‘Our Astochemical History’ and the formaldehyde/methanol formation example

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wiesenfeld, Laurent; Ceccarelli, Cecilia; Lefloch, Bertrand

    2015-08-01

    Formaldehyde (H2CO) and methanol (CH3OH) are among the few molecules that have been detected in the solid phase, in the icy mantles that cover interstellar grains. They have been also widely observed in the gas phase of many cold gases, with high somewhat comparable abundances. The synthetic routes leading from ubiquitous CO to these hydrogenated CO molecules have been widely discussed in the literature. Also, deuterated (and per-deuterated) isotopomers of both H2CO and CH3OH have been detected, with very high enrichment in D over the 10-5 cosmic abundance of D with respect to H.In this presentation, we wish to review the first steps of the hysdrogenation processes and describe how they have been recently treated, in the laboratory, the modelling and in theoretical chemical physics.We take and discuss this example as the perfect illustration of the necessity of having a multifaceted approach to the problems we face:1. How to hydrogenated CO towards H2CO: gas phase/solid phase chemistry. (Peters29013; Rimola2014)2. How to detect H2CO / HDCO in the gas phase, in a quantitative manner: LTE vs. non-LTE excitation. (Wiesenfeld2014)3. What is the role of laboratory experiments, how relevant are they, and more important, how challenging are they? (Hama2013)4. Is deuterium enrichment a good tracer for the history ? (Taquet2013)Some of the questions have received an answer in recent years, and we shall briefly describe those, with special emphasis to a joint chemistry-astrophysics approach.We describe the European COST network ‘Our Astrochemical History’ (http://prague2015astrohistory.vscht.cz/) , whichbrings together specialists of many areas of chemistry together with astronomy, in order to address this kind of problem. Succeeding former European initiatives that shaped the field of Astrochemistry, it focussses on the molecular evolution towards higher complexity and aim sat delivering new schemes for physical chemistry at large, like chemistry of transient species

  6. Mapping Grazing-Induced Degradation in a Semi-Arid Environment: A Rapid and Cost Effective Approach for Assessment and Monitoring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thompson, Mark; Vlok, Jan; Rouget, Mathieu; Hoffman, M. T.; Balmford, Andrew; Cowling, R. M.

    2009-04-01

    Improved techniques for measuring and monitoring the state of biodiversity are required for reporting on national obligations to international and regional conservation institutions. Measuring the extent of grazing-related degradation in semi-arid ecosystems has proved difficult. Here we present an accurate and cost-effective method for doing this, and apply it in a South African semi-arid region that forms part of a globally significant biodiversity hotspot. We grouped structurally and functionally similar vegetation units, which were expert-mapped at the 1:50,000 scale, into four habitat types, and developed habitat-specific degradation models. We quantified degradation into three categories, using differences between dry and wet season values of the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) for the three succulent karoo habitats, and the difference between maximum and mean NDVI values for the subtropical thicket habitat. Field evaluation revealed an accuracy of 86%. Overall, degradation was high: 24% of the study area was modeled as severely degraded, and only 9% as intact. Levels of degradation were highest for bottomland habitats that were most exposed to grazing impacts. In sharp contrast to our methods, a widely used, broad-scale and snapshot assessment of land cover in South Africa was only 33% accurate, and it considerably underestimated the extent of severely degraded habitat in the study area. While our approach requires a multidisciplinary team, and in particular expert knowledge on the characteristics and spatial delimitation of vegetation types, it is repeatable, rapid, and relatively inexpensive. Consequently, it holds great promise for monitoring and evaluation programs in semi-arid ecosystems, in Africa, and beyond.

  7. Holding Down Costs at Academic Research Libraries: A Consortial Approach. Final Report Submitted to the U.S. Department of Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lemke, Darrell

    The first of five sections in this final report for the College Cost Containment Project describes the organizational structure and purposes of the Washington Research Library Consortium (WRLC) and identifies the cost containment issues addressed by the project. The remaining sections describe the programs developed by the WRLC as appropriate…

  8. The potential cost-effectiveness of the Diamondback 360® Coronary Orbital Atherectomy System for treating de novo, severely calcified coronary lesions: an economic modeling approach

    PubMed Central

    Chambers, Jeffrey; Généreux, Philippe; Lee, Arthur; Lewin, Jack; Young, Christopher; Crittendon, Janna; Mann, Marita; Garrison, Louis P.

    2015-01-01

    Background: Patients who undergo percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) for severely calcified coronary lesions have long been known to have worse clinical and economic outcomes than patients with no or mildly calcified lesions. We sought to assess the likely cost-effectiveness of using the Diamondback 360® Orbital Atherectomy System (OAS) in the treatment of de novo, severely calcified lesions from a health-system perspective. Methods and results: In the absence of a head-to-head trial and long-term follow up, cost-effectiveness was based on a modeled synthesis of clinical and economic data. A cost-effectiveness model was used to project the likely economic impact. To estimate the net cost impact, the cost of using the OAS technology in elderly (⩾ 65 years) Medicare patients with de novo severely calcified lesions was compared with cost offsets. Elderly OAS patients from the ORBIT II trial (Evaluate the Safety and Efficacy of OAS in Treating Severely Calcified Coronary Lesions) [ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01092426] were indirectly compared with similar patients using observational data. For the index procedure, the comparison was with Medicare data, and for both revascularization and cardiac death in the following year, the comparison was with a pooled analysis of the Harmonizing Outcomes with Revascularization and Stents in Acute Myocardial Infarction (HORIZONS-AMI)/Acute Catheterization and Urgent Intervention Triage Strategy (ACUITY) trials. After adjusting for differences in age, gender, and comorbidities, the ORBIT II mean index procedure costs were 17% (p < 0.001) lower, approximately US$2700. Estimated mean revascularization costs were lower by US$1240 in the base case. These cost offsets in the first year, on average, fully cover the cost of the device with an additional 1.2% cost savings. Even in the low-value scenario, the use of the OAS is cost-effective with a cost per life-year gained of US$11,895. Conclusions: Based on economic modeling

  9. Costing RTS,S introduction in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya, Senegal, Tanzania, and Uganda: A generalizable approach drawing on publicly available data.

    PubMed

    Galactionova, Katya; Bertram, Melanie; Lauer, Jeremy; Tediosi, Fabrizio

    2015-11-27

    Recent results from the phase 3 trial of RTS,S/AS01 malaria vaccine show that the vaccine induced partial protection against clinical malaria in infants and children; given the high burden of the disease it is currently considered for use in malaria endemic countries. To inform adoption decisions the paper proposes a generalizable methodology to estimate the cost of vaccine introduction using routinely collected and publicly available data from the cMYP, UNICEF, and WHO-CHOICE. Costing is carried out around a set of generic activities, assumptions, and inputs for delivery of immunization services adapted to a given country and deployment modality to capture among other factors the structure of the EPI program, distribution model, geography, and demographics particular to the setting. The methodology is applied to estimate the cost of RTS,S introduction in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya, Senegal, Tanzania, and Uganda. At an assumed vaccine price of $5 per dose and given our assumptions on coverage and deployment strategy, we estimate total economic program costs for a 6-9 months cohort within $23.11-$28.28 per fully vaccinated child across the 6 countries. Net of procurement, costs at country level are substantial; for instance in Tanzania these could add as much as $4.2 million per year or an additional $2.4 per infant depending on the level of spare capacity in the system. Differences in cost of vaccine introduction across countries are primarily driven by differences in cost of labour. Overall estimates generated with the methodology result in costs within the ranges reported for other new vaccines introduced in SSA and capture multiple sources of heterogeneity in costs across countries. Further validation with data from field trials will support use of the methodology while also serving as a validation for cMYP and WHO-CHOICE as resources for costing health interventions in the region. PMID:26518406

  10. Cost goals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoag, J.

    1981-01-01

    Cost goal activities for the point focusing parabolic dish program are reported. Cost goals involve three tasks: (1) determination of the value of the dish systems to potential users; (2) the cost targets of the dish system are set out; (3) the value side and cost side are integrated to provide information concerning the potential size of the market for parabolic dishes. The latter two activities are emphasized.

  11. Tracking Costs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Erickson, Paul W.

    2010-01-01

    Even though there's been a slight reprieve in energy costs, the reality is that the cost of non-renewable energy is increasing, and state education budgets are shrinking. One way to keep energy and operations costs from overshadowing education budgets is to develop a 10-year energy audit plan to eliminate waste. First, facility managers should…

  12. A population dynamic approach to evaluating the impact of school attendance on the unit cost and effectiveness of school-based schistosomiasis chemotherapy programmes.

    PubMed

    Carabin, H; Chan, M S; Guyatt, H L

    2000-08-01

    This paper presents a first attempt at modelling the possible cost and effectiveness of reaching non-enrolled children through school-based programmes using empirical data from Egypt. A sex/school-attendance/age-structured population dynamic model was used to predict trends in infection and early disease. Four treatment delivery strategies were compared: school-based (coverage of 85 %) and school-aged targeted (coverage of 25, 50 and 85 %). The school-aged targeted strategies also included the school-based programme. For each alternative strategy, the maximum unit cost was calculated to obtain a cost-effectiveness ratio equal or smaller to the one obtained with the school-based programme (unit cost of US$ 0.60). The analysis showed that, for S. mansoni in Lower Egypt, a programme where only 85% of children attending school were treated would still prevent 77 % of the early disease cases prevented with a programme where 85 % of all school-age children were treated. However, using the school-aged targeted strategy, from US $ 0.06 to US $ 1.03 extra unit costs could be spent to reach non-enrolled children and still be more cost-effective. Treating non-enrolled children is an important consideration in maximizing the effectiveness of treatment programmes while maintaining a cost-effectiveness comparable to school-based delivery. PMID:11085237

  13. Cost tradeoffs in consequence management at nuclear power plants: A risk based approach to setting optimal long-term interdiction limits for regulatory analyses

    SciTech Connect

    Mubayi, V.

    1995-05-01

    The consequences of severe accidents at nuclear power plants can be limited by various protective actions, including emergency responses and long-term measures, to reduce exposures of affected populations. Each of these protective actions involve costs to society. The costs of the long-term protective actions depend on the criterion adopted for the allowable level of long-term exposure. This criterion, called the ``long term interdiction limit,`` is expressed in terms of the projected dose to an individual over a certain time period from the long-term exposure pathways. The two measures of offsite consequences, latent cancers and costs, are inversely related and the choice of an interdiction limit is, in effect, a trade-off between these two measures. By monetizing the health effects (through ascribing a monetary value to life lost), the costs of the two consequence measures vary with the interdiction limit, the health effect costs increasing as the limit is relaxed and the protective action costs decreasing. The minimum of the total cost curve can be used to calculate an optimal long term interdiction limit. The calculation of such an optimal limit is presented for each of five US nuclear power plants which were analyzed for severe accident risk in the NUREG-1150 program by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

  14. Identifying costs for capitation in psychiatric case management.

    PubMed

    Baker, J J; Chiverton, P; Hines, V

    1998-01-01

    This article presents an example of how one hospital identified costs for capitation in psychiatric case management. An 18-month postacute case management pilot project collected data on a nurse-specific and patient-specific basis. Costs were identified using activity-based costing methodology. PMID:9502055

  15. Fluorescent profiling of modular biosynthetic enzymes by complementary metabolic and activity based probes.

    PubMed

    Meier, Jordan L; Mercer, Andrew C; Burkart, Michael D

    2008-04-23

    The study of the enzymes responsible for natural product biosynthesis has proven a valuable source of new enzymatic activities and been applied to a number of biotechnology applications. Protein profiling could prove highly complementary to genetics based approaches by allowing us to understand the activity, transcriptional control, and post-translational modification of these enzymes in their native and dynamic proteomic environments. Here we present a method for the fluorescent profiling of PKS, NRPS, and FAS multidomain modular synthases in their whole proteomes using complementary metabolic and activity based probes. After first examining the reactivity of these activity based probes with a variety of purified recombinant PKS, NRPS, and FAS enzymes in vitro, we apply this duel labeling strategy to the analysis of modular synthases in a human breast cancer cell line and two strains of the natural product producer Bacillus subtilis. Collectively, these studies demonstrate that complementary protein profiling approaches can prove highly useful in the identification and assignment of inhibitor specificity and domain structure of these modular biosynthetic enzymes. PMID:18376827

  16. Cost analysis of Periodontitis management in public sector specialist dental clinics

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The objective of this paper is to quantify the cost of periodontitis management at public sector specialist periodontal clinic settings and analyse the distribution of cost components. Methods Five specialist periodontal clinics in the Ministry of Health represented the public sector in providing clinical and cost data for this study. Newly-diagnosed periodontitis patients (N = 165) were recruited and followed up for one year of specialist periodontal care. Direct and indirect costs from the societal viewpoint were included in the cost analysis. They were measured in 2012 Ringgit Malaysia (MYR) and estimated from the societal perspective using activity-based and step-down costing methods, and substantiated by clinical pathways. Cost of dental equipment, consumables and labour (average treatment time) for each procedure was measured using activity-based costing method. Meanwhile, unit cost calculations for clinic administration, utilities and maintenance used step-down approach. Patient expenditures and absence from work were recorded via diary entries. The conversion from MYR to Euro was based on the 2012 rate (1€ = MYR4). Results A total of 2900 procedures were provided, with an average cost of MYR 2820 (€705) per patient for the study year, and MYR 376 (€94) per outpatient visit. Out of this, 90% was contributed by provider cost and 10% by patient cost; 94% for direct cost and 4% for lost productivity. Treatment of aggressive periodontitis was significantly higher than for chronic periodontitis (t-test, P = 0.003). Higher costs were expended as disease severity increased (ANOVA, P = 0.022) and for patients requiring surgeries (ANOVA, P < 0.001). Providers generally spent most on consumables while patients spent most on transportation. Conclusions Cost of providing dental treatment for periodontitis patients at public sector specialist settings were substantial and comparable with some non-communicable diseases. These findings

  17. Nesting High-resolution Multi-layer Photosynthesis Approaches in Current Forest Productivity Models: A Cost-Benefit Analysis in the Time-Frequency Domain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Siqueira, M.; Katul, G.; Sampson, D. A.; Stoy, P.; Juang, J.; Oren, R.

    2004-12-01

    Ecosystem processes relevant to carbon transfer and storage are known to vary over many time and space scales. In the time domain, processes ranging from seconds, such as turbulent transport, to seasons, such as plant phenology, affect assimilation and respiration, which in turn, control carbon allocation over time scales of days to years. These inter-related processes contribute to the forest development (often measured in years to decades) and long-term carbon sequestration. To date, no single model captures the entire spectrum of variability of these processes; rather, a modular approach is adopted in which the forcing and response variables are mechanistically coupled over an inherent or assumed time scale that is then integrated to longer time scales. The effect of such modular parameterization of the "fast" processes and their cross-scale interaction with the slowly varying processes on long-term carbon sequestration remains a subject of investigation. We address this problem in two ways. First, we perform a multi-model inter-comparison in the time and frequency domains to assess how different parameterizations of photosynthesis and water vapor fluxes in forest growth models (e.g. BGC, SECRETS, PnET and 3PG) reproduce the observed spectrum of these two fluxes from hours to years. These models were chosen because they significantly vary in complexity and integration time step, thereby "filtering" the flux spectrum differently. Next, we explore the consequences of this filtering on cross-scale information flow using a newly proposed nested scheme that employs multi-species allocation routines with assimilation calculated with CANVEG. CANVEG is a multi-layer and multi-species model that resolves the entire canopy microclimate and uses a dynamic leaf area density as an input. The analysis is done in a cost-benefit fashion evaluating the gain in predictive skills of long-term carbon sequestration as result of extra model complexity and added parameterizations. As

  18. Cost Estimation and Control for Flight Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hammond, Walter E.; Vanhook, Michael E. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    Good program management practices, cost analysis, cost estimation, and cost control for aerospace flight systems are interrelated and depend upon each other. The best cost control process cannot overcome poor design or poor systems trades that lead to the wrong approach. The project needs robust Technical, Schedule, Cost, Risk, and Cost Risk practices before it can incorporate adequate Cost Control. Cost analysis both precedes and follows cost estimation -- the two are closely coupled with each other and with Risk analysis. Parametric cost estimating relationships and computerized models are most often used. NASA has learned some valuable lessons in controlling cost problems, and recommends use of a summary Project Manager's checklist as shown here.

  19. Advancing understanding of microbial bioenergy conversion processes by activity-based protein profiling

    SciTech Connect

    Liu, Yun; Fredrickson, James K.; Sadler, Natalie C.; Nandhikonda, Premchendar; Smith, Richard D.; Wright, Aaron T.

    2015-09-25

    Here, the development of renewable biofuels is a global priority, but success will require novel technologies that greatly improve our understanding of microbial systems biology. An approach with great promise in enabling functional characterization of microbes is activity-based protein profiling (ABPP), which employs chemical probes to directly measure enzyme function in discrete enzyme classes in vivo and/or in vitro, thereby facilitating the rapid discovery of new biocatalysts and enabling much improved biofuel production platforms. We review general design strategies in ABPP, and highlight recent advances that are or could be pivotal to biofuels processes including applications of ABPP to cellulosic bioethanol, biodiesel, and phototrophic production of hydrocarbons. We also examine the key challenges and opportunities of ABPP in renewable biofuels research. The integration of ABPP with molecular and systems biology approaches will shed new insight on the catalytic and regulatory mechanisms of functional enzymes and their synergistic effects in the field of biofuels production.

  20. Wind Integration Cost and Cost-Causation: Preprint

    SciTech Connect

    Milligan, M.; Kirby, B.; Holttinen, H.; Kiviluoma, J.; Estanqueiro, A.; Martin-Martinez, S.; Gomez-Lazaro, E.; Peneda, I.; Smith, C.

    2013-10-01

    The question of wind integration cost has received much attention in the past several years. The methodological challenges to calculating integration costs are discussed in this paper. There are other sources of integration cost unrelated to wind energy. A performance-based approach would be technology neutral, and would provide price signals for all technology types. However, it is difficult to correctly formulate such an approach. Determining what is and is not an integration cost is challenging. Another problem is the allocation of system costs to one source. Because of significant nonlinearities, this can prove to be impossible to determine in an accurate and objective way.

  1. Efficient Research Design: Using Value-of-Information Analysis to Estimate the Optimal Mix of Top-down and Bottom-up Costing Approaches in an Economic Evaluation alongside a Clinical Trial.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Edward C F; Mugford, Miranda; Barton, Garry; Shepstone, Lee

    2016-04-01

    In designing economic evaluations alongside clinical trials, analysts are frequently faced with alternative methods of collecting the same data, the extremes being top-down ("gross costing") and bottom-up ("micro-costing") approaches. A priori, bottom-up approaches may be considered superior to top-down approaches but are also more expensive to collect and analyze. In this article, we use value-of-information analysis to estimate the efficient mix of observations on each method in a proposed clinical trial. By assigning a prior bivariate distribution to the 2 data collection processes, the predicted posterior (i.e., preposterior) mean and variance of the superior process can be calculated from proposed samples using either process. This is then used to calculate the preposterior mean and variance of incremental net benefit and hence the expected net gain of sampling. We apply this method to a previously collected data set to estimate the value of conducting a further trial and identifying the optimal mix of observations on drug costs at 2 levels: by individual item (process A) and by drug class (process B). We find that substituting a number of observations on process A for process B leads to a modest £ 35,000 increase in expected net gain of sampling. Drivers of the results are the correlation between the 2 processes and their relative cost. This method has potential use following a pilot study to inform efficient data collection approaches for a subsequent full-scale trial. It provides a formal quantitative approach to inform trialists whether it is efficient to collect resource use data on all patients in a trial or on a subset of patients only or to collect limited data on most and detailed data on a subset. PMID:26762649

  2. Integrating top-down and bottom-up approaches to design a cost-effective and equitable programme of measures for adaptation of a river basin to global change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Girard, Corentin; Rinaudo, Jean-Daniel; Pulido-Velazquez, Manuel

    2016-04-01

    Adaptation to the multiple facets of global change challenges the conventional means of sustainably planning and managing water resources at the river basin scale. Numerous demand or supply management options are available, from which adaptation measures need to be selected in a context of high uncertainty of future conditions. Given the interdependency of water users, agreements need to be found at the local level to implement the most effective adaptation measures. Therefore, this work develops an approach combining economics and water resources engineering to select a cost-effective programme of adaptation measures in the context of climate change uncertainty, and to define an equitable allocation of the cost of the adaptation plan between the stakeholders involved. A framework is developed to integrate inputs from the two main approaches commonly used to plan for adaptation. The first, referred to as "top-down", consists of a modelling chain going from global greenhouse gases emission scenarios to local hydrological models used to assess the impact of climate change on water resources. Conversely, the second approach, called "bottom-up", starts from assessing vulnerability at the local level to then identify adaptation measures used to face an uncertain future. The methodological framework presented in this contribution relies on a combination of these two approaches to support the selection of adaptation measures at the local level. Outcomes from these two approaches are integrated to select a cost-effective combination of adaptation measures through a least-cost optimization model developed at the river basin scale. The performances of a programme of measures are assessed under different climate projections to identify cost-effective and least-regret adaptation measures. The issue of allocating the cost of the adaptation plan is considered through two complementary perspectives. The outcome of a negotiation process between the stakeholders is modelled through

  3. Designers' unified cost model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Freeman, W.; Ilcewicz, L.; Swanson, G.; Gutowski, T.

    1992-01-01

    The Structures Technology Program Office (STPO) at NASA LaRC has initiated development of a conceptual and preliminary designers' cost prediction model. The model will provide a technically sound method for evaluating the relative cost of different composite structural designs, fabrication processes, and assembly methods that can be compared to equivalent metallic parts or assemblies. The feasibility of developing cost prediction software in a modular form for interfacing with state-of-the-art preliminary design tools and computer aided design programs is being evaluated. The goal of this task is to establish theoretical cost functions that relate geometric design features to summed material cost and labor content in terms of process mechanics and physics. The output of the designers' present analytical tools will be input for the designers' cost prediction model to provide the designer with a database and deterministic cost methodology that allows one to trade and synthesize designs with both cost and weight as objective functions for optimization. This paper presents the team members, approach, goals, plans, and progress to date for development of COSTADE (Cost Optimization Software for Transport Aircraft Design Evaluation).

  4. Designer's unified cost model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Freeman, William T.; Ilcewicz, L. B.; Swanson, G. D.; Gutowski, T.

    1992-01-01

    A conceptual and preliminary designers' cost prediction model has been initiated. The model will provide a technically sound method for evaluating the relative cost of different composite structural designs, fabrication processes, and assembly methods that can be compared to equivalent metallic parts or assemblies. The feasibility of developing cost prediction software in a modular form for interfacing with state of the art preliminary design tools and computer aided design programs is being evaluated. The goal of this task is to establish theoretical cost functions that relate geometric design features to summed material cost and labor content in terms of process mechanics and physics. The output of the designers' present analytical tools will be input for the designers' cost prediction model to provide the designer with a data base and deterministic cost methodology that allows one to trade and synthesize designs with both cost and weight as objective functions for optimization. The approach, goals, plans, and progress is presented for development of COSTADE (Cost Optimization Software for Transport Aircraft Design Evaluation).

  5. Giant cane (Arundo donax L.) can substitute traditional energy crops in producing energy by anaerobic digestion, reducing surface area and costs: A full-scale approach.

    PubMed

    Corno, Luca; Lonati, Samuele; Riva, Carlo; Pilu, Roberto; Adani, Fabrizio

    2016-10-01

    Arundo donax L. (Giant cane) was used in a full-scale anaerobic digester (AD) plant (power of 380kWhEE) in partial substitution for corn to produce biogas and electricity. Corn substitution was made on a biomethane potential (BMP) basis so that A. donax L. after substitution accounted for 15.6% of the total mix-BMP (BMPmix) and corn for 66.6% BMPmix. Results obtained indicated that Giant cane was able to substitute for corn, reducing both biomass and electricity production costs, because of both higher biomass productivity (Mg total solid Ha(-1)) and lower biomass cost (€Ha(-1)). Total electricity biogas costs were reduced by 5.5%. The total biomass cost, the total surface area needed to produce the energy crop and the total cost of producing electricity can be reduced by 75.5%, 36.6% and 22%, by substituting corn completely with Giant cane in the mix fed to the full-scale plant. PMID:27428299

  6. Neurobiology driving hyperactivity in activity-based anorexia.

    PubMed

    Adan, R A H; Hillebrand, J J G; Danner, U N; Cardona Cano, S; Kas, M J H; Verhagen, L A W

    2011-01-01

    Hyperactivity in anorexia nervosa is difficult to control and negatively impacts outcome. Hyperactivity is a key driving force to starvation in an animal model named activity-based anorexia (ABA). Recent research has started unraveling what mechanisms underlie this hyperactivity. Besides a general increase in locomotor activity that may be an expression of foraging behavior and involves frontal brain regions, the increased locomotor activity expressed before food is presented (food anticipatory behavior or FAA) involves hypothalamic neural circuits. Ghrelin plays a role in FAA, whereas decreased leptin signaling is involved in both aspects of increased locomotor activity. We hypothesize that increased ghrelin and decreased leptin signaling drive the activity of dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area. In anorexia nervosa patients, this altered activity of the dopamine system may be involved not only in hyperactivity but also in aberrant cognitive processing related to food. PMID:21243479

  7. Phosphoramidates as novel activity-based probes for serine proteases.

    PubMed

    Haedke, Ute R; Frommel, Sandra C; Hansen, Fabian; Hahne, Hannes; Kuster, Bernhard; Bogyo, Matthew; Verhelst, Steven H L

    2014-05-26

    Activity-based probes (ABPs) are small molecules that exclusively form covalent bonds with catalytically active enzymes. In the last decade, they have especially been used in functional proteomics studies of proteases. Here, we present phosphoramidate peptides as a novel type of ABP for serine proteases. These molecules can be made in a straightforward manner by standard Fmoc-based solid-phase peptide synthesis, allowing rapid diversification. The resulting ABPs covalently bind different serine proteases, depending on the amino acid recognition element adjacent to the reactive group. A reporter tag enables downstream gel-based analysis or LC-MS/MS-mediated identification of the targeted proteases. Overall, we believe that these readily accessible probes will provide new avenues for the functional study of serine proteases in complex proteomes. PMID:24817682

  8. Activity-based intelligence tipping and cueing using polarimetric sensors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lewis, Christian M.; Messinger, David; Gartley, Michael G.

    2014-05-01

    Activity Based Intelligence (ABI) is the derivation of information from the composite of a series of individual actions being recorded over a period of time. Due to its temporal nature, ABI is usually developed from Motion Imagery (MI) or Full Motion Video (FMV) taken of a given scene. One of today's common issues is sifting through such large volumes of temporal data. Here we propose using a technique known as tipping an cueing to alleviate the need to manually sift through said data. Being able to tip the analysts or automated algorithm towards a particular person or object in the data is useful in reducing search time. We propose using a polarimetric sensor to identify objects of interest, in a scene where their signature would be unusual. Once identified, this data will be used to cue a FMV RGB sensor to track the object and determine the activities being executed by the person bringing the object into the scene.

  9. Activity-Based Probe for N-Acylethanolamine Acid Amidase.

    PubMed

    Romeo, Elisa; Ponzano, Stefano; Armirotti, Andrea; Summa, Maria; Bertozzi, Fabio; Garau, Gianpiero; Bandiera, Tiziano; Piomelli, Daniele

    2015-09-18

    N-Acylethanolamine acid amidase (NAAA) is a lysosomal cysteine hydrolase involved in the degradation of saturated and monounsaturated fatty acid ethanolamides (FAEs), a family of endogenous lipid signaling molecules that includes oleoylethanolamide (OEA) and palmitoylethanolamide (PEA). Among the reported NAAA inhibitors, α-amino-β-lactone (3-aminooxetan-2-one) derivatives have been shown to prevent FAE hydrolysis in innate-immune and neural cells and to reduce reactions to inflammatory stimuli. Recently, we disclosed two potent and selective NAAA inhibitors, the compounds ARN077 (5-phenylpentyl-N-[(2S,3R)-2-methyl-4-oxo-oxetan-3-yl]carbamate) and ARN726 (4-cyclohexylbutyl-N-[(S)-2-oxoazetidin-3-yl]carbamate). The former is active in vivo by topical administration in rodent models of hyperalgesia and allodynia, while the latter exerts systemic anti-inflammatory effects in mouse models of lung inflammation. In the present study, we designed and validated a derivative of ARN726 as the first activity-based protein profiling (ABPP) probe for the in vivo detection of NAAA. The newly synthesized molecule 1 is an effective in vitro and in vivo click-chemistry activity based probe (ABP), which is able to capture the catalytically active form of NAAA in Human Embryonic Kidney 293 (HEK293) cells overexpressing human NAAA as well as in rat lung tissue. Competitive ABPP with 1 confirmed that ARN726 and ARN077 inhibit NAAA in vitro and in vivo. Compound 1 is a useful new tool to identify activated NAAA both in vitro and in vivo and to investigate the physiological and pathological roles of this enzyme. PMID:26102511

  10. Cost analysis of atmosphere monitoring systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yakut, M. M.

    1973-01-01

    The cost analyses of two leading atmospheric monitoring systems, namely the mass spectrometer and the gas chromatograph, are reported. A summary of the approach used in developing the cost estimating techinques is presented; included are the cost estimating techniques, the development of cost estimating relationships and the atmospheric monitoring system cost estimates.

  11. Substrate-competitive activity-based profiling of ester prodrug activating enzymes

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Hao; Majmudar, Jaimeen D.; Davda, Dahvid; Ghanakota, Phani; Kim, Ki H.; Carlson, Heather A.; Showalter, Hollis D.; Martin, Brent R.; Amidon, Gordon L.

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the mechanistic basis of prodrug delivery and activation is critical for establishing species-specific prodrug sensitivities necessary for evaluating pre-clinical animal models and potential drug-drug interactions. Despite significant adoption of prodrug methodologies for enhanced pharmacokinetics, functional annotation of prodrug activating enzymes is laborious and often unaddressed. Activity-based protein profiling (ABPP) describes an emerging chemoproteomic approach to assay active site occupancy within a mechanistically similar enzyme class in native proteomes. The serine hydrolase enzyme family is broadly reactive with reporter-linked fluorophosphonates, which have shown to provide a mechanism-based covalent labeling strategy to assay the activation state and active site occupancy of cellular serine amidases, esterases, and thioesterases. Here we describe a modified ABPP approach using direct substrate competition to identify activating enzymes for an ethyl ester prodrug, the influenza neuraminidase inhibitor oseltamivir. Substrate-competitive ABPP analysis identified carboxylesterase 1 (CES1) as an oseltamivir-activating enzyme in intestinal cell homogenates. Saturating concentrations of oseltamivir lead to a 4-fold reduction in the observed rate constant for CES1 inactivation by fluorophosphonates. WWL50, a reported carbamate inhibitor of mouse CES1, blocked oseltamivir hydrolysis activity in human cell homogenates, confirming CES1 is the primary prodrug activating enzyme for oseltamivir in human liver and intestinal cell lines. The related carbamate inhibitor WWL79 inhibited mouse, but not human CES1, providing a series of probes for analyzing prodrug activation mechanisms in different preclinical models. Overall, we present a substrate-competitive activity-based profiling approach for broadly surveying candidate prodrug hydrolyzing enzymes and outline the kinetic parameters for activating enzyme discovery, ester prodrug design and preclinical

  12. Troubleshooting Costs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kornacki, Jeffrey L.

    Seventy-six million cases of foodborne disease occur each year in the United States alone. Medical and lost productivity costs of the most common pathogens are estimated to be 5.6-9.4 billion. Product recalls, whether from foodborne illness or spoilage, result in added costs to manufacturers in a variety of ways. These may include expenses associated with lawsuits from real or allegedly stricken individuals and lawsuits from shorted customers. Other costs include those associated with efforts involved in finding the source of the contamination and eliminating it and include time when lines are shut down and therefore non-productive, additional non-routine testing, consultant fees, time and personnel required to overhaul the entire food safety system, lost market share to competitors, and the cost associated with redesign of the factory and redesign or acquisition of more hygienic equipment. The cost associated with an effective quality assurance plan is well worth the effort to prevent the situations described.

  13. CLINICAL SURFACES - Activity-Based Computing for Distributed Multi-Display Environments in Hospitals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bardram, Jakob E.; Bunde-Pedersen, Jonathan; Doryab, Afsaneh; Sørensen, Steffen

    A multi-display environment (MDE) is made up of co-located and networked personal and public devices that form an integrated workspace enabling co-located group work. Traditionally, MDEs have, however, mainly been designed to support a single “smart room”, and have had little sense of the tasks and activities that the MDE is being used for. This paper presents a novel approach to support activity-based computing in distributed MDEs, where displays are physically distributed across a large building. CLINICAL SURFACES was designed for clinical work in hospitals, and enables context-sensitive retrieval and browsing of patient data on public displays. We present the design and implementation of CLINICAL SURFACES, and report from an evaluation of the system at a large hospital. The evaluation shows that using distributed public displays to support activity-based computing inside a hospital is very useful for clinical work, and that the apparent contradiction between maintaining privacy of medical data in a public display environment can be mitigated by the use of CLINICAL SURFACES.

  14. Confirming target engagement for reversible inhibitors in vivo by kinetically tuned activity-based probes.

    PubMed

    Adibekian, Alexander; Martin, Brent R; Chang, Jae Won; Hsu, Ku-Lung; Tsuboi, Katsunori; Bachovchin, Daniel A; Speers, Anna E; Brown, Steven J; Spicer, Timothy; Fernandez-Vega, Virneliz; Ferguson, Jill; Hodder, Peter S; Rosen, Hugh; Cravatt, Benjamin F

    2012-06-27

    The development of small-molecule inhibitors for perturbing enzyme function requires assays to confirm that the inhibitors interact with their enzymatic targets in vivo. Determining target engagement in vivo can be particularly challenging for poorly characterized enzymes that lack known biomarkers (e.g., endogenous substrates and products) to report on their inhibition. Here, we describe a competitive activity-based protein profiling (ABPP) method for measuring the binding of reversible inhibitors to enzymes in animal models. Key to the success of this approach is the use of activity-based probes that show tempered rates of reactivity with enzymes, such that competition for target engagement with reversible inhibitors can be measured in vivo. We apply the competitive ABPP strategy to evaluate a newly described class of piperazine amide reversible inhibitors for the serine hydrolases LYPLA1 and LYPLA2, two enzymes for which selective, in vivo active inhibitors are lacking. Competitive ABPP identified individual piperazine amides that selectively inhibit LYPLA1 or LYPLA2 in mice. In summary, competitive ABPP adapted to operate with moderately reactive probes can assess the target engagement of reversible inhibitors in animal models to facilitate the discovery of small-molecule probes for characterizing enzyme function in vivo. PMID:22690931

  15. Confirming Target Engagement for Reversible Inhibitors In Vivo by Kinetically Tuned Activity-Based Probes

    PubMed Central

    Adibekian, Alexander; Martin, Brent R.; Chang, Jae Won; Hsu, Ku-Lung; Tsuboi, Katsunori; Bachovchin, Daniel A.; Speers, Anna E.; Brown, Steven J.; Spicer, Timothy; Fernandez-Vega, Virneliz; Ferguson, Jill; Hodder, Peter S.; Rosen, Hugh; Cravatt, Benjamin F.

    2012-01-01

    The development of small-molecule inhibitors for perturbing enzyme function requires assays to confirm that the inhibitors interact with their enzymatic targets in vivo. Determining target engagement in vivo can be particularly challenging for poorly characterized enzymes that lack known biomarkers (e.g., endogenous substrates and products) to report on their inhibition. Here, we describe a competitive activity-based protein profiling (ABPP) method for measuring the binding of reversible inhibitors to enzymes in animal models. Key to the success of this approach is the use of activity-based probes that show tempered rates of reactivity with enzymes, such that competition for target engagement with reversible inhibitors can be measured in vivo. We apply the competitive ABPP strategy to evaluate a newly described class of piperazine amide reversible inhibitors for the serine hydrolases LYPAL1 and LYPLA2, two enzymes for which selective, in vivo-active inhibitors are lacking. Competitive ABPP identified individual piperazine amides that selectively inhibit LYPLA1 or LYPLA2 in mice. In summary, competitive ABPP adapted to operate with moderately reactive probes can assess the target engagement of reversible inhibitors in animal models to facilitate the discovery of small-molecule probes for characterizing enzyme function in vivo. PMID:22690931

  16. [Cost analysis of twenty-nine nuclear medicine procedures].

    PubMed

    Kastanioti, Catherine K; Alphalbouharali, Gihand; Fotopoulos, Andreas

    2004-01-01

    The aim of this study was to compare actual cost estimates for diagnostic procedures as applied in the nuclear medicine department of our University Hospital, with cost estimates obtained through an analytical activity-based costing methodology. Activity data on the use of twenty-nine nuclear medicine procedures were collected. The actual hospital prices for the fiscal years of 2003-2004 were obtained from the Accounting Department of the Hospital. Cost estimates were calculated per patient. Activity-based data were compared with hospital prices and also with unit costs from the activity-based costing methodology. Our results showed a significant statistical difference between unit cost estimates per patient based on hospital prices, as compared with those based on unit costs. This study shows that in our university hospital, reliance on generic hospital prices for nuclear medicine procedures, considerable underestimates their real cost by a mean value of 40% as derived through the activity-based costing methodology and can lead to substantial financial hospital deficits. PMID:15841290

  17. AN APPROACH TO COST EFFECTIVENESS OF A SELECTIVE MECHANIZED DOCUMENT PROCESSING SYSTEM. ARMY TECHNICAL LIBRARY IMPROVEMENT STUDIES (ATLIS), REPORT NO. 12.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    SEGARRA, CARLOS O.

    THE PURPOSE OF THE PROJECT WAS TO IDENTIFY AND DEFINE THE PARAMETERS OF AN ECONOMICAL AND PRACTICAL INFORMATION SYSTEM FOR THE U.S. ARMY ENGINEER RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT LABORATORIES. THE PROGRAM INCLUDED FOUR PHASES--(1) DATA REQUIREMENTS DEFINITION, (2) COST ANALYSIS AND SYSTEM DEFINITION, (3) HARDWARE SELECTION, SYSTEM TEST AND EVALUATION, AND…

  18. Measuring the Social Recreation Per-Day Net Benefit of the Wildlife Amenities of a National Park: A Count-Data Travel-Cost Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mendes, Isabel; Proença, Isabel

    2011-11-01

    In this article, we apply count-data travel-cost methods to a truncated sample of visitors to estimate the Peneda-Gerês National Park (PGNP) average consumer surplus (CS) for each day of visit. The measurement of recreation demand is highly specific because it is calculated by number of days of stay per visit. We therefore propose the application of altered truncated count-data models or truncated count-data models on grouped data to estimate a single, on-site individual recreation demand function, with the price (cost) of each recreation day per trip equal to out-of-pocket and time travel plus out-of-pocket and on-site time costs. We further check the sensitivity of coefficient estimations to alternative models and analyse the welfare measure precision by using the delta and simulation methods by Creel and Loomis. With simulated limits, CS is estimated to be €194 (range €116 to €448). This information is of use in the quest to improve government policy and PNPG management and conservation as well as promote nature-based tourism. To our knowledge, this is the first attempt to measure the average recreation net benefits of each day of stay generated by a national park by using truncated altered and truncated grouped count-data travel-cost models based on observing the individual number of days of stay.

  19. Cost analysis of risperidone long-acting injection in the treatment of schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorders in Hong Kong: an approach using generalised estimating equations.

    PubMed

    Wu, David Bin-Chia; Lee, Edwin Ho Ming; Chung, Wai Sau; Chow, Danielle Pui Yu; Lee, Vivian Wing Yan; Wong, Ming Cheuk; Lee, Kenneth Kwing Chin

    2013-12-30

    Schizophrenia is one of the most expensive psychiatric illnesses. This study compared retrospectively health-care resources consumed 12 months before and 24 months after risperidone long-acting injection (RLAI) treatment in Hong Kong. A mirror-image analysis was conducted using data (N=191) from three public hospitals in Hong Kong from 2003 to 2007. The main outcome measure was hospitalisation cost. Other secondary outcomes such as hospitalisation episodes, outpatient visits and adverse events were also compared. A predictive model was established using linear regression based on generalised estimating equations. Analysis showed that RLAI was associated with a reduction in hospitalisation cost by HK$10,001,390 (24.7%) (HK$40,418,694 vs. HK$30,417,303; P-value <0.05). Days of hospitalisation were reduced by 1538 days (10.1%) (15,271 vs. 13,733; P-value <0.05). The predictive model estimated that the hospitalisation cost of patients using RLAI was only 11.1% (3.1-3.93%, 95% confidence interval (CI)) compared to those receiving conventional antipsychotics combined with oral risperidone. Cost of hospitalisation was significantly reduced after RLAI therapy. However, results should be considered as indicative or suggestive only, due to potential channelling bias where certain drug regimens are preferentially prescribed to patients with particular conditions. The findings from our study may be useful in health-care decision making considering treatment options for schizophrenia in resource-limited settings. PMID:24012164

  20. New Approaches for Analyzing Two Key and Related Issues in Faculty Salaries: Compression and Cost of Living. IR Applications, Volume 26, June 1, 2010

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weinberg, Sharon L.

    2010-01-01

    In the university setting, the issue of faculty morale typically has been linked to a variety of perceived inequities, including inequities in faculty salary. New approaches for analyzing two different, but related, types of inequity are proposed. One approach addresses whether salary compression, often perceived by faculty to exist, actually does…

  1. Cost assessment and ecological effectiveness of nutrient reduction options for mitigating Phaeocystis colony blooms in the Southern North Sea: an integrated modeling approach.

    PubMed

    Lancelot, Christiane; Thieu, Vincent; Polard, Audrey; Garnier, Josette; Billen, Gilles; Hecq, Walter; Gypens, Nathalie

    2011-05-01

    Nutrient reduction measures have been already taken by wealthier countries to decrease nutrient loads to coastal waters, in most cases however, prior to having properly assessed their ecological effectiveness and their economic costs. In this paper we describe an original integrated impact assessment methodology to estimate the direct cost and the ecological performance of realistic nutrient reduction options to be applied in the Southern North Sea watershed to decrease eutrophication, visible as Phaeocystis blooms and foam deposits on the beaches. The mathematical tool couples the idealized biogeochemical GIS-based model of the river system (SENEQUE-RIVERSTRAHLER) implemented in the Eastern Channel/Southern North Sea watershed to the biogeochemical MIRO model describing Phaeocystis blooms in the marine domain. Model simulations explore how nutrient reduction options regarding diffuse and/or point sources in the watershed would affect the Phaeocystis colony spreading in the coastal area. The reference and prospective simulations are performed for the year 2000 characterized by mean meteorological conditions, and nutrient reduction scenarios include and compare upgrading of wastewater treatment plants and changes in agricultural practices including an idealized shift towards organic farming. A direct cost assessment is performed for each realistic nutrient reduction scenario. Further the reduction obtained for Phaeocystis blooms is assessed by comparison with ecological indicators (bloom magnitude and duration) and the cost for reducing foam events on the beaches is estimated. Uncertainty brought by the added effect of meteorological conditions (rainfall) on coastal eutrophication is discussed. It is concluded that the reduction obtained by implementing realistic environmental measures on the short-term is costly and insufficient to restore well-balanced nutrient conditions in the coastal area while the replacement of conventional agriculture by organic farming

  2. Child Health Week in Zambia: costs, efficiency, coverage and a reassessment of need.

    PubMed

    Fiedler, John L; Mubanga, Freddie; Siamusantu, Ward; Musonda, Mofu; Kabwe, Kabaso F; Zulu, Charles

    2014-01-01

    Child Health Weeks (CHWs) are semi-annual, campaign-style, facility- and outreach-based events that provide a package of high-impact nutrition and health services to under-five children. Since 1999, 30% of the 85 countries that regularly implement campaign-style vitamin A supplementation programmes have transformed their programmes into CHW. Using data drawn from districts' budget, expenditures and salary documents, UNICEF's CHW planning and budgeting tool and a special purposive survey, an economic analysis of the June 2010 CHW's provision of measles, vitamin A and deworming was conducted using activity-based costing combined with an ingredients approach. Total CHW costs were estimated to be US$5.7 million per round. Measles accounted for 57%, deworming 22% and vitamin A 21% of total costs. The cost per child was US$0.46. The additional supplies and personnel required to include measles increased total costs by 42%, but reduced the average costs of providing vitamin A and deworming alone, manifesting economies of scope. The average costs of covering larger, more urban populations was less than the cost of covering smaller, more dispersed populations. Provincial-level costs per child served were determined primarily by the number of service sites, not the number of children treated. Reliance on volunteers to provide 60% of CHW manpower enables expanding coverage, shortening the duration of CHWs and reduces costs by one-third. With costs of $1093 per life saved and $45 per disability-adjusted life-year saved, WHO criteria classify Zambia's CHWs as 'very cost-effective'. The continued need for CHWs is discussed. PMID:23242696

  3. Activity-based kinase profiling of approved tyrosine kinase inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Kitagawa, Daisuke; Yokota, Koichi; Gouda, Masaki; Narumi, Yugo; Ohmoto, Hiroshi; Nishiwaki, Eiji; Akita, Kensaku; Kirii, Yasuyuki

    2013-02-01

    The specificities of nine approved tyrosine kinase inhibitors (imatinib, dasatinib, nilotinib, gefitinib, erlotinib, lapatinib, sorafenib, sunitinib, and pazopanib) were determined by activity-based kinase profiling using a large panel of human recombinant active kinases. This panel consisted of 79 tyrosine kinases, 199 serine/threonine kinases, three lipid kinases, and 29 disease-relevant mutant kinases. Many potential targets of each inhibitor were identified by kinase profiling at the K(m) for ATP. In addition, profiling at a physiological ATP concentration (1 mm) was carried out, and the IC(50) values of the inhibitors against each kinase were compared with the estimated plasma-free concentration (calculated from published pharmacokinetic parameters of plasma C(trough) and C(max) values). This analysis revealed that the approved kinase inhibitors were well optimized for their target kinases. This profiling also implicates activity at particular off-target kinases in drug side effects. Thus, large-scale kinase profiling at both K(m) and physiological ATP concentrations could be useful in characterizing the targets and off-targets of kinase inhibitors. PMID:23279183

  4. Activity-Based Probe for Histidine Kinase Signaling

    PubMed Central

    Wilke, Kaelyn E.; Francis, Samson; Carlson, Erin E.

    2012-01-01

    Bacterial two-component systems (TCSs) are signaling pathways composed of two proteins, a histidine kinase (HK) and a response regulator (RR). Upon stimulation, the HK autophosphorylates at a conserved histidine. The phosphoryl group is subsequently transferred to an aspartate on a RR, eliciting an adaptive response, often up- or downregulation of gene expression. TCS signaling controls many functions in bacteria including development, virulence and antibiotic resistance, making the proteins involved in these systems potential therapeutic targets. Efficient methods for the profiling of HKs are currently lacking. For direct readout of HK activity, we sought to design a probe that enables detection of the phosphotransfer event; however, analysis of the phosphohistidine species is made difficult by the instability of the P-N bond. We anticipated that use of a γ-thiophosphorylated ATP analog, which would yield a thiophosphorylated histidine intermediate, could overcome this challenge. We determined that the fluorophore-conjugated probe, ATPγS-BODIPY, labels active HK proteins and is competitive for the ATP-binding site. This activity-based probe provides a new strategy for analysis of TCSs and other HK-mediated processes and will facilitate both functional studies and inhibitor identification. PMID:22606938

  5. Application of Activity-Based Protein Profiling to Study Enzyme Function in Adipocytes

    PubMed Central

    Galmozzi, Andrea; Dominguez, Eduardo; Cravatt, Benjamin F.; Saez, Enrique

    2014-01-01

    Activity-Based Protein Profiling (ABPP) is a chemical proteomics approach that utilizes small-molecule probes to determine the functional state of enzymes directly in native systems. ABPP probes selectively label active enzymes, but not their inactive forms, facilitating the characterization of changes in enzyme activity that occur without alterations in protein levels. ABPP can be a tool superior to conventional gene expression and proteomic profiling methods to discover new enzymes active in adipocytes, and to detect differences in the activity of characterized enzymes that may be associated with disorders of adipose tissue function. ABPP probes have been developed that react selectively with most members of specific enzyme classes. Here, using as an example the serine hydrolase family that includes many enzymes with critical roles in adipocyte physiology, we describe methods to apply ABPP analysis to the study of adipocyte enzymatic pathways. PMID:24529438

  6. Electrophilic activity-based RNA probes reveal a self-alkylating RNA for RNA labeling

    PubMed Central

    McDonald, Richard I.; Guilinger, John P.; Mukherji, Shankar; Curtis, Edward A.; Lee, Won I.; Liu, David R.

    2014-01-01

    Probes that form covalent bonds with RNA molecules based on their chemical reactivity would advance our ability to study the transcriptome. We developed a set of electrophilic activity-based RNA probes designed to react with unusually nucleophilic RNAs. We used these probes to identify reactive genome-encoded RNAs, resulting in the discovery of a 42-nt catalytic RNA from an archaebacterium that reacts with a 2,3-disubstituted epoxide at N7 of a specific guanosine. Detailed characterization of the catalytic RNA revealed the structural requirements for reactivity. We developed this catalytic RNA into a general tool to selectively conjugate a small molecule to an RNA of interest. This strategy enabled up to 500-fold enrichment of target RNA from total mammalian RNA or from cell lysate. We demonstrated the utility of this approach by selectively capturing proteins in yeast cell lysate that bind to the ASH1 mRNA. PMID:25306441

  7. Activity-Based Micro-pricing: Realizing Sustainable Behavior Changes through Economic Incentives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamabe, Tetsuo; Lehdonvirta, Vili; Ito, Hitoshi; Soma, Hayuru; Kimura, Hiroaki; Nakajima, Tatsuo

    In this paper, we further develop the idea of combining pervasive computing techniques with electronic payment systems to create activity-based micro-incentives. Economic incentives are an effective way to influence consumer behavior, and are used in e.g. marketing and resource coordination. Our approach allows marketers and regulators to induce consumers to perform particular actions in new application domains by attaching micro-prices to a wider range of behaviors. A key challenge is designing incentive mechanisms that result in desired behavior changes. We examine two basic incentive models. Based on the results of preliminary experiments, we discuss how economic incentives can affect consumer attitudes and lead to sustainable behavior changes.

  8. An Activity-Based Learning Approach for Key Geographical Information Systems (GIS) Concepts

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Srivastava, Sanjeev Kumar; Tait, Cynthia

    2012-01-01

    This study presents the effect of active learning methods of concepts in geographical information systems where students participated in a series of interlocked learning experiences. These activities spanned several teaching weeks and involved the creation of a hand drawn map that was scanned and geo-referenced with locations' coordinates derived…

  9. Explorations in Physics: An Activity-Based Approach to Understanding the World

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jackson, David P.; Laws, Priscilla W.; Franklin, Scott V.

    2002-07-01

    Helps students to: Increase their scientific literacy and improve their critical thinking abilities.

  10. acquire mastery of a diverse subset of scientific concepts. develop positive attitudes about science. become comfortable reading graphs and interpreting their meaning. learn to use computers and other modern technologies with skill and confidence.

  11. Teaching Statistics Using Classic Psychology Research: An Activities-Based Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Holmes, Karen Y.; Dodd, Brett A.

    2012-01-01

    In this article, we discuss a collection of active learning activities derived from classic psychology studies that illustrate the appropriate use of descriptive and inferential statistics. (Contains 2 tables.)

  12. Estimating the cost of major ongoing cost plus hardware development programs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bush, J. C.

    1990-01-01

    Approaches are developed for forecasting the cost of major hardware development programs while these programs are in the design and development C/D phase. Three approaches are developed: a schedule assessment technique for bottom-line summary cost estimation, a detailed cost estimation approach, and an intermediate cost element analysis procedure. The schedule assessment technique was developed using historical cost/schedule performance data.

  13. Patterns of energy use, energy cost increases, and their impacts on crop production on the Big Island of Hawaii: a linear-programming approach

    SciTech Connect

    Koffi-Tessio, E.N.

    1982-01-01

    This study examines the interrelationship between the energy sector and the production of three agricultural crops (sugar, macadamia nut, and coffee) by small growers on the Big Island of Hawaii. Specifically, it attempts: to explore the patterns of energy use in agriculture; to determine the relative efficiency of fuel use by farm size among the three crops; and to investigate the impacts of higher energy costs on farmers' net revenues under three output-price and three energy-cost scenarios. To meet these objectives, a linear-programming model was developed. The objective function was to maximize net revenues subject to resource availability, production, marketing, and non-negativity constraints. The major conclusions emerging are: higher energy costs have not significantly impacted on farmers' net revenues, but do have a differential impact depending on the output price and resource endowments of each crop grower; farmers are faced with many constraints that do not permit factor substitution. For policy formulation, it was observed that policy makers are overly concerned with the problems facing growers at the macro level, without considering their constraints at the micro level. These micro factors play a dominant role in resource allocation. They must, therefore, be incorporated into a comprehensive energy and agricultural policy at the county and state level.

  14. An accurate cost effective DFT approach to study the sensing behaviour of polypyrrole towards nitrate ions in gas and aqueous phases.

    PubMed

    Wasim, Fatima; Mahmood, Tariq; Ayub, Khurshid

    2016-07-28

    Density functional theory (DFT) calculations have been performed to study the response of polypyrrole towards nitrate ions in gas and aqueous phases. First, an accurate estimate of interaction energies is obtained by methods calibrated against the gold standard CCSD(T) method. Then, a number of low cost DFT methods are also evaluated for their ability to accurately estimate the binding energies of polymer-nitrate complexes. The low cost methods evaluated here include dispersion corrected potential (DCP), Grimme's D3 correction, counterpoise correction of the B3LYP method, and Minnesota functionals (M05-2X). The interaction energies calculated using the counterpoise (CP) correction and DCP methods at the B3LYP level are in better agreement with the interaction energies calculated using the calibrated methods. The interaction energies of an infinite polymer (polypyrrole) with nitrate ions are calculated by a variety of low cost methods in order to find the associated errors. The electronic and spectroscopic properties of polypyrrole oligomers nPy (where n = 1-9) and nPy-NO3(-) complexes are calculated, and then extrapolated for an infinite polymer through a second degree polynomial fit. Charge analysis, frontier molecular orbital (FMO) analysis and density of state studies also reveal the sensing ability of polypyrrole towards nitrate ions. Interaction energies, charge analysis and density of states analyses illustrate that the response of polypyrrole towards nitrate ions is considerably reduced in the aqueous medium (compared to the gas phase). PMID:27375267

  15. Achieving health, safety, and performance improvements through enhanced cost visibility and workplace partnerships.

    PubMed

    Grant, Katharyn A; Garland, John G; Joachim, Todd C; Wallen, Andrew; Vital, Twyla

    2003-01-01

    Reduction in the environment, safety, and occupational health (ESOH) component of operational costs requires not only a better understanding of ESOH costs and requirements, but also the formation of effective partnerships between ESOH professionals, financial analysts, and shop workers to identify viable improvements to current practices. This article presents two case studies of efforts to enhance productivity and ESOH in corrosion control facilities at Randolph Air Force Base (AFB), Texas, and Robins AFB, Ga. At each site, activity-based cost models were created to increase the visibility of ESOH-related costs and target improvement opportunities. Analysis of the strip-and-paint processes for the T-38 aircraft at Randolph and the F-15 radome and C-141 aft cowl at Robins revealed that a large proportion of operating costs were tied to ESOH requirements and practices (22 and 39%, respectively). In each case ESOH professionals teamed with shop personnel to identify potential improvements in personal protective equipment use, waste disposal, tool selection, and work methods. This approach yielded alternatives projected to reduce total shop costs by 5 to 7%. This case study demonstrates how workplaces can identify cost-saving and efficiency-enhancing practices by partnering with ESOH professionals in planning and decision-making activities. PMID:14521429

  16. Cost Recovery Through Depreciation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Forrester, Robert T.; Wesolowski, Leonard V.

    1983-01-01

    The approach of adopting depreciation rather than use allowance in order to recover more accurately the cost of college buildings and equipment used on federal projects is considered. It is suggested that depreciation will offer most colleges and universities a higher annual recovery rate, and an opportunity for better facilities planning. For…

  17. Strategy Reduces Construction Costs.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Flynn, Jim; Petters, Walt

    2000-01-01

    Reveals how a Florida school district had success when switching from a design-bid-build approach for school construction to a construction management (CM) at risk. The CM at risk process involving project delivery options, maximum price guarantees, and the school district's benefits in cost savings accrued are addressed. (GR)

  18. Co-activation based parcellation of the human frontal pole.

    PubMed

    Ray, K L; Zald, D H; Bludau, S; Riedel, M C; Bzdok, D; Yanes, J; Falcone, K E; Amunts, K; Fox, P T; Eickhoff, S B; Laird, A R

    2015-12-01

    Historically, the human frontal pole (FP) has been considered as a single architectonic area. Brodmann's area 10 is located in the frontal lobe with known contributions in the execution of various higher order cognitive processes. However, recent cytoarchitectural studies of the FP in humans have shown that this portion of cortex contains two distinct cytoarchitectonic regions. Since architectonic differences are accompanied by differential connectivity and functions, the frontal pole qualifies as a candidate region for exploratory parcellation into functionally discrete sub-regions. We investigated whether this functional heterogeneity is reflected in distinct segregations within cytoarchitectonically defined FP-areas using meta-analytic co-activation based parcellation (CBP). The CBP method examined the co-activation patterns of all voxels within the FP as reported in functional neuroimaging studies archived in the BrainMap database. Voxels within the FP were subsequently clustered into sub-regions based on the similarity of their respective meta-analytically derived co-activation maps. Performing this CBP analysis on the FP via k-means clustering produced a distinct 3-cluster parcellation for each hemisphere corresponding to previously identified cytoarchitectural differences. Post-hoc functional characterization of clusters via BrainMap metadata revealed that lateral regions of the FP mapped to memory and emotion domains, while the dorso- and ventromedial clusters were associated broadly with emotion and social cognition processes. Furthermore, the dorsomedial regions contain an emphasis on theory of mind and affective related paradigms whereas ventromedial regions couple with reward tasks. Results from this study support previous segregations of the FP and provide meta-analytic contributions to the ongoing discussion of elucidating functional architecture within human FP. PMID:26254112

  19. Ghrelin treatment prevents development of activity based anorexia in mice.

    PubMed

    Legrand, Romain; Lucas, Nicolas; Breton, Jonathan; Azhar, Saïda; do Rego, Jean-Claude; Déchelotte, Pierre; Coëffier, Moïse; Fetissov, Sergueï O

    2016-06-01

    Stimulation of feeding is necessary for treatment of pathological conditions of chronic malnutrition due to anorexia. Ghrelin, a hunger hormone, is one of the candidate for pharmacological treatments of anorexia, but because of its instability in plasma has limited efficacy. We previously showed that plasmatic IgG protect ghrelin from degradation and that IgG from obese subjects and mice may increase ghrelin׳s orexigenic effect. In this study we tested if ghrelin alone or combined with IgG may improve feeding in chronically food-restricted mice with or without physical activity-based anorexia (ABA) induced by free access to a running wheel. Mice received a single daily intraperitoneal injection of ghrelin (1nM) together or not with total IgG (1nM) from obese ob/ob or lean mice before access to food during 8 days of 3h/day feeding time. We found that both ghrelin and ghrelin combined with IgG from obese, but not lean mice, prevented ABA, however, they were not able to diminish body weight loss. Physical activity was lower during the feeding period and was increased shortly after feeding in mice receiving ghrelin together with IgG from obese mice. In food-restricted mice without ABA, ghrelin treatments did not have significant effects on food intake. Thus, this study supports pharmacological use of ghrelin or ghrelin combined with IgG from obese animals for treatment of anorexia accompanied by elevated physical activity. The utility of combining ghrelin with protective IgG should be further determined in animal models of anorexia with unrestricted access to food. PMID:27052473

  20. A Sensitivity-Based Approach to Quantifying the Costs of Weather and Climate Impacts: A Case Study of the Southern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority Adaptation Pilot Project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Casola, J.; Johanson, E.; Groth, P.; Snow, C.; Choate, A.

    2012-12-01

    Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), with support from the Federal Transit Administration, has been investigating its agency's vulnerability to weather-related disruption and damages as a way to inform an overall adaptation strategy for climate variability and change. Exploiting daily rail service records maintained by SEPTA and observations from nearby weather stations, we have developed a methodology for quantifying the sensitivity of SEPTA's Manayunk/Norristown rail line to various weather events (e.g., snow storms, heat waves, heavy rainfall and flooding, tropical storms). For each type of event, sensitivity is equated to the frequency and extent of service disruptions associated with the event, and includes the identification of thresholds beyond which impacts are observed. In addition, we have estimated the monetary costs associated with repair and replacement of infrastructure following these events. Our results have facilitated discussions with SEPTA operational staff, who have outlined the institutional aspects of their preparation and response processes for these weather events. We envision the methodology as being useful for resource and infrastructure managers across the public and private sector, and potentially scalable to smaller or larger operations. There are several advantageous aspects of the method: 1) the quantification of sensitivity, and the coupling of that sensitivity to cost information, provides credible input to SEPTA decision-makers as they establish the priorities and level of investment associated with their adaptation actions for addressing extreme weather; 2) the method provides a conceptual foundation for estimating the magnitude, frequency, and costs of potential future impacts at a local scale, especially with regard to heat waves; 3) the sensitivity information serves as an excellent discussion tool, enabling further research and information gathering about institutional relationships and procedures. These

  21. Dropping sand bags from helicopters: A low cost and environmentally benign approach to determine subsurface velocity and attenuation structure of active volcanic systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jolly, A. D.; Chardot, L.; Sherburn, S.; Cole-Baker, J.; Scott, B. J.; Fournier, N.; Neuberg, J. N.

    2012-04-01

    Obtaining estimates of the seismic velocity and attenuation structure of volcanic systems is considered valuable from a monitoring perspective but can be extremely costly and time consuming due to the potential environmental impacts, safety issues and the permitting process. Here, we present an easy, low cost and environmentally benign alternative whereby the shallow velocity and attenuation structure can be obtained via high impact sandbag drops from helicopter. We conducted such a sandbag drop experiment at White Island volcano on 23 September 2011, during the final stage of a 6 month deployment of 14 broadband seismometers. Three drops were attempted, two at either end of a 5 station linear array within the crater floor, and the third within the volcano's shallow active acid crater lake. The bags were dropped from ~400 m height and contained ~700 kg of fine beach sand held within nylon sacks having a volume capacity of ~2.0 m3. The impact velocity was estimated at ~70 m/s yielding a kinetic energy of about 106 to 107 Nm. The source position was established by GPS on the resulting impact crater and was accurate to within ~5 m. The lake drop position was estimated from video footage relative to known ground features and was accurate to ~30 m. Impact timing was achieved by drop placement close to, but not on, the nearby seismometer recording systems. For the crater floor drops the timing was constrained to within ~0.05 s based on distance from the closest stations. The low kinetic energy and strong attenuation of the crater floor meant that strong first-P arrival times were limited to an area within ~1 km of the impact position. We obtained a rough velocity estimate of about 1.0-1.5 km/s for the unconsolidated crater floor and a velocity of ~1.5-2.0 km/s for rays traversing mostly through the consolidated rocks comprising the crater walls. Attenuation was found to be generally very strong (Q < 10) for both consolidated and unconsolidated parts of the volcano