Science.gov

Sample records for actors decentralizing environmental

  1. A Modified Actor-Power-Accountability Framework (MAPAF) for analyzing decentralized forest governance: case study from Ethiopia.

    PubMed

    Mohammed, Abrar Juhar; Inoue, Makoto

    2014-06-15

    This paper posits a Modified Actor-Power-Accountability Framework (MAPAF) that makes three major improvements on the Actor-Power-Accountability Framework (APAF) developed by Agrawal and Ribot (1999). These improvements emphasize the nature of decentralized property rights, linking the outputs of decentralization with its outcomes and the inclusion of contextual factors. Applying MAPAF to analyze outputs and outcomes from two major decentralized forest policies in Ethiopia, i.e., delegation and devolution, has demonstrated the following strengths of the framework. First, by incorporating vital bundles of property rights into APAF, MAPAF creates a common ground for exploring and comparing the extent of democratization achieved by different decentralizing reforms. Second, the inclusion of social and environmental outcomes in MAPAF makes it possible to link the output of decentralization with local level outcomes. Finally, the addition of contextual factors enhances MAPAF's explanatory power by providing room for investigating exogenous factors other than democratization that contribute to the outcomes of decentralization reforms.

  2. Decentralized authority, increased enforcement guide Mexico's environmental evolution

    SciTech Connect

    Ranger, E.M.; Alonzo, A.L.

    1994-01-01

    Environmental regulation in Mexico is evolving into a decentralized system where local authorities assume responsibility for compliance. Articles 25, 27 and 73 of Mexico's constitution establish federal, state and municipal jurisdictions for environmental protection, and empower the federal congress to promulgate environmental legislation. An established federal and local environmental legislative and normative framework, along with increased enforcement, provide the country with a comprehensive regulatory system to prevent and control industrial pollution.

  3. Land use and environmental impacts of decentralized solar energy use

    SciTech Connect

    Twiss, R.H.; Smith, P.L.; Gatzke, A.E.; McCreary, S.T.

    1980-01-01

    The physical, spatial and land-use impacts of decentralized solar technologies applied at the community level by the year 2000 are examined. The results of the study are intended to provide a basis for evaluating the way in which a shift toward reliance on decentralized energy technologies may eventually alter community form. Six land-use types representative of those found in most US cities are analyzed according to solar penetration levels identified in the maximum solar scenario for the year 2000. The scenario is translated into shares of end use demand in the residential, commercial and industrial sectors. These proportions become the scenario goals to be met by the use of decentralized solar energy systems. The percentage of total energy demand is assumed to be 36.5 percent, 18.8 percent and 22.6 percent in the residential, commercial and industrial sectors respectively. The community level scenario stipulated that a certain percentage of the total demand be met by on-site solar collection, i.e. photovoltaic and thermal collectors, and by passive design. This on-site solar goal is 31.9 percent (residential), 16.8 percent (commercial) and 13.1 percent (industrial).

  4. Teaching for Epistemological Difference: Decentring Norms in Environmental Studies

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barrett, M. J.

    2012-01-01

    Many environmental educators and philosophers have identified anthropocentrism and the socially constructed separation between humans and "the more-than-human world" (Abram, 1996) as primary root causes of current ecological devastation. This separation is embedded in Western schooling content and structures and is often unintentionally…

  5. Cost-benefit evaluation of a decentralized water system for wastewater reuse and environmental protection.

    PubMed

    Chen, R; Wang, X C

    2009-01-01

    This paper proposed a net benefit value (NBV) model for cost-benefit evaluation of wastewater treatment and reuse projects, and attention was mainly paid to decentralized systems which are drawing wide interests all over the world especially in the water-deficient countries and regions. In the NBV model, all the factors related to project costs are monetary ones which can be calculated by using traditional methods, while many of the factors related to project benefits are non-monetary ones which need sophisticated methods for monetization. In this regard, the authors elaborated several methods for monetization of the benefits from wastewater discharge reduction, local environment improvement, and human health protection. The proposed model and methods were applied for the cost-benefit evaluation of a decentralized water reclamation and reuse project in a newly developed residential area in Xi'an, China. The system with dual-pipe collection and grey water treatment and reuse was found to be economically ineligible (NBV > 0) when all the treated water is reused for artificial pond replenishment, gardening and other non-potable purposes by taking into account the benefit of water saving. As environmental benefits are further considered, the economic advantage of the project is more significant.

  6. Using a Novel Wireless-Networked Decentralized Control Scheme under Unpredictable Environmental Conditions.

    PubMed

    Chang, Chung-Liang; Huang, Yi-Ming; Hong, Guo-Fong

    2015-01-01

    The direction of sunshine or the installation sites of environmental control facilities in the greenhouse result in different temperature and humidity levels in the various zones of the greenhouse, and thus, the production quality of crop is inconsistent. This study proposed a wireless-networked decentralized fuzzy control scheme to regulate the environmental parameters of various culture zones within a greenhouse. The proposed scheme can create different environmental conditions for cultivating different crops in various zones and achieve diversification or standardization of crop production. A star-type wireless sensor network is utilized to communicate with each sensing node, actuator node, and control node in various zones within the greenhouse. The fuzzy rule-based inference system is used to regulate the environmental parameters for temperature and humidity based on real-time data of plant growth response provided by a growth stage selector. The growth stage selector defines the control ranges of temperature and humidity of the various culture zones according to the leaf area of the plant, the number of leaves, and the cumulative amount of light. The experimental results show that the proposed scheme is stable and robust and provides basis for future greenhouse applications. PMID:26569264

  7. Using a Novel Wireless-Networked Decentralized Control Scheme under Unpredictable Environmental Conditions

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Chung-Liang; Huang, Yi-Ming; Hong, Guo-Fong

    2015-01-01

    The direction of sunshine or the installation sites of environmental control facilities in the greenhouse result in different temperature and humidity levels in the various zones of the greenhouse, and thus, the production quality of crop is inconsistent. This study proposed a wireless-networked decentralized fuzzy control scheme to regulate the environmental parameters of various culture zones within a greenhouse. The proposed scheme can create different environmental conditions for cultivating different crops in various zones and achieve diversification or standardization of crop production. A star-type wireless sensor network is utilized to communicate with each sensing node, actuator node, and control node in various zones within the greenhouse. The fuzzy rule-based inference system is used to regulate the environmental parameters for temperature and humidity based on real-time data of plant growth response provided by a growth stage selector. The growth stage selector defines the control ranges of temperature and humidity of the various culture zones according to the leaf area of the plant, the number of leaves, and the cumulative amount of light. The experimental results show that the proposed scheme is stable and robust and provides basis for future greenhouse applications. PMID:26569264

  8. Decentralized Governance and Environmental Change: Local Institutional Moderation of Deforestation in Bolivia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Andersson, Krister; Gibson, Clark C.

    2007-01-01

    Dozens of countries have decentralized at least part of their natural resource policies over the last two decades. Despite the length of time that these policy experiments have been in force, there is little agreement about their effectiveness. We argue that part of this ambivalence stems from three limitations of extant studies, suggesting that…

  9. Fertilizer efficiency and environmental risk of irrigating Impatiens with composting leachate in decentralized solid waste management

    SciTech Connect

    Zhou Chuanbin; Wang Rusong; Zhang Yishan

    2010-06-15

    The reduction and reuse of composting leachate is an issue of importance in the field of decentralized solid waste management. In this study, composting leachate from source-separated food waste was treated and subsequently used as liquid fertilizer to irrigate Impatiens (Impatiens balsamina). The leachate was altered by adjusting storage time and dilution, and through addition of microbial inocula. For each test case, the effects of irrigation were monitored by analyzing the Impatiens extension degree, numbers of leaves and flowers, dry weight, and photosynthetic pigment content to assess fertilizer efficiency. The main results obtained revealed that the addition of microbial inocula and lengthening of storage times may lower COD concentrations, adjust pH value and maintain a comparatively high level of nutrient contents. By adding microbial inocula, a COD concentration of 9.6% and BOD{sub 5} concentration of 6.7% were obtained for non-treated leachate with the same storage time. COD concentrations in leachate decreased to 69.4% after 36 weeks storage. Moreover, composting leachate promoted growth of Impatiens. The dry weight biomass of Impatiens irrigated using treated diluted leachate was 1.15-2.94 times that obtained for Impatiens irrigated using tap water. Lastly, following the irrigation of Impatiens over a short period, soil did not accumulate VOCs and heavy metals to levels exceeding relative standards. Further research on heavy metal and salinity accumulation in plants should be undertaken to meet the needs of large-scale applications.

  10. Fertilizer efficiency and environmental risk of irrigating Impatiens with composting leachate in decentralized solid waste management.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Chuanbin; Wang, Rusong; Zhang, Yishan

    2010-06-01

    The reduction and reuse of composting leachate is an issue of importance in the field of decentralized solid waste management. In this study, composting leachate from source-separated food waste was treated and subsequently used as liquid fertilizer to irrigate Impatiens (Impatiens balsamina). The leachate was altered by adjusting storage time and dilution, and through addition of microbial inocula. For each test case, the effects of irrigation were monitored by analyzing the Impatiens extension degree, numbers of leaves and flowers, dry weight, and photosynthetic pigment content to assess fertilizer efficiency. The main results obtained revealed that the addition of microbial inocula and lengthening of storage times may lower COD concentrations, adjust pH value and maintain a comparatively high level of nutrient contents. By adding microbial inocula, a COD concentration of 9.6% and BOD(5) concentration of 6.7% were obtained for non-treated leachate with the same storage time. COD concentrations in leachate decreased to 69.4% after 36weeks storage. Moreover, composting leachate promoted growth of Impatiens. The dry weight biomass of Impatiens irrigated using treated diluted leachate was 1.15-2.94 times that obtained for Impatiens irrigated using tap water. Lastly, following the irrigation of Impatiens over a short period, soil did not accumulate VOCs and heavy metals to levels exceeding relative standards. Further research on heavy metal and salinity accumulation in plants should be undertaken to meet the needs of large-scale applications.

  11. Aggregating data for computational toxicology applications: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Aggregated Computational Toxicology Resource (ACToR) System.

    PubMed

    Judson, Richard S; Martin, Matthew T; Egeghy, Peter; Gangwal, Sumit; Reif, David M; Kothiya, Parth; Wolf, Maritja; Cathey, Tommy; Transue, Thomas; Smith, Doris; Vail, James; Frame, Alicia; Mosher, Shad; Cohen Hubal, Elaine A; Richard, Ann M

    2012-01-01

    Computational toxicology combines data from high-throughput test methods, chemical structure analyses and other biological domains (e.g., genes, proteins, cells, tissues) with the goals of predicting and understanding the underlying mechanistic causes of chemical toxicity and for predicting toxicity of new chemicals and products. A key feature of such approaches is their reliance on knowledge extracted from large collections of data and data sets in computable formats. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has developed a large data resource called ACToR (Aggregated Computational Toxicology Resource) to support these data-intensive efforts. ACToR comprises four main repositories: core ACToR (chemical identifiers and structures, and summary data on hazard, exposure, use, and other domains), ToxRefDB (Toxicity Reference Database, a compilation of detailed in vivo toxicity data from guideline studies), ExpoCastDB (detailed human exposure data from observational studies of selected chemicals), and ToxCastDB (data from high-throughput screening programs, including links to underlying biological information related to genes and pathways). The EPA DSSTox (Distributed Structure-Searchable Toxicity) program provides expert-reviewed chemical structures and associated information for these and other high-interest public inventories. Overall, the ACToR system contains information on about 400,000 chemicals from 1100 different sources. The entire system is built using open source tools and is freely available to download. This review describes the organization of the data repository and provides selected examples of use cases.

  12. The aid of remote sensing and environmental history techniques for planning and successful implementation of decentralized flood reduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seeling, Stephan; Gross, Michael

    2010-05-01

    The history of European landscapes is a history of changes. Based on the geophysical spatial features like geology, soils or topography the interaction with regional climate and particular human land use practices led to the development of the recent mosaic of European landscapes. For centuries the human incitements behind these actions have been to conquer nature and to optimize human benefit. Hence the maintenance or future development of other landscape functions like biodiversity or buffer and balance functions for energy and mass flows have often been neglected. As a consequence most recent cultivated landscapes feature a deficit of close to nature water retention capacities. Modern catchment orientated water management plans launch at this point and try to recover or even enhance former decentralized landscape abilities for water retention. Additionally remote sensing is a fast, effective and not too expensive tool for conducting landscape inventories or expose trends in land cover changes. Both can be seen as mandatory components for planning and successful implementation of decentralized flood protection measures. For three different landscapes of Southwest Germany we analysed the trends in land use change within the last four decades, based on remote sensing and statistical methods, to deduct on main human driving forces behind these changes. Together with other spatial analyses this offers support for prioritisation and implementation of landscape adapted and locally accepted decentralized flood protection measures.

  13. Low Decision Space Means No Decentralization in Fiji

    PubMed Central

    Faguet, Jean-Paul

    2016-01-01

    Mohammed, North, and Ashton find that decentralization in Fiji shifted health-sector workloads from tertiary hospitals to peripheral health centres, but with little transfer of administrative authority from the centre. Decision-making in five functional areas analysed remains highly centralized. They surmise that the benefits of decentralization in terms of services and outcomes will be limited. This paper invokes Faguet’s (2012) model of local government responsiveness and accountability to explain why this is so – not only for Fiji, but in any country that decentralizes workloads but not the decision space of local governments. A competitive dynamic between economic and civic actors that interact to generate an open, competitive politics, which in turn produces accountable, responsive government can only occur where real power and resources have been devolved to local governments. Where local decision space is lacking, by contrast, decentralization is bound to fail because it has not really happened in the first place. PMID:27801361

  14. Decentralization: An International Perspective.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Walberg, Herbert J.; Paik, Susan J.; Komukai, Atsuko; Freeman, Karen

    2000-01-01

    Analysis of 22 definitions of decentralization shows how they are encompassed in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's taxonomy. Data from 14 nations suggest that decentralization of instruction, planning, personnel management, and resource allocation and use has less effect on learning than do conditions in classrooms and…

  15. Organizational decentralization in radiology.

    PubMed

    Aas, I H Monrad

    2006-01-01

    At present, most hospitals have a department of radiology where images are captured and interpreted. Decentralization is the opposite of centralization and means 'away from the centre'. With a Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS) and broadband communications, transmitting radiology images between sites will be far easier than before. Qualitative interviews of 26 resource persons were performed in Norway. There was a response rate of 90%. Decentralization of radiology interpretations seems less relevant than centralization, but several forms of decentralization have a role to play. The respondents mentioned several advantages, including exploitation of capacity and competence. They also mentioned several disadvantages, including splitting professional communities and reduced contact between radiologists and clinicians. With the new technology decentralization and centralization of image interpretation are important possibilities in organizational change. This will be important for the future of teleradiology.

  16. Organizational decentralization in radiology.

    PubMed

    Aas, I H Monrad

    2006-01-01

    At present, most hospitals have a department of radiology where images are captured and interpreted. Decentralization is the opposite of centralization and means 'away from the centre'. With a Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS) and broadband communications, transmitting radiology images between sites will be far easier than before. Qualitative interviews of 26 resource persons were performed in Norway. There was a response rate of 90%. Decentralization of radiology interpretations seems less relevant than centralization, but several forms of decentralization have a role to play. The respondents mentioned several advantages, including exploitation of capacity and competence. They also mentioned several disadvantages, including splitting professional communities and reduced contact between radiologists and clinicians. With the new technology decentralization and centralization of image interpretation are important possibilities in organizational change. This will be important for the future of teleradiology. PMID:16884560

  17. Decentralized energy studies: bibliography

    SciTech Connect

    Ohi, J.M.; Unseld, C.T.; Levine, A.; Silversmith, J.A.

    1980-05-01

    This bibliography is a compilation of literature on decentralized energy systems. It is arranged according to topical (e.g., lifestyle and values, institutions, and economics) and geographical scale to facilitate quick reference to specific areas of interest. Also included are articles by and about Amory B. Lovins who has played a pivotal role in making energy decentralization an important topic of national debate. Periodicals, other bibliographies, and directories are also listed.

  18. Indirect decentralized repetitive control

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lee, Soo Cheol; Longman, Richard W.

    1993-01-01

    Learning control refers to controllers that learn to improve their performance at executing a given task, based on experience performing this specific task. In a previous work, the authors presented a theory of indirect decentralized learning control based on use of indirect adaptive control concepts employing simultaneous identification and control. This paper extends these results to apply to the indirect repetitive control problem in which a periodic (i.e., repetitive) command is given to a control system. Decentralized indirect repetitive control algorithms are presented that have guaranteed convergence to zero tracking error under very general conditions. The original motivation of the repetitive control and learning control fields was learning in robots doing repetitive tasks such as on an assembly line. This paper starts with decentralized discrete time systems, and progresses to the robot application, modeling the robot as a time varying linear system in the neighborhood of the desired trajectory. Decentralized repetitive control is natural for this application because the feedback control for link rotations is normally implemented in a decentralized manner, treating each link as if it is independent of the other links.

  19. Territorial Decentration and Geographic Learning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stoltman, Joseph P.

    Territorial decentration is a question of major significance to geographic educators. This paper reports the findings of a research project designed to determine the territorial decentration of an American sample of children. The primary purpose of the research was to determine if Piaget's territorial decentration stages are appropriate for…

  20. ACToR - Aggregated Computational Toxicology Resource

    SciTech Connect

    Judson, Richard Richard, Ann; Dix, David; Houck, Keith; Elloumi, Fathi; Martin, Matthew; Cathey, Tommy; Transue, Thomas R.; Spencer, Richard; Wolf, Maritja

    2008-11-15

    ACToR (Aggregated Computational Toxicology Resource) is a database and set of software applications that bring into one central location many types and sources of data on environmental chemicals. Currently, the ACToR chemical database contains information on chemical structure, in vitro bioassays and in vivo toxicology assays derived from more than 150 sources including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Centers for Disease Control (CDC), U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), National Institutes of Health (NIH), state agencies, corresponding government agencies in Canada, Europe and Japan, universities, the World Health Organization (WHO) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). At the EPA National Center for Computational Toxicology, ACToR helps manage large data sets being used in a high-throughput environmental chemical screening and prioritization program called ToxCast{sup TM}.

  1. The Rhetoric of Decentralization

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ravitch, Diane

    1974-01-01

    Questions the rationale for and possible consequences of political decentralization of New York City. Suggests that the disadvantages--reduced level of professionalism, increased expense in multiple government operation, "stabilization" of residential segregation, necessity for budget negotiations because of public disclosure of tax structure and…

  2. The Decentralized Research Model.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    MacDougall, Peter R.; And Others

    1990-01-01

    Describes Santa Barbara City College's decentralized research program, considering the roles of the president, vice presidents, deans, institutional research committee members, and data-processing director. Explains how the research agenda is determined, projects monitored, results/implications identified, and findings disseminated. Highlights…

  3. Indirect decentralized learning control

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Longman, Richard W.; Lee, Soo C.; Phan, M.

    1992-01-01

    The new field of learning control develops controllers that learn to improve their performance at executing a given task, based on experience performing this specific task. In a previous work, the authors presented a theory of indirect learning control based on use of indirect adaptive control concepts employing simultaneous identification and control. This paper develops improved indirect learning control algorithms, and studies the use of such controllers in decentralized systems. The original motivation of the learning control field was learning in robots doing repetitive tasks such as on an assembly line. This paper starts with decentralized discrete time systems, and progresses to the robot application, modeling the robot as a time varying linear system in the neighborhood of the nominal trajectory, and using the usual robot controllers that are decentralized, treating each link as if it is independent of any coupling with other links. The basic result of the paper is to show that stability of the indirect learning controllers for all subsystems when the coupling between subsystems is turned off, assures convergence to zero tracking error of the decentralized indirect learning control of the coupled system, provided that the sample time in the digital learning controller is sufficiently short.

  4. Linear decentralized learning control

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lee, Soo C.; Longman, Richard W.; Phan, Minh

    1992-01-01

    The new field of learning control develops controllers that learn to improve their performance at executing a given task, based on experience performing this task. The simplest forms of learning control are based on the same concept as integral control, but operating in the domain of the repetitions of the task. This paper studies the use of such controllers in a decentralized system, such as a robot with the controller for each link acting independently. The basic result of the paper is to show that stability of the learning controllers for all subsystems when the coupling between subsystems is turned off, assures stability of the decentralized learning in the coupled system, provided that the sample time in the digital learning controller is sufficiently short.

  5. Decentral Smart Grid Control

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schäfer, Benjamin; Matthiae, Moritz; Timme, Marc; Witthaut, Dirk

    2015-01-01

    Stable operation of complex flow and transportation networks requires balanced supply and demand. For the operation of electric power grids—due to their increasing fraction of renewable energy sources—a pressing challenge is to fit the fluctuations in decentralized supply to the distributed and temporally varying demands. To achieve this goal, common smart grid concepts suggest to collect consumer demand data, centrally evaluate them given current supply and send price information back to customers for them to decide about usage. Besides restrictions regarding cyber security, privacy protection and large required investments, it remains unclear how such central smart grid options guarantee overall stability. Here we propose a Decentral Smart Grid Control, where the price is directly linked to the local grid frequency at each customer. The grid frequency provides all necessary information about the current power balance such that it is sufficient to match supply and demand without the need for a centralized IT infrastructure. We analyze the performance and the dynamical stability of the power grid with such a control system. Our results suggest that the proposed Decentral Smart Grid Control is feasible independent of effective measurement delays, if frequencies are averaged over sufficiently large time intervals.

  6. The Shifting Development Paradigm from State Centeredness to Decentralization: What Are the Implications for Adult Education?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Closson, Rosemary B.; Mavima, Paul; Siabi-Mensah, Kofi

    2002-01-01

    A study of nonformal education providers in Ghana, Senegal, and Burkina Faso identified government agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and for-profit organizations. Decentralization has increased nonformal education. Most projects involve multiple providers with various actors playing different roles. The lack of process-oriented projects…

  7. Decentralized adaptive control

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oh, B. J.; Jamshidi, M.; Seraji, H.

    1988-01-01

    A decentralized adaptive control is proposed to stabilize and track the nonlinear, interconnected subsystems with unknown parameters. The adaptation of the controller gain is derived by using model reference adaptive control theory based on Lyapunov's direct method. The adaptive gains consist of sigma, proportional, and integral combination of the measured and reference values of the corresponding subsystem. The proposed control is applied to the joint control of a two-link robot manipulator, and the performance in computer simulation corresponds with what is expected in theoretical development.

  8. Centralized versus Decentralized Information Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hugoson, Mats-Åke

    This paper brings into question whether information systems should be centralized or decentralized in order to provide greater support for different business processes. During the last century companies and organizations have used different approaches for centralization and decentralization; a simple answer to the question does not exist. This paper provides a survey of the evolution of centralized and decentralized approaches, mainly in a Nordic perspective. Based on critical reflections on the situation in the end of the century we can discuss what we can learn from history to achieve alignment between centralized and decentralized systems and the business structure. The conclusion is that theories, management and practice for decisions on centralization or decentralization of information systems must be improved. A conscious management and control of centralization /decentralization of IT support is a vital question in the company or the organization, and this is not a task that can be handled only by IT-specialists. There is a need for business oriented IT management of centralization/decentralization.

  9. Actors: From Audience to Provider

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Charlier, Bernadette

    2011-01-01

    This article describes and analyzes actors' experiences of distance learning systems in a wide variety of cultural and organizational contexts. In line with the project of this special series of issues, results of research, much of which is longitudinal, allow us to suggest answers to the following questions: Who are the actors of distance…

  10. Decentralization Calls for Internal Audits.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    DiCello, Jim

    1995-01-01

    Outlines internal-auditing strategies necessitated by decentralization. Describes the following areas of concern: the student activities account, student attendance, and funding delegated to the site level. Guidelines for conducting an internal audit are also included. (LMI)

  11. Autonomous, Decentralized Grid Architecture: Prosumer-Based Distributed Autonomous Cyber-Physical Architecture for Ultra-Reliable Green Electricity Networks

    SciTech Connect

    2012-01-11

    GENI Project: Georgia Tech is developing a decentralized, autonomous, internet-like control architecture and control software system for the electric power grid. Georgia Tech’s new architecture is based on the emerging concept of electricity prosumers—economically motivated actors that can produce, consume, or store electricity. Under Georgia Tech’s architecture, all of the actors in an energy system are empowered to offer associated energy services based on their capabilities. The actors achieve their sustainability, efficiency, reliability, and economic objectives, while contributing to system-wide reliability and efficiency goals. This is in marked contrast to the current one-way, centralized control paradigm.

  12. Comment on ‘Energy and air emission implications of a decentralized wastewater system’

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vedachalam, Sridhar; Riha, Susan J.

    2013-03-01

    In the article ‘Energy and air emission implications of a decentralized wastewater system’ published in Environmental Research Letters (2012 Environ. Res. Lett. 7 024007), Shehabi et al compared a decentralized and a centralized system on the basis of energy use, greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants, and claimed that economies of scale lower the environmental impacts from a centralized system on a per-volume basis. In this comment, we present literature and data from New York State, USA to argue that the authors’ comparison between a small decentralized system (0.015 MGD) and a large centralized system (66.5 MGD) is unconventional and inappropriate.

  13. Decentralized Decision-Making. ERS Information Aid.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Powell, Janet F.

    In this paper, the current debate over decentralized decisionmaking is highlighted and facts, figures, and models based on a recent nationwide survey are presented. Decentralization in decisionmaking is defined as the involvement of building-level principals in district-wide decisions. Advantages and disadvantages of decentralization, the nature…

  14. Computerized Systems: Centralized or Decentralized?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Seitz, Linda Ludington

    1985-01-01

    Computerized management information systems have long been used in business, and data integration and sophisticated programing now enable many businesses to decentralize their information operations. This approach has advantages and disadvantages that colleges and universities must weigh and plan for carefully. (MSE)

  15. Financial management systems under decentralization and their effect on malaria control in Uganda.

    PubMed

    Kivumbi, George W; Nangendo, Florence; Ndyabahika, Boniface Rutagira

    2004-01-01

    A descriptive case study with multiple sites and a single level of analysis was carried out in four purposefully selected administrative districts of Uganda to investigate the effect of financial management systems under decentralization on malaria control. Data were primarily collected from 36 interviews with district managers, staff at health units and local leaders. A review of records and documents related to decentralization at the central and district level was also used to generate data for the study. We found that a long, tedious, and bureaucratic process combined with lack of knowledge in working with new financial systems by several actors characterized financial flow under decentralization. This affected the timely use of financial resources for malaria control in that there were funds in the system that could not be accessed for use. We were also told that sometimes these funds were returned to the central government because of non-use due to difficulties in accessing them and/or stringent conditions not to divert them to other uses. Our data showed that a cocktail of bureaucratic control systems, corruption and incompetence make the financial management system under decentralization counter-productive for malaria control. The main conclusion is that good governance through appropriate and efficient financial management systems is very important for effective malaria control under decentralization.

  16. The Actor and His Body.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rubin, Lucille S., Ed.

    Fourteen brief articles deal with training actors to use their bodies effectively on stage. The articles discuss the following topics: the concept of succession-sequential movement (movement that passes through the body joint by joint); learning physical action through staged fight sequences; techniques of empty-handed combat; protecting students…

  17. Reading: Tales for Two Actors.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Slattery, Judith M.

    1979-01-01

    The author explains how she changes folk tales into simple two-actor plays geared to the oral reading ability of her remedial reading students. Two of her plays are included in this article: "A Halloween Tale" and "The Three Wishes." (SJL)

  18. Actor Interdependence in Collaborative Telelearning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wasson, Barbara; Bourdeau, Jacqueline

    This paper presents a model of collaborative telelearning and describes how coordination theory has provided a framework for the analysis of actor (inter)dependencies in this scenario. The model is intended to inform the instructional design of learning scenarios, the technological design of the telelearning environment, and the design of…

  19. Multi-vehicle decentralized fusion and tracking

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    El-Fallah, A.; Zatezalo, A.; Mahler, R.; Mehra, R. K.

    2012-06-01

    In this paper, we introduce a decentralized fusion and tracking based on a distributed multi-source multitarget filtering and robust communication with the following features: (i) data reduction; (ii) a disruption tolerant dissemination procedure that takes advantage of storage and mobility; and (iii) efficient data set reconciliation algorithms. We developed and implemented complex high-fidelity marine application demonstration of this approach that encompasses all relevant environmental parameters. In the simulated example, multi-source information is fused by exploiting sensors from disparate Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUV) and Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV) multi-sensor platforms. Communications among the platforms are continuously establishing and breaking depending on the time-changing geometry. We compare and evaluate the developed algorithms by assessing their performance against different scenarios.

  20. Changing Power Actors in a Midwestern Community.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tait, John L.; And Others

    A longitudinal study was made of Prairie City, Iowa wherein the personal and social characteristics of the 1962 power actor pool were compared with characteristics of the 1973 power actor pool to test the hypothesis that: the personal and social characteristics of power actors will not change significantly over time. Procedures for identifying…

  1. Decentralized learning in Markov games.

    PubMed

    Vrancx, Peter; Verbeeck, Katja; Nowé, Ann

    2008-08-01

    Learning automata (LA) were recently shown to be valuable tools for designing multiagent reinforcement learning algorithms. One of the principal contributions of the LA theory is that a set of decentralized independent LA is able to control a finite Markov chain with unknown transition probabilities and rewards. In this paper, we propose to extend this algorithm to Markov games--a straightforward extension of single-agent Markov decision problems to distributed multiagent decision problems. We show that under the same ergodic assumptions of the original theorem, the extended algorithm will converge to a pure equilibrium point between agent policies.

  2. Visualizing the Collective Learner through Decentralized Networks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Castro, Juan Carlos

    2015-01-01

    Understandings of decentralized networks are increasingly used to describe a way to structure curriculum and pedagogy. It is often understood as a structural model to organize pedagogical and curricular relationships in which there is no center. While this is important it also bears introducing into the discourse that decentralized networks are…

  3. What supervisors want to know about decentralization.

    PubMed

    Boissoneau, R; Belton, P

    1991-06-01

    Many organizations in various industries have tended to move away from strict centralization, yet some centralization is still vital to top management. With 19 of the 22 executives interviewed favoring or implementing some form of decentralization, it is probable that traditionally centralized organizations will follow the trend and begin to decentralize their organizational structures. The incentives and advantages of decentralization are too attractive to ignore. Decentralization provides responsibility, clear objectives, accountability for results, and more efficient and effective decision making. However, one must remember that decentralization can be overextended and that centralization is still viable in certain functions. Finding the correct balance between control and autonomy is a key to decentralization. Too much control and too much autonomy are the primary reasons for decentralization failures. In today's changing, competitive environment, structures must be continuously redefined, with the goal of finding an optimal balance between centralization and decentralization. Organizations are cautioned not to seek out and install a single philosopher-king to impose unified direction, but to unify leadership goals, participation, style, and control to develop improved methods of making all responsible leaders of one mind about the organization's needs and goals.

  4. Challenges to the implementation of health sector decentralization in Tanzania: experiences from Kongwa district council

    PubMed Central

    Frumence, Gasto; Nyamhanga, Tumaini; Mwangu, Mughwira; Hurtig, Anna-Karin

    2013-01-01

    Background During the 1990s, the government of Tanzania introduced the decentralization by devolution (D by D) approach involving the transfer of functions, power and authority from the centre to the local government authorities (LGAs) to improve the delivery of public goods and services, including health services. Objective This article examines and documents the experiences facing the implementation of decentralization of health services from the perspective of national and district officials. Design The study adopted a qualitative approach, and data were collected using semi-structured interviews and were analysed for themes and patterns. Results The results showed several benefits of decentralization, including increased autonomy in local resource mobilization and utilization, an enhanced bottom-up planning approach, increased health workers’ accountability and reduction of bureaucratic procedures in decision making. The findings also revealed several challenges which hinder the effective functioning of decentralization. These include inadequate funding, untimely disbursement of funds from the central government, insufficient and unqualified personnel, lack of community participation in planning and political interference. Conclusion The article concludes that the central government needs to adhere to the principles that established the local authorities and grant more autonomy to them, offer special incentives to staff working in the rural areas and create the capacity for local key actors to participate effectively in the planning process. PMID:23993021

  5. Automated decentralized pharmacy dispensing systems.

    PubMed

    1996-12-01

    Automated decentralized pharmacy dispensing systems (ADPDSs) are medication management systems that allow hospitals to store and dispense drugs near the point of use. These systems, which can be compared with the automated teller machines used by banks, provide nurses with ready access to medications while maintaining tight control of drug distribution. In this study, we evaluated three ADPDSs from two suppliers, focusing on whether these systems can store and dispense drugs in a safe, secure, and effective manner. When rating the systems, we considered their applicability to two different implementation schemes: The use of a system with a pharmacy profile interface. This feature broadens the capabilities of the system by allowing more information to be provided at the dispensing cabinet and by providing better integration of the information from this cabinet with the pharmacy's information system. Two of the evaluated systems have this feature and were rated Acceptable. The use of a system without a pharmacy profile interface. We rated all three of the evaluated systems Acceptable for such implementations. To decide which scheme is most appropriate for a particular hospital, the facility will need to determine both how it intends to use the ADPDS and what it hopes to achieve by implementing the system. By performing this type of analysis, the facility can then determine which ADPDS features and capabilities are needed to accomplish its goals. To help facilities make these decisions, we have provided an Equipment Management Guide, "Improving the Drug Distribution Process-Do You Need an Automated Decentralized Pharmacy Dispensing System?," which precedes this Evaluation. In addition, readers unfamiliar with the roles of both the pharmacy and the pharmacist within the hospital can refer to the Primer, "Functions of a Hospital Pharmacy," also published in this issue. PMID:8968721

  6. Extended Decentralized Linear-Quadratic-Gaussian Control

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Carpenter, J. Russell

    2000-01-01

    A straightforward extension of a solution to the decentralized linear-Quadratic-Gaussian problem is proposed that allows its use for commonly encountered classes of problems that are currently solved with the extended Kalman filter. This extension allows the system to be partitioned in such a way as to exclude the nonlinearities from the essential algebraic relationships that allow the estimation and control to be optimally decentralized.

  7. Partially Decentralized Control Architectures for Satellite Formations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Carpenter, J. Russell; Bauer, Frank H.

    2002-01-01

    In a partially decentralized control architecture, more than one but less than all nodes have supervisory capability. This paper describes an approach to choosing the number of supervisors in such au architecture, based on a reliability vs. cost trade. It also considers the implications of these results for the design of navigation systems for satellite formations that could be controlled with a partially decentralized architecture. Using an assumed cost model, analytic and simulation-based results indicate that it may be cheaper to achieve a given overall system reliability with a partially decentralized architecture containing only a few supervisors, than with either fully decentralized or purely centralized architectures. Nominally, the subset of supervisors may act as centralized estimation and control nodes for corresponding subsets of the remaining subordinate nodes, and act as decentralized estimation and control peers with respect to each other. However, in the context of partially decentralized satellite formation control, the absolute positions and velocities of each spacecraft are unique, so that correlations which make estimates using only local information suboptimal only occur through common biases and process noise. Covariance and monte-carlo analysis of a simplified system show that this lack of correlation may allow simplification of the local estimators while preserving the global optimality of the maneuvers commanded by the supervisors.

  8. Decentralized and Tactical Air Traffic Flow Management

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Odoni, Amedeo R.; Bertsimas, Dimitris

    1997-01-01

    This project dealt with the following topics: 1. Review and description of the existing air traffic flow management system (ATFM) and identification of aspects with potential for improvement. 2. Identification and review of existing models and simulations dealing with all system segments (enroute, terminal area, ground) 3. Formulation of concepts for overall decentralization of the ATFM system, ranging from moderate decentralization to full decentralization 4. Specification of the modifications to the ATFM system required to accommodate each of the alternative concepts. 5. Identification of issues that need to be addressed with regard to: determination of the way the ATFM system would be operating; types of flow management strategies that would be used; and estimation of the effectiveness of ATFM with regard to reducing delay and re-routing costs. 6. Concept evaluation through identification of criteria and methodologies for accommodating the interests of stakeholders and of approaches to optimization of operational procedures for all segments of the ATFM system.

  9. Multiple robot system for decentralized SLAM investigations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deaves, Rob H.; Nicholson, David; Gough, David W.; Binns, Lewis A.; Vangasse, Paul; Greenway, Phil

    2000-10-01

    Technical details of laboratory based robotic system for researching decentralized Simultaneous Localization and Map building (SLAM) are provided. The main components of the system are Pioneer (ActivMedia) robots, laboratory environment for mapping, laser tracking system for testing the SLAM accuracy and a suite of SLAM software algorithms. The system is used to provide a demonstration and initial practical results of decentralized multiple-platform SLAM. The paper concludes that useful system has been set-up for researching this technology area. Further, the demonstration highlights important benefits of multiple- platform decentralized SLAM over a single platform approach. These include an increase in map accuracy, an improvement in the completeness and timeliness of the map, and an increase in platform accuracy although that platform was not extrinsically sensed. Future research areas are discussed.

  10. Improve consensus via decentralized predictive mechanisms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, H.-T.; Chen, M. Z. Q.; Zhou, T.

    2009-05-01

    For biogroups and groups of self-driven agents, making decisions often depends on interactions among group members. In this paper, we seek to understand the fundamental predictive mechanisms used by group members in order to perform such coordinated behaviors. In particular, we show that the future dynamics of each node in the network can be predicted solely using local information provided by its neighbors. Using this predicted future dynamics information, we propose a decentralized predictive consensus protocol, which yields drastic improvements in terms of both consensus speed and internal communication cost. In natural science, this study provides an evidence for the idea that some decentralized predictive mechanisms may exist in widely-spread biological swarms/flocks. From the industrial point of view, incorporation of a decentralized predictive mechanism allows for not only a significant increase in the speed of convergence towards consensus but also a reduction in the communication energy required to achieve a predefined consensus performance.

  11. Transition-Independent Decentralized Markov Decision Processes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Becker, Raphen; Silberstein, Shlomo; Lesser, Victor; Goldman, Claudia V.; Morris, Robert (Technical Monitor)

    2003-01-01

    There has been substantial progress with formal models for sequential decision making by individual agents using the Markov decision process (MDP). However, similar treatment of multi-agent systems is lacking. A recent complexity result, showing that solving decentralized MDPs is NEXP-hard, provides a partial explanation. To overcome this complexity barrier, we identify a general class of transition-independent decentralized MDPs that is widely applicable. The class consists of independent collaborating agents that are tied up by a global reward function that depends on both of their histories. We present a novel algorithm for solving this class of problems and examine its properties. The result is the first effective technique to solve optimally a class of decentralized MDPs. This lays the foundation for further work in this area on both exact and approximate solutions.

  12. Strategies of Educational Decentralization: Key Questions and Core Issues.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hanson, E. Mark

    1998-01-01

    Explains key issues and forces that shape organization and management strategies of educational decentralization, using examples from Colombia, Venezuela, Argentina, Nicaragua, and Spain. Core decentralization issues include national and regional goals, planning, political stress, resource distribution, infrastructure development, and job…

  13. Decentralized Multisensory Information Integration in Neural Systems

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Wen-hao; Chen, Aihua

    2016-01-01

    How multiple sensory cues are integrated in neural circuitry remains a challenge. The common hypothesis is that information integration might be accomplished in a dedicated multisensory integration area receiving feedforward inputs from the modalities. However, recent experimental evidence suggests that it is not a single multisensory brain area, but rather many multisensory brain areas that are simultaneously involved in the integration of information. Why many mutually connected areas should be needed for information integration is puzzling. Here, we investigated theoretically how information integration could be achieved in a distributed fashion within a network of interconnected multisensory areas. Using biologically realistic neural network models, we developed a decentralized information integration system that comprises multiple interconnected integration areas. Studying an example of combining visual and vestibular cues to infer heading direction, we show that such a decentralized system is in good agreement with anatomical evidence and experimental observations. In particular, we show that this decentralized system can integrate information optimally. The decentralized system predicts that optimally integrated information should emerge locally from the dynamics of the communication between brain areas and sheds new light on the interpretation of the connectivity between multisensory brain areas. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT To extract information reliably from ambiguous environments, the brain integrates multiple sensory cues, which provide different aspects of information about the same entity of interest. Here, we propose a decentralized architecture for multisensory integration. In such a system, no processor is in the center of the network topology and information integration is achieved in a distributed manner through reciprocally connected local processors. Through studying the inference of heading direction with visual and vestibular cues, we show that

  14. Decentralized digital adaptive control of robot motion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tarokh, M.

    1990-01-01

    A decentralized model reference adaptive scheme is developed for digital control of robot manipulators. The adaptation laws are derived using hyperstability theory, which guarantees asymptotic trajectory tracking despite gross robot parameter variations. The control scheme has a decentralized structure in the sense that each local controller receives only its joint angle measurement to produce its joint torque. The independent joint controllers have simple structures and can be programmed using a very simple and computationally fast algorithm. As a result, the scheme is suitable for real-time motion control.

  15. Decentralization of Education: Teacher Management. Directions in Development.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gaynor, Cathy

    This book is based on a review of the literature on decentralization and teacher management. The focus is on basic formal education, mainly the primary and junior secondary levels of schooling, and on presenting a rationale for decentralizing teacher management. The book presents three models of decentralized teacher management, explores the…

  16. Educational Decentralization, Public Spending, and Social Justice in Nigeria

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Geo-Jaja, Macleans A.

    2006-01-01

    This study situates the process of educational decentralization in the narrower context of social justice. Its main object, however, is to analyze the implications of decentralization for strategies of equity and social justice in Nigeria. It starts from the premise that the early optimism that supported decentralization as an efficient and…

  17. A Role Change Strategy: Decentralized Counseling.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sweet, Gilbert A.

    The debate over new counseling roles rages as some counselors are already adopting them. This paper describes alternative counseling-consulting interventions possible with teachers. It suggests a strategy for speeding the process of role change and encouraging counselor-teacher interaction. The strategy is that of decentralizing counseling offices…

  18. Towards a Decentralized Magnetic Indoor Positioning System

    PubMed Central

    Kasmi, Zakaria; Norrdine, Abdelmoumen; Blankenbach, Jörg

    2015-01-01

    Decentralized magnetic indoor localization is a sophisticated method for processing sampled magnetic data directly on a mobile station (MS), thereby decreasing or even avoiding the need for communication with the base station. In contrast to central-oriented positioning systems, which transmit raw data to a base station, decentralized indoor localization pushes application-level knowledge into the MS. A decentralized position solution has thus a strong feasibility to increase energy efficiency and to prolong the lifetime of the MS. In this article, we present a complete architecture and an implementation for a decentralized positioning system. Furthermore, we introduce a technique for the synchronization of the observed magnetic field on the MS with the artificially-generated magnetic field from the coils. Based on real-time clocks (RTCs) and a preemptive operating system, this method allows a stand-alone control of the coils and a proper assignment of the measured magnetic fields on the MS. A stand-alone control and synchronization of the coils and the MS have an exceptional potential to implement a positioning system without the need for wired or wireless communication and enable a deployment of applications for rescue scenarios, like localization of miners or firefighters. PMID:26690145

  19. Educational Decentralization and Deployment of Physician's Assistants.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fowkes, Virginia Kliner; And Others

    1983-01-01

    A community-based educational network was established to improve the deployment of physicians's assistants away from the original site of training in California's San Francisco Bay Area. The graduates' practice locations for a 7-year period was compared before and after the decentralization of the program. (Author/MLW)

  20. Afterword: The Politics of School Decentralization

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Peterson, Paul E.

    1975-01-01

    Summarizes the organizational process and political bargaining models of policy change, and considers the rational decision-making model as an alternative. Models are interrelated with each other to show how each reveals a dimension of the politics of school decentralization. (Author/AM)

  1. Leadership and the Decentralized Control of Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Steinberg, Matthew P.

    2013-01-01

    This review examines the literature related to leadership and the decentralized control of schools. It first considers the distinctive goals of public and private agencies, the specific constraints that shape the autonomy of leaders in different sectors, and the ways in which new models of public management are infusing public agencies with…

  2. Appia, Craig and the Actor: A New Look.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hubbard, Oliver F., Jr.

    Despite the amount of attention paid Adolphe Appia and Edward Gordon Craig, a misconception persists with regard to their ideas concerning the actor; namely, that Appia had the actor dominate all the elements of staging, and that Craig considered the actor less essential. However, to both, the actor was both essential and nonessential to the…

  3. Beyond the actor's traits: forming impressions of actors, targets, and relationships from social behaviors.

    PubMed

    Frey, K P; Smith, E R

    1993-09-01

    Perceivers who observe social behaviors may form impressions not only of actors' traits but also of people as targets and of interpersonal relationships. In Study 1, Ss read about 4 individuals' behaviors under instructions to form actor-, target-, and relationship-based impressions. Ss then read additional behavioral information that they later tried to recall. Ss accurately perceived actor, target, and relationship effects in the presented information, and they better recalled subsequent behaviors that were consistent with all 3 types of impressions. In Study 2, Ss thought of 4 people they knew and judged how much each liked the other 3. These ratings revealed actor, target, and relationship effects as well as individual and dyadic reciprocity. Perceivers can form relatively accurate impressions of people as actors and as targets and accurate impressions of relationships between people, and these impressions influence memory for further behaviors.

  4. Beyond the actor's traits: forming impressions of actors, targets, and relationships from social behaviors.

    PubMed

    Frey, K P; Smith, E R

    1993-09-01

    Perceivers who observe social behaviors may form impressions not only of actors' traits but also of people as targets and of interpersonal relationships. In Study 1, Ss read about 4 individuals' behaviors under instructions to form actor-, target-, and relationship-based impressions. Ss then read additional behavioral information that they later tried to recall. Ss accurately perceived actor, target, and relationship effects in the presented information, and they better recalled subsequent behaviors that were consistent with all 3 types of impressions. In Study 2, Ss thought of 4 people they knew and judged how much each liked the other 3. These ratings revealed actor, target, and relationship effects as well as individual and dyadic reciprocity. Perceivers can form relatively accurate impressions of people as actors and as targets and accurate impressions of relationships between people, and these impressions influence memory for further behaviors. PMID:8410651

  5. Actor modelling and its contribution to the development of integrative strategies for management of pharmaceuticals in drinking water.

    PubMed

    Titz, Alexandra; Döll, Petra

    2009-02-01

    Widespread presence of human pharmaceuticals in water resources across the globe is documented. While some, but certainly not enough, research on the occurrence, fate and effect of pharmaceuticals in water resources has been carried out, a holistic risk management strategy is missing. The transdisciplinary research project "start" aimed to develop an integrative strategy by the participation of experts representing key actors in the problem field "pharmaceuticals in drinking water". In this paper, we describe a novel modelling method, actor modelling with the semi-quantitative software DANA (Dynamic Actor Network Analysis), and its application in support of identifying an integrative risk management strategy. Based on the individual perceptions of different actors, the approach allows the identification of optimal strategies. Actors' perceptions were elicited by participatory model building and interviews, and were then modelled in perception graphs. Actor modelling indicated that an integrative strategy that targets environmentally-responsible prescription, therapy, and disposal of pharmaceuticals on one hand, and the development of environmentally-friendly pharmaceuticals on the other hand, will likely be most effective for reducing the occurrence of pharmaceuticals in drinking water (at least in Germany where the study was performed). However, unlike most other actors, the pharmaceutical industry itself does not perceive that the production of environmentally-friendly pharmaceuticals is an action that helps to achieve its goals, but contends that continued development of highly active pharmaceutical ingredients will help to reduce the occurrence of pharmaceuticals in the water cycle. Investment in advanced waste or drinking water treatment is opposed by both the wastewater treatment company and the drinking water supplier, and is not mentioned as appropriate by the other actors. According to our experience, actor modelling is a useful method to suggest effective

  6. Public Policies and Strategies of Actors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Loiret, Pierre-Jean

    2011-01-01

    The synthesis "Public Policies and Strategies of Actors" concerns the same theme as Part 4 of the "Handbook of Distance Education" (Moore 2007), which deals with policies, administration, and management. Eleven articles illustrate the theme. Three articles are studies about the experience in France between 2000 and 2003 of the digital campuses.…

  7. Empathy and attribution: turning observers into actors.

    PubMed

    Regan, D T; Totten, J

    1975-11-01

    A laboratory experiment was conducted to test Jones and Nisbett's information-processing explanation of the often-observed tendency for individuals (actors) to provide relatively more situational and less dispositional causal attributions for their behavior than those provided by observers of the same behavior. According to this explanation, aspects of the situation are phenomenologically more salient for actors, whereas characteristics of the actor and his behavior are more salient for observers. To test this explanation, the phenomenological perspective of observers are altered without making available any additional information. Subjects watched a videotape of a get-acquainted conversation after instructions either to observe a target conversant or to empathize with her. As predicted, taking the perspective of the target through empathy resulted in attributions that were relatively more situational and less dispositional than attributions provided by standard observers. The results support Jones and Nisbett's information-processing explanation of actor-observer attributional differences, and shed additional light on the process of empathy.

  8. Policy Actors: Doing Policy Work in Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ball, Stephen J.; Maguire, Meg; Braun, Annette; Hoskins, Kate

    2011-01-01

    This paper considers the "policy work" of teacher actors in schools. It focuses on the "problem of meaning" and offers a typology of roles and positions through which teachers engage with policy and with which policies get "enacted". It argues that "policy work" is made up of a set of complex and differentiated activities which involve both…

  9. Constructing Careers: Actor, Agent, and Author

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Savickas, Mark L.

    2011-01-01

    When individuals seek career counseling, they have stories to tell about their working lives. The aim of career construction theory is to be comprehensive in encouraging employment counselors to listen for a client's career story from the perspectives of actor, agent, and author. Taking multiple perspectives on career stories enables counselors to…

  10. Ecology Based Decentralized Agent Management System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Peysakhov, Maxim D.; Cicirello, Vincent A.; Regli, William C.

    2004-01-01

    The problem of maintaining a desired number of mobile agents on a network is not trivial, especially if we want a completely decentralized solution. Decentralized control makes a system more r e bust and less susceptible to partial failures. The problem is exacerbated on wireless ad hoc networks where host mobility can result in significant changes in the network size and topology. In this paper we propose an ecology-inspired approach to the management of the number of agents. The approach associates agents with living organisms and tasks with food. Agents procreate or die based on the abundance of uncompleted tasks (food). We performed a series of experiments investigating properties of such systems and analyzed their stability under various conditions. We concluded that the ecology based metaphor can be successfully applied to the management of agent populations on wireless ad hoc networks.

  11. A discrete decentralized variable structure robotic controller

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tumeh, Zuheir S.

    1989-01-01

    A decentralized trajectory controller for robotic manipulators is designed and tested using a multiprocessor architecture and a PUMA 560 robot arm. The controller is made up of a nominal model-based component and a correction component based on a variable structure suction control approach. The second control component is designed using bounds on the difference between the used and actual values of the model parameters. Since the continuous manipulator system is digitally controlled along a trajectory, a discretized equivalent model of the manipulator is used to derive the controller. The motivation for decentralized control is that the derived algorithms can be executed in parallel using a distributed, relatively inexpensive, architecture where each joint is assigned a microprocessor. Nonlinear interaction and coupling between joints is treated as a disturbance torque that is estimated and compensated for.

  12. Centralization vs. Decentralization in Medical School Libraries

    PubMed Central

    Crawford, Helen

    1966-01-01

    Does the medical school library in the United States operate more commonly under the university library or the medical school administration? University-connected medical school libraries were asked to indicate (a) the source of their budgets, whether from the central library or the medical school, and (b) the responsibility for their acquisitions and cataloging. Returns received from sixtyeight of the seventy eligible institutions showed decentralization to be much the most common: 71 percent of the libraries are funded by their medical schools; 79 percent are responsible for their own acquisitions and processing. The factor most often associated with centralization of both budget and operation is public ownership. Decentralization is associated with service to one or two rather than three or more professional schools. Location of the medical school in a different city from the university is highly favorable to autonomy. Other factors associated with these trends are discussed. PMID:5945568

  13. Analyzing Von Neumann machines using decentralized symmetries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fang, Jie

    2013-10-01

    The artificial intelligence method to e-business is defined not only by the study of fiber-optic cables, but also by the unproven need for vacuum tubes. Given the current status of virtual archetypes, theorists clearly desire the exploration of semaphores, which embodies the compelling principles of cryptoanalysis. We present an algorithm for probabilistic theory (Buck), which we use to disprove that write-back caches can be made decentralized, lossless, and reliable.

  14. Theory and applications survey of decentralized control methods

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Athans, M.

    1975-01-01

    A nonmathematical overview is presented of trends in the general area of decentralized control strategies which are suitable for hierarchical systems. Advances in decentralized system theory are closely related to advances in the so-called stochastic control problem with nonclassical information pattern. The basic assumptions and mathematical tools pertaining to the classical stochastic control problem are outlined. Particular attention is devoted to pitfalls in the mathematical problem formulation for decentralized control. Major conclusions are that any purely deterministic approach to multilevel hierarchical dynamic systems is unlikely to lead to realistic theories or designs, that the flow of measurements and decisions in a decentralized system should not be instantaneous and error-free, and that delays in information exchange in a decentralized system lead to reasonable approaches to decentralized control. A mathematically precise notion of aggregating information is not yet available.

  15. Decentralized Energy Studies: compendium of U. S. studies and projects

    SciTech Connect

    Quinn, J.; Ohi, J.M.

    1980-06-01

    This compendium was prepared as a part of the Decentralized Energy Studies task at the Solar Energy Research Institute. The compendium lists and briefly describes a number of studies, programs, and projects that involve decentralized energy systems. The purpose is to provide information about research activities in decentralized energy systems to researchers, government officials, and interested citizens. A contact person or address is given for each of the activities listed so that interested readers can obtain more information.

  16. [Evaluation of the capability of decentralized management of epidemiological surveillance in the state of Bahia].

    PubMed

    Santos, Silvone Santa Bárbara da Silva; Melo, Cristina Maria Meira de; Costa, Heloniza Oliveira Gonçalves; Tanaka, Oswaldo Yoshimi; Ramos, Fernanda Mota; Santana, Mário César Carneiro de; Trindade, Bianca Gonzaga

    2012-04-01

    Evaluative research into the capability of decentralized management of epidemiological vigilance (EV) was conducted in the operational, organizational and sustainable dimensions in the state of Bahia, Brazil. The quantitative approach was used in the construction of a baseline, with primary data obtained through an online questionnaire answered by thirty-eight municipal EV managers. In the qualitative approach to analyze the context and assess the management capability of municipalities in two case studies, techniques adapted to the analysis of discursive practices were used. This was done through semi-structured interviews with managers of regional and municipal government, health workers and representatives of the municipal health council. The case studies showed that the municipality with enhanced management capability is that in which the manager has the greatest potential of using the resources of his position, in addition to his ability to control, negotiate and coordinate with other actors. Due to decentralization of EV, considering the shared nature of management between the three spheres of government, there is a marked variation in the management capability of municipalities, determined by social, economic, political inequalities and management mechanisms adopted.

  17. Decentralized solar photovoltaic energy systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krupka, M. C.

    1980-09-01

    Emphasis was placed upon the selection and use of a model residential photovoltaic system to develop and quantify the necessary data. The model consists of a reference home located in Phoenix, AZ utilizing a unique solar cell array roof shingle combination. Silicon solar cells, rated at 13.5 percent efficiency at 28 C and 100 mW/sq cm insolation are used to generate 10 kW (peak). An all electric home is considered with lead acid battery storage, DC AC inversion and utility backup. The reference home is compared to others in regions of different insolation. It is suggested that solar cell materials production and fabrication may have the major environmental impact when comparing all facets of photovoltaic system usage. Fabrication of the various types of solar cell systems involves the need, handling, and transportation of many toxic and hazardous chemicals with attendant health and safety impacts. Increases in production of such materials as lead, antimony, sulfuric acid, copper, plastics, cadmium and gallium will be required should large scale usage of photovoltaic systems be implemented.

  18. The Decentralization Mirage: Comparing Decisionmaking Arrangements in Four High Schools.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bimber, Bruce

    Decentralization has been one of the centerpieces of education reform in the United States over the past decade, yet the results so far are not encouraging. This booklet presents findings of a study that explored the hypothesis that decentralization efforts have failed to relax external constraints on schools or to enable school staffs to make…

  19. Decentralization of Education: Legal Issues. Directions in Development.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Florestal, Ketleen; Cooper, Robb

    In practice, most education systems have both centralized and decentralized elements. Planners involved in a decentralizing reform must identify which components of the system are more appropriately managed at the central level and which at the local level. This book is intended to inform education policymakers, planners, and practitioners about…

  20. Decentralized energy studies: compendium of international studies and research

    SciTech Connect

    Wallace, C.

    1980-03-01

    The purpose of the compendium is to provide information about research activities in decentralized energy systems to researchers, government officials, and interested citizens. The compendium lists and briefly describes a number of studies in other industrialized nations that involve decentralized energy systems. A contact person is given for each of the activities listed so that interested readers can obtain more information.

  1. Setting the Governmental Agenda for State Decentralization of Higher Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McLendon, Michael K.

    2003-01-01

    State decentralization of higher education emerged as a significant governance trend of the 1980s to 1990s. Yet little is known about how or why decentralization first became an issue to which state governments paid serious attention. This study employs multiple theories to analyze the agenda-setting stage of policy formation in three states…

  2. Responsibility Center Management: Lessons from 25 Years of Decentralized Management.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Strauss, Jon C.; Curry, John R.

    Decentralization of authority is a natural act in universities, but decentralization of responsibility is not. A problem faced by universities is the decoupling of academic authority from financial responsibility. The solution proposed in this book for the coupling is Responsibility Center Management (RCM), also called Revenue Responsibility…

  3. Educational Decentralization in Korea: Major Issues and Controversies.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kim, Ee-gyeong

    Korean educational decentralization has been a subject that has continually resurfaced whenever education reform is seriously discussed. Although previous regimes eagerly tackled the issue of educational decentralization in their information and implementation of education reform policies, there is little evidence to show that educational…

  4. School Administration: Optimal Ratio of Centralization to Decentralization.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kapto, A. E.

    1990-01-01

    Compares advantages and disadvantages of centralized and decentralized control in Soviet public schools. Recognizes that centralization concentrates the forces, funds, and available resources necessary for maximum achievement. Suggests that decentralization of administration can be optimized by delegating rights, duties, and responsibilities to…

  5. Decentralized Budgeting in Education: Model Variations and Practitioner Perspectives.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hall, George; Metsinger, Jackie; McGinnis, Patricia

    In educational settings, decentralized budgeting refers to various fiscal practices that disperse budgeting responsibility away from central administration to the line education units. This distributed decision-making is common to several financial management models. Among the many financial management models that employ decentralized budgeting…

  6. Microflora of drinking water distributed through decentralized supply systems (Tomsk)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khvaschevskaya, A. A.; Nalivaiko, N. G.; Shestakova, A. V.

    2016-03-01

    The paper considers microbiological quality of waters from decentralized water supply systems in Tomsk. It has been proved that there are numerous microbial contaminants of different types. The authors claim that the water distributed through decentralized supply systems is not safe to drink without preliminary treatment.

  7. Providing leadership to a decentralized total quality process.

    PubMed

    Diederich, J J; Eisenberg, M

    1993-01-01

    Integrating total quality management into the culture of an organization and the daily work of employees requires a decentralized leadership structure that encourages all employees to become involved. This article, based upon the experience of the University of Michigan Hospitals Professional Services Divisional Lead Team, outlines a process for decentralizing the total quality management process.

  8. Conceptualizing decentralization in European health systems: a functional perspective.

    PubMed

    Saltman, Richard B; Bankauskaite, Vaida

    2006-04-01

    Although decentralization has been widely implemented in health systems, there is little agreement as to how it should be defined or the outcomes it should produce. This article develops a functional typology based on political, administrative, and fiscal dimensions of decentralization. It utilizes these three categories to identify and highlight key theoretical issues concerning decentralization, emphasizing the likely advantages and disadvantages that decentralization can be expected to generate. It then examines the usefulness of this functional framework in explaining recent policy-making decisions within a number of tax-based health systems in Western Europe. The article concludes by suggesting that this three-part typology can be helpful to both policy makers and academics in evaluating the effectiveness of decentralization as a policy mechanism within health care systems.

  9. Issues concerning centralized versus decentralized power deployment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Metcalf, Kenneth J.; Harty, Richard B.; Robin, James F.

    1991-01-01

    The results of a study of proposed lunar base architectures to identify issues concerning centralized and decentralized power system deployment options are presented. The power system consists of the energy producing system (power plant), the power conditioning components used to convert the generated power into the form desired for transmission, the transmission lines that conduct this power from the power sources to the loads, and the primary power conditioning hardware located at the user end. Three power system architectures, centralized, hybrid, and decentralized, were evaluated during the course of this study. Candidate power sources were characterized with respect to mass and radiator area. Two electrical models were created for each architecture to identify the preferred method of power transmission, dc or ac. Each model allowed the transmission voltage level to be varied at assess the impact on power system mass. The ac power system models also permitted the transmission line configurations and placements to determine the best conductor construction and installation location. Key parameters used to evaluate each configuration were power source and power conditioning component efficiencies, masses, and radiator areas; transmission line masses and operating temperatures; and total system mass.

  10. Centralized versus decentralized lunar PMAD study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Metcalf, Kenneth J.

    A study of proposed lunar base architectures was performed to identify issues concerning centralized and decentralized power system deployment options. The power management and distribution (PMAD) system analysis is addressed. The PMAD system consists of power conditioning components that convert the generated power into the form desired for transmission, transmission lines that conduct this power from the power sources to the loads, and power conditioning hardware that converts the power into the form selected for secondary distribution to the loads. Three PMAD architecture configurations were evaluated: centralized, hybrid, and decentralized. Two models were created for each architecture to identify the preferred method of power transmission, DC or AC. Each model permitted the load power demands and distribution voltage level to be varied to assess the impact on power system mass. The AC power system models also allowed the distribution frequency to be changed. Finally, individual models were developed for different transmission line configurations and placements to determine the best conductor construction and installation location.

  11. Optimal Decentralized Protocol for Electric Vehicle Charging

    SciTech Connect

    Gan, LW; Topcu, U; Low, SH

    2013-05-01

    We propose a decentralized algorithm to optimally schedule electric vehicle (EV) charging. The algorithm exploits the elasticity of electric vehicle loads to fill the valleys in electric load profiles. We first formulate the EV charging scheduling problem as an optimal control problem, whose objective is to impose a generalized notion of valley-filling, and study properties of optimal charging profiles. We then give a decentralized algorithm to iteratively solve the optimal control problem. In each iteration, EVs update their charging profiles according to the control signal broadcast by the utility company, and the utility company alters the control signal to guide their updates. The algorithm converges to optimal charging profiles (that are as "flat" as they can possibly be) irrespective of the specifications (e.g., maximum charging rate and deadline) of EVs, even if EVs do not necessarily update their charging profiles in every iteration, and use potentially outdated control signal when they update. Moreover, the algorithm only requires each EV solving its local problem, hence its implementation requires low computation capability. We also extend the algorithm to track a given load profile and to real-time implementation.

  12. Decentralization and public services: the case of immunization.

    PubMed

    Khaleghian, Peyvand

    2004-07-01

    This study examines the impact of political decentralization on an essential public service provided in almost all countries: childhood immunization. The relationship is examined empirically using a time-series data set of 140 low- and middle-income countries from 1980 to 1997. The study finds that decentralization has different effects in low- and middle-income countries. In the low-income group, decentralized countries have higher coverage rates than centralized ones, with an average difference of 8.5 percent for the measles and DTP3 vaccines. In the middle-income group, the reverse effect is observed: decentralized countries have lower coverage rates than centralized ones, with an average difference of 5.2 percent for the same vaccines. Both results are significant at the 99 percent level. Modifiers of the decentralization-immunization relationship also differ in the two groups. In the low-income group, development assistance reduces the gains from decentralization. In the middle-income group, democratic government mitigates the negative effects of decentralization, and decentralization reverses the negative effects of ethnic tension and ethno-linguistic fractionalization, but institutional quality and literacy rates have no interactive effect either way. Similar results are obtained whether decentralization is measured with a dichotomous categorical variable or with more specific measures of fiscal decentralization. The study confirms predictions in the theoretical literature about the negative impact of local political control on services that have public goods characteristics and inter-jurisdictional externalities. Reasons for the difference between low- and middle-income countries are discussed. PMID:15087152

  13. Decentralized energy systems for clean electricity access

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alstone, Peter; Gershenson, Dimitry; Kammen, Daniel M.

    2015-04-01

    Innovative approaches are needed to address the needs of the 1.3 billion people lacking electricity, while simultaneously transitioning to a decarbonized energy system. With particular focus on the energy needs of the underserved, we present an analytic and conceptual framework that clarifies the heterogeneous continuum of centralized on-grid electricity, autonomous mini- or community grids, and distributed, individual energy services. A historical analysis shows that the present day is a unique moment in the history of electrification where decentralized energy networks are rapidly spreading, based on super-efficient end-use appliances and low-cost photovoltaics. We document how this evolution is supported by critical and widely available information technologies, particularly mobile phones and virtual financial services. These disruptive technology systems can rapidly increase access to basic electricity services and directly inform the emerging Sustainable Development Goals for quality of life, while simultaneously driving action towards low-carbon, Earth-sustaining, inclusive energy systems.

  14. Decentralized Software Development: Pitfalls and Challenges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ghezzi, Carlo

    The talk discusses different three main threads through which monolithic and centralized software development became increasingly distributed and decentralized. One is off-shoring, in which geographically distributed teams cooperate in the development of an application. Another is component-based software development, in which two separate development cycles interact: development of component and development of the composite. A third thread is software-as-service, in which the two main stakeholders (service provider and the service client) continue to interact at run time. Each of these threads has its own potential advantages over traditional software development, but also raises fundamental concerns. The talk discusses how they stress some of the conceptually difficult aspects of software development and how they introduce new problems and difficulties that did not exist before.

  15. Survey of decentralized control methods. [for large scale dynamic systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Athans, M.

    1975-01-01

    An overview is presented of the types of problems that are being considered by control theorists in the area of dynamic large scale systems with emphasis on decentralized control strategies. Approaches that deal directly with decentralized decision making for large scale systems are discussed. It is shown that future advances in decentralized system theory are intimately connected with advances in the stochastic control problem with nonclassical information pattern. The basic assumptions and mathematical tools associated with the latter are summarized, and recommendations concerning future research are presented.

  16. Analysis and design of robust decentralized controllers for nonlinear systems

    SciTech Connect

    Schoenwald, D.A.

    1993-07-01

    Decentralized control strategies for nonlinear systems are achieved via feedback linearization techniques. New results on optimization and parameter robustness of non-linear systems are also developed. In addition, parametric uncertainty in large-scale systems is handled by sensitivity analysis and optimal control methods in a completely decentralized framework. This idea is applied to alleviate uncertainty in friction parameters for the gimbal joints on Space Station Freedom. As an example of decentralized nonlinear control, singular perturbation methods and distributed vibration damping are merged into a control strategy for a two-link flexible manipulator.

  17. Formation Flying With Decentralized Control in Libration Point Orbits

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Folta, David; Carpenter, J. Russell; Wagner, Christoph

    2000-01-01

    A decentralized control framework is investigated for applicability of formation flying control in libration orbits. The decentralized approach, being non-hierarchical, processes only direct measurement data, in parallel with the other spacecraft. Control is accomplished via linearization about a reference libration orbit with standard control using a Linear Quadratic Regulator (LQR) or the GSFC control algorithm. Both are linearized about the current state estimate as with the extended Kalman filter. Based on this preliminary work, the decentralized approach appears to be feasible for upcoming libration missions using distributed spacecraft.

  18. Integrating actors into a simulation program: a primer.

    PubMed

    Pascucci, Robert C; Weinstock, Peter H; O'Connor, Brigid E; Fancy, Kristina M; Meyer, Elaine C

    2014-04-01

    We describe our more than 10 years' experience working with actors and provide a "how-to" guide to recruiting, auditioning, hiring, training, and mentoring actors for work as simulated patients in simulation programs. We contend that trained actors add great realism, richness, and depth to simulation-based training programs. The actors experience satisfaction from their contributions, and their skill and improvisational talent allow programs to offer ethical and relational training, customized to a wide range of practitioners and adapted across a variety of health care conversations. Such learning opportunities can directly address Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education core competencies in preparing capable, confident, and empathic health care practitioners.

  19. EVALUATION OF ECONOMIC INCENTIVES FOR DECENTRALIZED STORMWATER RUNOFF MANAGEMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    Impervious surfaces in urban and suburban areas can lead to excess stormwater runoff throughout a watershed, typically resulting in widespread hydrologic and ecological alteration of receiving streams. Decentralized stormwater management may improve stream ecosystems by reducing ...

  20. Engaging Social Capital for Decentralized Urban Stormwater Management

    EPA Science Inventory

    Decentralized approaches to urban stormwater management, whereby installations of green infrastructure (e.g., rain gardens, bioswales, and constructed wetlands) are dispersed throughout a management area, are cost-effective solutions with co-benefits beyond water abatement. Inste...

  1. Educational decentralization, public spending, and social justice in Nigeria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Geo-Jaja, Macleans A.

    2007-01-01

    This study situates the process of educational decentralization in the narrower context of social justice. Its main object, however, is to analyze the implications of decentralization for strategies of equity and social justice in Nigeria. It starts from the premise that the early optimism that supported decentralization as an efficient and effective educational reform tool has been disappointed. The author maintains that decentralization — on its own — cannot improve education service delivery, the capacities of subordinate governments, or the integration of social policy in broader development goals. If the desired goals are to be met, public spending must be increased, greater tax revenues must be secured, and macro-economic stabilization must be achieved without re-instituting the welfare state.

  2. Decentralized control of large flexible structures by joint decoupling

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Su, Tzu-Jeng; Juang, Jer-Nan

    1994-01-01

    This paper presents a novel method to design decentralized controllers for large complex flexible structures by using the idea of joint decoupling. Decoupling of joint degrees of freedom from the interior degrees of freedom is achieved by setting the joint actuator commands to cancel the internal forces exerting on the joint degrees of freedom. By doing so, the interactions between substructures are eliminated. The global structure control design problem is then decomposed into several substructure control design problems. Control commands for interior actuators are set to be localized state feedback using decentralized observers for state estimation. The proposed decentralized controllers can operate successfully at the individual substructure level as well as at the global structure level. Not only control design but also control implementation is decentralized. A two-component mass-spring-damper system is used as an example to demonstrate the proposed method.

  3. Drivers of Environmental Institutional Dynamics in Decentralized African Countries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hassenforder, Emeline; Barreteau, Olivier; Daniell, Katherine Anne; Pittock, Jamie; Ferrand, Nils

    2015-12-01

    This paper builds on the assumption that an effective approach to support the sustainability of natural resource management initiatives is institutional "bricolage." We argue that participatory planning processes can foster institutional bricolage by encouraging stakeholders to make their own arrangements based on the hybridization of old and new institutions. This papers aims at identifying how participatory process facilitators can encourage institutional bricolage. Specifically the paper investigates the specific contextual and procedural drivers of institutional dynamics in two case studies: the Rwenzori region in Uganda and the Fogera woreda in Ethiopia. In both cases, participatory planning processes were implemented. This research has three innovative aspects. First, it establishes a clear distinction between six terms which are useful for identifying, describing, and analyzing institutional dynamics: formal and informal; institutions and organizations; and emergence and change. Secondly, it compares the contrasting institutional dynamics in the two case studies. Thirdly, process-tracing is used to identify contextual and procedural drivers to institutional dynamics. We assume that procedural drivers can be used as "levers" by facilitators to trigger institutional bricolage. We found that facilitators need to pay particular attention to the institutional context in which the participatory planning process takes place, and especially at existing institutional gaps or failures. We identified three clusters of procedural levers: the selection and engagement of participants; the legitimacy, knowledge, and ideas of facilitators; and the design of the process, including the scale at which it is developed, the participatory tools used and the management of the diversity of frames.

  4. Nepal health sector decentralization in limbo: what are the bottlenecks?

    PubMed

    Gurung, G

    2011-06-01

    Nepal's efforts to decentralize its governance date back to over half a century. These efforts remained incomplete due to different reasons including administrative responses and political development affecting its implementation. The Local Self Governance Act (LSGA), 1999 envisaged, for the first time, to decentralize governance in the health sector through devolution of responsibilities, authority and resources to the local bodies. However, the pace of health sector decentralization in Nepal even after the LSGA was enacted has not progressed satisfactorily due to different reasons. The purpose of this paper is to discuss why health sector decentralization in Nepal has not advanced as expected. This paper identifies many issues--policy related, political, functional, and institutional--as stumbling blocks for health sector decentralization of Nepal. More specifically, the major bottlenecks for progress are lack of a clear cut policy, poor coordination among different sectors, improper handover process, lack of elected bodies, poor selection process of management committees, lack of coherence in the capacity building process of local bodies, ongoing debate about state restructuring including federalism and different political ideologies on decentralization. PMID:22364101

  5. Taking stock of decentralized disaster risk reduction in Indonesia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grady, Anthony; Gersonius, Berry; Makarigakis, Alexandros

    2016-09-01

    The Sendai Framework, which outlines the global course on disaster risk reduction until 2030, places strong importance on the role of local government in disaster risk reduction. An aim of decentralization is to increase the influence and authority of local government in decision making. Yet, there is limited empirical evidence of the extent, character and effects of decentralization in current disaster risk reduction implementation, and of the barriers that are most critical to this. This paper evaluates decentralization in relation to disaster risk reduction in Indonesia, chosen for its recent actions to decentralize governance of DRR coupled with a high level of disaster risk. An analytical framework was developed to evaluate the various dimensions of decentralized disaster risk reduction, which necessitated the use of a desk study, semi-structured interviews and a gap analysis. Key barriers to implementation in Indonesia included: capacity gaps at lower institutional levels, low compliance with legislation, disconnected policies, issues in communication and coordination and inadequate resourcing. However, any of these barriers are not unique to disaster risk reduction, and similar barriers have been observed for decentralization in other developing countries in other public sectors.

  6. The snow system: A decentralized medical data processing system.

    PubMed

    Bellika, Johan Gustav; Henriksen, Torje Starbo; Yigzaw, Kassaye Yitbarek

    2015-01-01

    Systems for large-scale reuse of electronic health record data is claimed to have the potential to transform the current health care delivery system. In principle three alternative solutions for reuse exist: centralized, data warehouse, and decentralized solutions. This chapter focuses on the decentralized system alternative. Decentralized systems may be categorized into approaches that move data to enable computations or move computations to the where data is located to enable computations. We describe a system that moves computations to where the data is located. Only this kind of decentralized solution has the capabilities to become ideal systems for reuse as the decentralized alternative enables computation and reuse of electronic health record data without moving or exposing the information to outsiders. This chapter describes the Snow system, which is a decentralized medical data processing system, its components and how it has been used. It also describes the requirements this kind of systems need to support to become sustainable and successful in recruiting voluntary participation from health institutions.

  7. On with the Show! A Guide for Directors and Actors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bestor, Sheri

    2005-01-01

    Divided into two parts, the Director's Handbook and the Actor's Handbook, On With the Show! enables directors and actors to get the most out of rehearsal time at home and on the stage. Providing essential time-saving techniques, worksheets, and samples, this guide allows performers and directors to work more effectively and efficiently toward the…

  8. Teaching, Learning, and Leading: Preparing Teachers as Educational Policy Actors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Heineke, Amy J.; Ryan, Ann Marie; Tocci, Charles

    2015-01-01

    Within the current federal, state, and local contexts of educational reform, teachers must be recognized as central actors in policy work, but rarely do we explicitly consider preparing teachers to become policy actors. Understanding these implications for teacher education, we investigate teacher candidates' learning of the complexity and…

  9. Understanding the Employment of Actors. Research Division Report #3.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Endowment for the Arts, Washington, DC. Research Div.

    Focusing on actors' employment problems, part 1 of this report describes data collected by Actor's Equity primarily in terms of: (1) membership files; (2) the organization's contract department; (3) pension and welfare funds; and (4) employment statistics. Part 2 analyzes these data sets in relation to employment, unemployment, risk factors for…

  10. ACToR: Aggregated Computational Toxicology Resource (T)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The EPA Aggregated Computational Toxicology Resource (ACToR) is a set of databases compiling information on chemicals in the environment from a large number of public and in-house EPA sources. ACToR has 3 main goals: (1) The serve as a repository of public toxicology information ...

  11. To decentralize or not to decentralize, is that the question? Nicaraguan health policy under structural adjustment in the 1990s.

    PubMed

    Birn, A E; Zimmerman, S; Garfield, R

    2000-01-01

    Since 1990, health services decentralization in Nicaragua has been accompanied by structural adjustment, resulting in reduced equity and accountability. Sandinista efforts in the 1980s to extend access to primary care and reduce class and regional disparities in the delivery of health services were accompanied by modest attempts to increase local-level accountability and responsiveness. The escalation of war in the late 1980s transformed this effort into greater de facto decentralization. Over the past decade, Nicaragua has used decentralization policy to restructure the health system through health spending cuts and the favoring of curative over preventive services; privatization and the promotion of user fees; and confusion of lines of accountability. The authors analyze the 1990s' health policies in Nicaragua, paying particular attention to the blending of decentralization policy with the fiscal and administrative reforms advanced by the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and other international agencies. They conclude that analyzing decentralization as a sector-specific reform that can be ameliorated through technocratic modifications is insufficient. A full understanding of the problems and possibilities of decentralization requires an analysis of the political and economic context that conditions these policies. PMID:10707302

  12. Establishing trust in decentralized smart sensor networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vagts, H.; Cosar, T.; Beyerer, J.

    2011-06-01

    Smart sensors can gather all kind of information and process it. Cameras are still dominating and smart cameras can offer services for face recognition or person tracking. Operators are building collaborations to cover a larger area, to save costs and to add more and different sensors. Cryptographic methods may achieve integrity and confidentiality between operators, but not trust. Even if a partner or one of his sensors is authenticated, no statements can be made about the quality of the sensor data. Hence, trust must be established between the partners and their sensors. Trust can be built based on past experience. A reputation system collects opinions of operators about the behavior of sensors and calculates trust based on these opinions. Many reputation systems have been proposed, e.g., for authentication of files in peer-topeer networks. This work presents a new reputation system, which is designed to calculate the trustworthiness of smart sensors and smart sensor systems. A new trust model, including functions to calculate and update trust on past experiences, is proposed. When fusing information of multiple sensors, it cannot always be reconstructed, which information led to a bad result. Hence, an approach for fair rating is shown. The proposed system has been realized in a Service-Oriented Architecture for easy integration in existing smart sensor systems, e.g., smart surveillance systems. The model itself can be used in every decentralized heterogeneous smart sensor network.

  13. Forest biodiversity monitoring for REDD+: a case study of actors' views in Peru.

    PubMed

    Entenmann, Steffen K; Kaphegyi, Thomas A M; Schmitt, Christine B

    2014-02-01

    The climate change mitigation mechanism Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in developing countries (REDD+) is currently being negotiated under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Integrating biodiversity monitoring into REDD+ facilitates compliance with the safeguards stipulated by the UNFCCC to exclude environmental risks. Interviews with actors engaged in REDD+ implementation and biodiversity conservation at the national and sub-national level in Peru (n = 30) and a literature review (n = 58) were conducted to pinpoint constraints and opportunities for monitoring effects of REDD+ management interventions on biodiversity, and to identify relevant biodiversity data and indicators. It was found that particularly sub-national actors, who were frequently involved in REDD+ pilot projects, acknowledge the availability of biodiversity data. Actors at both the national and sub-national levels, however, criticized data gaps and data being scattered across biodiversity research organizations. Most of the literature reviewed (78 %) included indicators on the state of certain biodiversity aspects, especially mammals. Indicators for pressure on biodiversity, impacts on environmental functions, or policy responses to environmental threats were addressed less frequently (31, 21, and 10 %, respectively). Integrating biodiversity concerns in carbon monitoring schemes was considered to have potential, although few specific examples were identified. The involvement of biodiversity research organizations in sub-national REDD+ activities enhances monitoring capacities. It is discussed how improvements in collaboration among actors from the project to the national level could facilitate the evaluation of existing information at the national level. Monitoring changes in ecosystem services may increase the ecological and socioeconomic viability of REDD+.

  14. Forest Biodiversity Monitoring for REDD+: A Case Study of Actors' Views in Peru

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Entenmann, Steffen K.; Kaphegyi, Thomas A. M.; Schmitt, Christine B.

    2014-02-01

    The climate change mitigation mechanism Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in developing countries (REDD+) is currently being negotiated under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Integrating biodiversity monitoring into REDD+ facilitates compliance with the safeguards stipulated by the UNFCCC to exclude environmental risks. Interviews with actors engaged in REDD+ implementation and biodiversity conservation at the national and sub-national level in Peru ( n = 30) and a literature review ( n = 58) were conducted to pinpoint constraints and opportunities for monitoring effects of REDD+ management interventions on biodiversity, and to identify relevant biodiversity data and indicators. It was found that particularly sub-national actors, who were frequently involved in REDD+ pilot projects, acknowledge the availability of biodiversity data. Actors at both the national and sub-national levels, however, criticized data gaps and data being scattered across biodiversity research organizations. Most of the literature reviewed (78 %) included indicators on the state of certain biodiversity aspects, especially mammals. Indicators for pressure on biodiversity, impacts on environmental functions, or policy responses to environmental threats were addressed less frequently (31, 21, and 10 %, respectively). Integrating biodiversity concerns in carbon monitoring schemes was considered to have potential, although few specific examples were identified. The involvement of biodiversity research organizations in sub-national REDD+ activities enhances monitoring capacities. It is discussed how improvements in collaboration among actors from the project to the national level could facilitate the evaluation of existing information at the national level. Monitoring changes in ecosystem services may increase the ecological and socioeconomic viability of REDD+.

  15. Forest biodiversity monitoring for REDD+: a case study of actors' views in Peru.

    PubMed

    Entenmann, Steffen K; Kaphegyi, Thomas A M; Schmitt, Christine B

    2014-02-01

    The climate change mitigation mechanism Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in developing countries (REDD+) is currently being negotiated under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Integrating biodiversity monitoring into REDD+ facilitates compliance with the safeguards stipulated by the UNFCCC to exclude environmental risks. Interviews with actors engaged in REDD+ implementation and biodiversity conservation at the national and sub-national level in Peru (n = 30) and a literature review (n = 58) were conducted to pinpoint constraints and opportunities for monitoring effects of REDD+ management interventions on biodiversity, and to identify relevant biodiversity data and indicators. It was found that particularly sub-national actors, who were frequently involved in REDD+ pilot projects, acknowledge the availability of biodiversity data. Actors at both the national and sub-national levels, however, criticized data gaps and data being scattered across biodiversity research organizations. Most of the literature reviewed (78 %) included indicators on the state of certain biodiversity aspects, especially mammals. Indicators for pressure on biodiversity, impacts on environmental functions, or policy responses to environmental threats were addressed less frequently (31, 21, and 10 %, respectively). Integrating biodiversity concerns in carbon monitoring schemes was considered to have potential, although few specific examples were identified. The involvement of biodiversity research organizations in sub-national REDD+ activities enhances monitoring capacities. It is discussed how improvements in collaboration among actors from the project to the national level could facilitate the evaluation of existing information at the national level. Monitoring changes in ecosystem services may increase the ecological and socioeconomic viability of REDD+. PMID:24178126

  16. Risk Governance of Multiple Natural Hazards: Centralized versus Decentralized Approach in Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Komendantova, Nadejda; Scolobig, Anna; Vinchon, Charlotte

    2014-05-01

    social sciences. The implementation of a multi-risk approach can be strengthened through the creation of multi-risk platforms and multi-risk commissions, which can liaise between risk management experts and local communities and to unify numerous actions on natural hazard management. However, the multi-risk approach cannot be a subsidiary to a single risk approach, and both have to be pursued. References: IRGC. (2011). Concept note: Improving the management of emerging risks: Risks from new technologies, system interactions, and unforeseen or changing circumstances. International Risk Governance Council (IRGC), Geneva. Kappes, M. S., Keiler, M., Elverfeldt, von K., & Glade, T, (2012). Challenges of analyzing multi-hazard risk: A review. Natural Hazards, 64(2), 1925-1958. doi: 10.1007/s11069-012-0294-2. Komendantova N, Scolobig A, Vinchon C (2013). Multi-risk approach in centralized and decentralized risk governance systems: Case studies of Naples, Italy and Guadeloupe, France. International Relations and Diplomacy, 1(3):224-239 (December 2013) Scolobig, A., Vichon, C., Komendantova, N., Bengoubou-Valerius, M., & Patt, A. (2013). Social and institutional barriers to effective multi-hazard and multi-risk decision-making governance. D6.3 MATRIX project. Selva, J. (2013). Long-term multi-risk assessment: statistical treatment of interaction among risks. Natural Hazards, 67(2),701-722. UNISDR. (2013). Implementing the HYOGO framework for action in Europe: Regional synthesis report 2011-2013. Verweij, M., & Thompson, M. (Eds.). (2006). Clumsy solutions for a complex world: Governance, politics, and plural perceptions. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. White, G., Kates, R., & Burton, I. (2001). Knowing better and losing even more: the use of knowledge in hazards management. Environmental Hazards, 3, 81-92.

  17. A false dichotomy? Mental illness and lone-actor terrorism.

    PubMed

    Corner, Emily; Gill, Paul

    2015-02-01

    We test whether significant differences in mental illness exist in a matched sample of lone- and group-based terrorists. We then test whether there are distinct behavioral differences between lone-actor terrorists with and without mental illness. We then stratify our sample across a range of diagnoses and again test whether significant differences exist. We conduct a series of bivariate, multivariate, and multinomial statistical tests using a unique dataset of 119 lone-actor terrorists and a matched sample of group-based terrorists. The odds of a lone-actor terrorist having a mental illness is 13.49 times higher than the odds of a group actor having a mental illness. Lone actors who were mentally ill were 18.07 times more likely to have a spouse or partner who was involved in a wider movement than those without a history of mental illness. Those with a mental illness were more likely to have a proximate upcoming life change, more likely to have been a recent victim of prejudice, and experienced proximate and chronic stress. The results identify behaviors and traits that security agencies can utilize to monitor and prevent lone-actor terrorism events. The correlated behaviors provide an image of how risk can crystalize within the individual offender and that our understanding of lone-actor terrorism should be multivariate in nature.

  18. Comparative LCA of decentralized wastewater treatment alternatives for non-potable urban reuse.

    PubMed

    Opher, Tamar; Friedler, Eran

    2016-11-01

    Municipal wastewater (WW) effluent represents a reliable and significant source for reclaimed water, very much needed nowadays. Water reclamation and reuse has become an attractive option for conserving and extending available water sources. The decentralized approach to domestic WW treatment benefits from the advantages of source separation, which makes available simple small-scale systems and on-site reuse, which can be constructed on a short time schedule and occasionally upgraded with new technological developments. In this study we perform a Life Cycle Assessment to compare between the environmental impacts of four alternatives for a hypothetical city's water-wastewater service system. The baseline alternative is the most common, centralized approach for WW treatment, in which WW is conveyed to and treated in a large wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) and is then discharged to a stream. The three alternatives represent different scales of distribution of the WW treatment phase, along with urban irrigation and domestic non-potable water reuse (toilet flushing). The first alternative includes centralized treatment at a WWTP, with part of the reclaimed WW (RWW) supplied back to the urban consumers. The second and third alternatives implement de-centralized greywater (GW) treatment with local reuse, one at cluster level (320 households) and one at building level (40 households). Life cycle impact assessment results show a consistent disadvantage of the prevailing centralized approach under local conditions in Israel, where seawater desalination is the marginal source of water supply. The alternative of source separation and GW reuse at cluster level seems to be the most preferable one, though its environmental performance is only slightly better than GW reuse at building level. Centralized WW treatment with urban reuse of WWTP effluents is not advantageous over decentralized treatment of GW because the supply of RWW back to consumers is very costly in materials and

  19. Comparative LCA of decentralized wastewater treatment alternatives for non-potable urban reuse.

    PubMed

    Opher, Tamar; Friedler, Eran

    2016-11-01

    Municipal wastewater (WW) effluent represents a reliable and significant source for reclaimed water, very much needed nowadays. Water reclamation and reuse has become an attractive option for conserving and extending available water sources. The decentralized approach to domestic WW treatment benefits from the advantages of source separation, which makes available simple small-scale systems and on-site reuse, which can be constructed on a short time schedule and occasionally upgraded with new technological developments. In this study we perform a Life Cycle Assessment to compare between the environmental impacts of four alternatives for a hypothetical city's water-wastewater service system. The baseline alternative is the most common, centralized approach for WW treatment, in which WW is conveyed to and treated in a large wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) and is then discharged to a stream. The three alternatives represent different scales of distribution of the WW treatment phase, along with urban irrigation and domestic non-potable water reuse (toilet flushing). The first alternative includes centralized treatment at a WWTP, with part of the reclaimed WW (RWW) supplied back to the urban consumers. The second and third alternatives implement de-centralized greywater (GW) treatment with local reuse, one at cluster level (320 households) and one at building level (40 households). Life cycle impact assessment results show a consistent disadvantage of the prevailing centralized approach under local conditions in Israel, where seawater desalination is the marginal source of water supply. The alternative of source separation and GW reuse at cluster level seems to be the most preferable one, though its environmental performance is only slightly better than GW reuse at building level. Centralized WW treatment with urban reuse of WWTP effluents is not advantageous over decentralized treatment of GW because the supply of RWW back to consumers is very costly in materials and

  20. Towards a computational model of actor-based language comprehension.

    PubMed

    Alday, Phillip M; Schlesewsky, Matthias; Bornkessel-Schlesewsky, Ina

    2014-01-01

    Neurophysiological data from a range of typologically diverse languages provide evidence for a cross-linguistically valid, actor-based strategy of understanding sentence-level meaning. This strategy seeks to identify the participant primarily responsible for the state of affairs (the actor) as quickly and unambiguously as possible, thus resulting in competition for the actor role when there are multiple candidates. Due to its applicability across languages with vastly different characteristics, we have proposed that the actor strategy may derive from more basic cognitive or neurobiological organizational principles, though it is also shaped by distributional properties of the linguistic input (e.g. the morphosyntactic coding strategies for actors in a given language). Here, we describe an initial computational model of the actor strategy and how it interacts with language-specific properties. Specifically, we contrast two distance metrics derived from the output of the computational model (one weighted and one unweighted) as potential measures of the degree of competition for actorhood by testing how well they predict modulations of electrophysiological activity engendered by language processing. To this end, we present an EEG study on word order processing in German and use linear mixed-effects models to assess the effect of the various distance metrics. Our results show that a weighted metric, which takes into account the weighting of an actor-identifying feature in the language under consideration outperforms an unweighted distance measure. We conclude that actor competition effects cannot be reduced to feature overlap between multiple sentence participants and thereby to the notion of similarity-based interference, which is prominent in current memory-based models of language processing. Finally, we argue that, in addition to illuminating the underlying neurocognitive mechanisms of actor competition, the present model can form the basis for a more comprehensive

  1. ACToR Chemical Structure processing using Open Source ChemInformatics Libraries (FutureToxII)

    EPA Science Inventory

    ACToR (Aggregated Computational Toxicology Resource) is a centralized database repository developed by the National Center for Computational Toxicology (NCCT) at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Free and open source tools were used to compile toxicity data from ove...

  2. Decentralizing conservation and diversifying livelihoods within Kanchenjunga Conservation Area, Nepal.

    PubMed

    Parker, Pete; Thapa, Brijesh; Jacob, Aerin

    2015-12-01

    To alleviate poverty and enhance conservation in resource dependent communities, managers must identify existing livelihood strategies and the associated factors that impede household access to livelihood assets. Researchers increasingly advocate reallocating management power from exclusionary central institutions to a decentralized system of management based on local and inclusive participation. However, it is yet to be shown if decentralizing conservation leads to diversified livelihoods within a protected area. The purpose of this study was to identify and assess factors affecting household livelihood diversification within Nepal's Kanchenjunga Conservation Area Project, the first protected area in Asia to decentralize conservation. We randomly surveyed 25% of Kanchenjunga households to assess household socioeconomic and demographic characteristics and access to livelihood assets. We used a cluster analysis with the ten most common income generating activities (both on- and off-farm) to group the strategies households use to diversify livelihoods, and a multinomial logistic regression to identify predictors of livelihood diversification. We found four distinct groups of household livelihood strategies with a range of diversification that directly corresponded to household income. The predictors of livelihood diversification were more related to pre-existing socioeconomic and demographic factors (e.g., more landholdings and livestock, fewer dependents, receiving remittances) than activities sponsored by decentralizing conservation (e.g., microcredit, training, education, interaction with project staff). Taken together, our findings indicate that without direct policies to target marginalized groups, decentralized conservation in Kanchenjunga will continue to exclude marginalized groups, limiting a household's ability to diversify their livelihood and perpetuating their dependence on natural resources.

  3. Reinforcement learning for a biped robot based on a CPG-actor-critic method.

    PubMed

    Nakamura, Yutaka; Mori, Takeshi; Sato, Masa-aki; Ishii, Shin

    2007-08-01

    Animals' rhythmic movements, such as locomotion, are considered to be controlled by neural circuits called central pattern generators (CPGs), which generate oscillatory signals. Motivated by this biological mechanism, studies have been conducted on the rhythmic movements controlled by CPG. As an autonomous learning framework for a CPG controller, we propose in this article a reinforcement learning method we call the "CPG-actor-critic" method. This method introduces a new architecture to the actor, and its training is roughly based on a stochastic policy gradient algorithm presented recently. We apply this method to an automatic acquisition problem of control for a biped robot. Computer simulations show that training of the CPG can be successfully performed by our method, thus allowing the biped robot to not only walk stably but also adapt to environmental changes. PMID:17412559

  4. Review of legal and institutional issues in the use of decentralized solar energy systems

    SciTech Connect

    Schweitzer, M.

    1980-04-01

    The legal and institutional issues involved in the use of decentralized solar energy systems are examined for the purpose of advising government planners and policymakers, the solar industry, solar researchers, and prospective solar users of present and potential impediments and incentives to solar commercialization. This information was gathered primarily through a comprehensive literature review, with supplementary data provided through interviews with representatives of organizations active in the solar field. Five major issue areas were identified in the course of this study: (1) prohibitions on the use of solar equipment, (2) regulation of the production and placement of solar systems, (3) access to sunlight, (4) financial incentives and impediments to the use of solar technologies, and (5) the public utility-solar user interface. Each can be important in its impacts on the incidence of solar usage. The major actors involved with the issues identified above represent both the private and public sectors. Important private sector participants include solar manufacturers and installers, labor unions, lending institutions, utility companies, solar users themselves, and other community property owners. In the public sector, local, state, and federal governments are all capable of acting in ways that can influence the solar commercialization effort. Implementation options are available for all levels of government seeking to take an active role in addressing the previously mentioned legal and institutional issues. The appropriate actions will vary from federal to state to local governments, but each level can be important in removing existing barriers and creating new incentives for solar use.

  5. Modelling the Impact of Human Actors on Groundwater Resources under Conditions of Climate Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barthel, R.; Reichenau, T. G.; Krimly, T.; Dabbert, S.; Schneider, K.; Mauser, W.; Hennicker, R.

    2012-12-01

    Water resources, activities of human actors and climate change are related in many different and complex ways because of the existence of and strong interactions between various influencing factors, including those that are natural-environmental and socio-economic. The GLOWA-Danube research cooperation has developed the integrated simulation system DANUBIA to simulate water-related influences of global change in different spatial and temporal contexts. DANUBIA is a modular system comprised of 17 dynamically-coupled, process-based model components and a framework which controls the interaction of these components with respect to space and time. This contribution describes approaches and capabilities of DANUBIA with regard to the simulation of global change effects on human decisions in water related fields with a focus on agriculture and groundwater. In agriculture, market prices and legislation can be equally or even more important than water availability in determining farmers' behavior and thus in determining the agricultural impact on water resources quantity and quality. The DANUBIA simulation framework and the associated DeepActor-framework for simulation of decision-making by human actors are presented together with the model components which are most relevant to the interactions between agriculture and groundwater. The approach for developing combination climate and socio-economic scenarios is explained. Exemplary scenario results are shown for the Upper Danube Catchment in Southern Germany. References Barthel, R., Janisch, S., N. Schwarz, A. Trifkovic, D. Nickel, C. Schulz, W. Mauser (2008): An integrated modelling framework for simulating regional-scale actor responses to global change in the water domain. Environmental Modelling and Software, 23, 1095-1121 (doi:10.1016/j.envsoft.2008.02.004) Barthel, R., Reichenau T., Krimly, T., Dabbert, S., Schneider, K., Mauser, W. (2012) Integrated modeling of climate change impacts on agriculture and groundwater

  6. Whose Journey Is It? A Critic's Plea to Actors.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lasser, Michael

    1999-01-01

    Laments the narcissism that the author sees in too many contemporary approaches to acting and directing. Argues that actors must focus on the world outside themselves, where the play and the audience most need them to be. (SR)

  7. Efficient model learning methods for actor-critic control.

    PubMed

    Grondman, Ivo; Vaandrager, Maarten; Buşoniu, Lucian; Babuska, Robert; Schuitema, Erik

    2012-06-01

    We propose two new actor-critic algorithms for reinforcement learning. Both algorithms use local linear regression (LLR) to learn approximations of the functions involved. A crucial feature of the algorithms is that they also learn a process model, and this, in combination with LLR, provides an efficient policy update for faster learning. The first algorithm uses a novel model-based update rule for the actor parameters. The second algorithm does not use an explicit actor but learns a reference model which represents a desired behavior, from which desired control actions can be calculated using the inverse of the learned process model. The two novel methods and a standard actor-critic algorithm are applied to the pendulum swing-up problem, in which the novel methods achieve faster learning than the standard algorithm. PMID:22156998

  8. ACToR A Aggregated Computational Toxicology Resource (S)

    EPA Science Inventory

    We are developing the ACToR system (Aggregated Computational Toxicology Resource) to serve as a repository for a variety of types of chemical, biological and toxicological data that can be used for predictive modeling of chemical toxicology.

  9. Membrane bio-reactors for decentralized wastewater treatment and reuse.

    PubMed

    Meuler, S; Paris, S; Hackner, T

    2008-01-01

    Decentralized wastewater treatment is the key to sustainable water management because it facilitates effluent (and nutrient) reuse for irrigation or as service water in households. Membrane bioreactors (MBR) can produce effluents of bathing water quality. Septic tanks can be retrofitted to MBR units. Package MBR plants for wastewater or grey water treatment are also available. Systems for decentralized treatment and reuse of domestic wastewater or grey water are also feasible for hotels, condominiums and apartment or office complexes. This paper presents the effluent qualities of different decentralized MBR applications. The high effluent quality allows infiltration even in sensitive areas or reuse for irrigation, toilet flushing and cleaning proposes in households. Due to the reusability of treated water and the possibility to design the systems for carbon reduction only, these systems can ideally and easily serve to close water and nutrient loops.

  10. Decentralized Control of Sound Radiation Using Iterative Loop Recovery

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schiller, Noah H.; Cabell, Randolph H.; Fuller, Chris R.

    2009-01-01

    A decentralized model-based control strategy is designed to reduce low-frequency sound radiation from periodically stiffened panels. While decentralized control systems tend to be scalable, performance can be limited due to modeling error introduced by the unmodeled interaction between neighboring control units. Since bounds on modeling error are not known in advance, it is difficult to ensure the decentralized control system will be robust without making the controller overly conservative. Therefore an iterative approach is suggested, which utilizes frequency-shaped loop recovery. The approach accounts for modeling error introduced by neighboring control loops, requires no communication between subsystems, and is relatively simple. The control strategy is evaluated numerically using a model of a stiffened aluminum panel that is representative of the sidewall of an aircraft. Simulations demonstrate that the iterative approach can achieve significant reductions in radiated sound power from the stiffened panel without destabilizing neighboring control units.

  11. Decentralized control of sound radiation using iterative loop recovery.

    PubMed

    Schiller, Noah H; Cabell, Randolph H; Fuller, Chris R

    2010-10-01

    A decentralized model-based control strategy is designed to reduce low-frequency sound radiation from periodically stiffened panels. While decentralized control systems tend to be scalable, performance can be limited due to modeling error introduced by the unmodeled interaction between neighboring control units. Since bounds on modeling error are not known in advance, it is difficult to ensure the decentralized control system will be robust without making the controller overly conservative. Therefore an iterative approach is suggested, which utilizes frequency-shaped loop recovery. The approach accounts for modeling error introduced by neighboring control loops, requires no communication between subsystems, and is relatively simple. The control strategy is evaluated numerically using a model of a stiffened aluminum panel that is representative of the sidewall of an aircraft. Simulations demonstrate that the iterative approach can achieve significant reductions in radiated sound power from the stiffened panel without destabilizing neighboring control units.

  12. [Decentralization of epidemiological surveillance in Pernambuco State, Brazil].

    PubMed

    Albuquerque, Ana Coelho de; Mota, Eduardo Luiz Andrade; Felisberto, Eronildo

    2015-04-01

    The study aimed to analyze the relationship between decentralization of the Brazilian Unified National Health System (SUS) and the development of epidemiological surveillance activities in municipalities (counties) in Pernambuco State, Brazil. This was an exploratory descriptive qualitative and quantitative study, including a document search, completion of semi-structured interviews by key informants, and an ecological spatial and time trend study of selected health indicators, covering a 10-year period (2001-2010). The study showed that municipalities adhered to the decentralization process, which was making progress in Pernambuco, but with inequalities and weaknesses in its development. There was also a fluctuation in the time series for the selected indicators. Thus, even though the decentralization of epidemiological surveillance is still incipient in some municipalities, their protagonist role in implementing the activities promotes empowerment at the local level by producing key information for decision-making.

  13. Decentralized control of sound radiation using iterative loop recovery.

    PubMed

    Schiller, Noah H; Cabell, Randolph H; Fuller, Chris R

    2010-10-01

    A decentralized model-based control strategy is designed to reduce low-frequency sound radiation from periodically stiffened panels. While decentralized control systems tend to be scalable, performance can be limited due to modeling error introduced by the unmodeled interaction between neighboring control units. Since bounds on modeling error are not known in advance, it is difficult to ensure the decentralized control system will be robust without making the controller overly conservative. Therefore an iterative approach is suggested, which utilizes frequency-shaped loop recovery. The approach accounts for modeling error introduced by neighboring control loops, requires no communication between subsystems, and is relatively simple. The control strategy is evaluated numerically using a model of a stiffened aluminum panel that is representative of the sidewall of an aircraft. Simulations demonstrate that the iterative approach can achieve significant reductions in radiated sound power from the stiffened panel without destabilizing neighboring control units. PMID:20968346

  14. The Design of a Decentralized Electronic Triage System

    PubMed Central

    Massey, Tammara; Gao, Tia; Welsh, Matt; Sharp, Jonathan H.; Sarrafzadeh, Majid

    2006-01-01

    The Advanced Health and Disaster Aid Network (AID-N) project seeks to identify unmet needs of emergency response teams in the Washington, DC area during mass casualty incidents and conduct feasibility tests of technology-based solutions. The decentralized electronic triage and sensing system uses low power, electronic triage sensors to monitor the vital signs of patients and provide location tracking capabilities. The robust, decentralized location tracking software runs on a small, embedded system with limited memory and computational power that efficiently locates patients. A field study demonstrates the process of current emergency procedures and the design implications of the prototype. This field study, along with the hardware and software architecture of the electronic triage system, lay the foundation for a reliable, decentralized sensor deployment that will continuously extend network coverage during a mass casualty incident. PMID:17238400

  15. Decentralized control of uncertain systems via sensitivity models

    SciTech Connect

    Schoenwald, D.A.; Oezguener, U.

    1993-06-01

    In this paper, we present a decentralized strategy for optimal control of interconnected systems exhibiting parametric uncertainty. First, we demonstrate that sensitivity models for linear interconnected systems can be generated at each subsystem using only locally available information. Second, we present an optimal control law that incorporates sensitivity functions in the feedback path. The control scheme is completely decentralized and is proposed as a means of making the closed loop system less sensitive to parameter deviations. Finally, we give an example of an interconnected system and show how this control strategy is implemented.

  16. Postindustrialization and Environmental Quality: An Empirical Analysis of the Environmental State

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fisher, Dana R.; Freudenburg, William R.

    2004-01-01

    Existing sociological analyses express differing expectations about state control over economic actors and the political feasibility of environmental regulation. Recent literature on the environmental state sees environmental protection as becoming a basic responsibility of postindustrial states, with economic actors no longer having the autonomy…

  17. Decentralization: Why, How, and toward What Ends? Special Policy Report, No. 1. Policy Briefs Series.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stinnette, Lynn J.

    Administrators are looking at decentralization as a solution to issues troubling schools, teachers, and students. The notion of decentralization is accompanied by two assumptions. First, decentralization will produce an improvement in education because classroom decision making will be more responsive to the specific needs of a school. Second, in…

  18. Humanoids Learning to Walk: A Natural CPG-Actor-Critic Architecture.

    PubMed

    Li, Cai; Lowe, Robert; Ziemke, Tom

    2013-01-01

    The identification of learning mechanisms for locomotion has been the subject of much research for some time but many challenges remain. Dynamic systems theory (DST) offers a novel approach to humanoid learning through environmental interaction. Reinforcement learning (RL) has offered a promising method to adaptively link the dynamic system to the environment it interacts with via a reward-based value system. In this paper, we propose a model that integrates the above perspectives and applies it to the case of a humanoid (NAO) robot learning to walk the ability of which emerges from its value-based interaction with the environment. In the model, a simplified central pattern generator (CPG) architecture inspired by neuroscientific research and DST is integrated with an actor-critic approach to RL (cpg-actor-critic). In the cpg-actor-critic architecture, least-square-temporal-difference based learning converges to the optimal solution quickly by using natural gradient learning and balancing exploration and exploitation. Futhermore, rather than using a traditional (designer-specified) reward it uses a dynamic value function as a stability indicator that adapts to the environment. The results obtained are analyzed using a novel DST-based embodied cognition approach. Learning to walk, from this perspective, is a process of integrating levels of sensorimotor activity and value. PMID:23675345

  19. Humanoids Learning to Walk: A Natural CPG-Actor-Critic Architecture.

    PubMed

    Li, Cai; Lowe, Robert; Ziemke, Tom

    2013-01-01

    The identification of learning mechanisms for locomotion has been the subject of much research for some time but many challenges remain. Dynamic systems theory (DST) offers a novel approach to humanoid learning through environmental interaction. Reinforcement learning (RL) has offered a promising method to adaptively link the dynamic system to the environment it interacts with via a reward-based value system. In this paper, we propose a model that integrates the above perspectives and applies it to the case of a humanoid (NAO) robot learning to walk the ability of which emerges from its value-based interaction with the environment. In the model, a simplified central pattern generator (CPG) architecture inspired by neuroscientific research and DST is integrated with an actor-critic approach to RL (cpg-actor-critic). In the cpg-actor-critic architecture, least-square-temporal-difference based learning converges to the optimal solution quickly by using natural gradient learning and balancing exploration and exploitation. Futhermore, rather than using a traditional (designer-specified) reward it uses a dynamic value function as a stability indicator that adapts to the environment. The results obtained are analyzed using a novel DST-based embodied cognition approach. Learning to walk, from this perspective, is a process of integrating levels of sensorimotor activity and value.

  20. An Evaluation of Decentralization in a Large School District.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Silberman, Harry F.

    In October 1975, the School Board of the Los Angeles Unified School District appointed a Citizen's Committee to conduct an appraisal of the management of the school district. This Citizen's Management Review Committee (CMRC) organized itself into five subcommittees: Management, Policy, Personnel, Budget, and Decentralization. The Decentralization…

  1. Handbook for Decentralized Education Planning. Implementing National EFA Plans

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Online Submission, 2005

    2005-01-01

    The Dakar 2000 goal of Education For All (EFA) is at the center of UNESCO's education activities worldwide. The wide-ranging efforts to achieve EFA in many countries involve education reform, development strategies and plans. Decentralization, a major component in modernizing the public sector, is also applicable to the education sector. The…

  2. Formula Funding of Schools, Decentralization and Corruption: A Comparative Analysis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Levacic, Rosalind; Downes, Peter

    2004-01-01

    This study sets out to examine the relationship, if any, between the decentralization of funding for schools and the prevalence of corruption and fraud. It is based upon work carried out in four countries: Australia (the State of Victoria), the United Kingdom (specifically England), Poland (with particular reference to two cities) and Brazil…

  3. Participation, Decentralization, and Advocacy Planning, Resource Paper No. 25.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kasperson, Roger E.; Breitbart, Myrna

    This resource paper on the subject of citizen participation, decentralization, and advocacy planning is part of a series designed to supplement undergraduate geography courses. The approach of the paper de-emphasizes inventory or case study reviews of specific participation or advocacy planning projects for a more general conceptual discussion of…

  4. OPTIMIZATION OF DECENTRALIZED BMP CONTROLS IN URBAN AREAS

    EPA Science Inventory

    This paper will present an overview of a recently completed project for the US EPA entitled, Optimization of Urban Wet-weather Flow Control Systems. The focus of this effort is on techniques that are suitable for evaluating decentralized BMP controls. The four major components ...

  5. OPTIMIZATION OF DECENTRALIZED BMP CONTROLS IN URBAN AREAS

    EPA Science Inventory

    This paper will present an overview of a recently completed project for the US EPA entitled Optimization of Urban Wet-weather Flow Control Systems. The focus of this effort is on techniques that are suitable for evaluating decentralized BMP controls. The four major components o...

  6. Decentralization of health services: the Kerala People's Campaign.

    PubMed

    Elamon, Joy; Franke, Richard W; Ekbal, B

    2004-01-01

    The 1996-2001 Kerala People's Campaign for Decentralized Planning has provided much new information about the possibilities and potential of decentralizing public health and health care services. Analysis of investment patterns of the various government levels involved in the campaign, supplemented with case study materials, allows for an evaluation of the decentralization project against its own stated goals. These included (1) creating a functional division among government levels appropriate to the health tasks each level can best perform; (2) generating projects that reflect the felt needs of the people, as voiced through local participatory assemblies; (3) maintaining or increasing levels of equality in health, especially with regard to income, caste, and gender; (4) stimulating communities to mobilize voluntary resources to supplement devolved public funds; (5) stimulating communities to create innovative programs that could become models for others; and (6) making the health services function more effectively overall. The analysis supports the conclusion that the campaign achieved each of the goals to a large degree. Shortcomings arose from the inexperience of many local communities in drafting effective projects as well as problems deriving from the fact that some sections of the health bureaucracy could not be decentralized. Lessons of the campaign are already being applied to new programs in Kerala.

  7. Taming instabilities in power grid networks by decentralized control

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schäfer, B.; Grabow, C.; Auer, S.; Kurths, J.; Witthaut, D.; Timme, M.

    2016-05-01

    Renewables will soon dominate energy production in our electric power system. And yet, how to integrate renewable energy into the grid and the market is still a subject of major debate. Decentral Smart Grid Control (DSGC) was recently proposed as a robust and decentralized approach to balance supply and demand and to guarantee a grid operation that is both economically and dynamically feasible. Here, we analyze the impact of network topology by assessing the stability of essential network motifs using both linear stability analysis and basin volume for delay systems. Our results indicate that if frequency measurements are averaged over sufficiently large time intervals, DSGC enhances the stability of extended power grid systems. We further investigate whether DSGC supports centralized and/or decentralized power production and find it to be applicable to both. However, our results on cycle-like systems suggest that DSGC favors systems with decentralized production. Here, lower line capacities and lower averaging times are required compared to those with centralized production.

  8. Taking someone else's spatial perspective: Natural stance or effortful decentring?

    PubMed

    Arnold, Gabriel; Spence, Charles; Auvray, Malika

    2016-03-01

    When perceiving stimuli, self-centred and decentred perspectives can be adopted. In the present study, we investigate whether perceivers have a natural perspective that constrains their spatial perception, with some people perceiving better with self-centred than decentred perspectives and vice versa for other people. We used a recognition task of tactile ambiguous letters (b, d, p, and q) presented on the stomach, for which three perspectives can be adopted (trunk-centred, head-centred, and decentred). At first, the participants were free to adopt any perspective they wanted. Then, either the same or a different perspective was imposed on them. Without constraints, 80% of the participants adopted a self-centred perspective (50% trunk-centred, 30% head-centred) and 20% a decentred one. The perspective adopted freely appears to be natural as recognition performance decreases with a different perspective and returns to its previous high level with the same perspective. Thus, to perceive space, some perceivers adopt naturally a perspective centred on themselves whereas others take naturally others' perspective.

  9. Decentralized Training for Physician's Assistants in Utah: An Evaluation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wilson, William M.; And Others

    1983-01-01

    An experimental program to provide decentralized training and certification for Utah's physician's assistants unable to leave their own communities is evaluated. Original program goals were met, but it was learned that the methodology is inefficient and the program requires more teaching time than most physicians can contribute. (MSE)

  10. Beyond the Diversity Crisis Model: Decentralized Diversity Planning and Implementation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Williams, Damon A.

    2008-01-01

    This article critiques the diversity crises model of diversity planning in higher education and presents a decentralized diversity planning model. The model is based on interviews with the nation's leading diversity officers, a review of the literature and the authors own experiences leading diversity change initiatives in higher education. The…

  11. Chronicling Decentralization Initiatives in the Philippine Basic Education Sector

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    de Guzman, Allan B.

    2007-01-01

    The Philippine school system is considered as one of the largest in the world with 41,989 public elementary and secondary schools and 7790 private schools under the supervision and regulation of the Department of Education (DepEd Fact Sheet, 2005). This paper chronicles various decentralization initiatives carried out by the basic education sector…

  12. Shifting the Curriculum: Decentralization in the Art Education Experience

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    May, Heidi

    2011-01-01

    When a collaborative approach is embraced, decentralization in the art classroom can consist of a non-linear exchange of ideas between teacher and students, allowing for necessary dialogue and conversation, ultimately leading to innovative exploration of materials and concepts. In this situation, students can become active learners as opposed to…

  13. Independence and Collaboration; Why We Should Decentralize Writing Centers.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, Louise Z.

    1986-01-01

    Notes the inevitable tensions that arise between centripetal writing centers and centrifugal writing across the curriculum programs. Examines the tutoring program at an eastern university as an example of a decentralized writing center that resists pressures to assume a uniform composition pedagogy and coordinates its work with many parts of the…

  14. Strategic Alignment: Recruiting Students in a Highly Decentralized Environment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Levin, Richard

    2016-01-01

    All enrollment managers face some level of challenge related to decentralized decision making and operations. Policies and practices can vary considerably by academic area, creating administrative complexity, restricting the scope and speed of institutional initiatives, and limiting potential efficiencies. Central attempts to standardize or…

  15. School Decentralization as a Process of Differentiation, Hierarchization and Selection

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Altrichter, Herbert; Heinrich, Martin; Soukup-Altrichter, Katharina

    2014-01-01

    The Austrian "school autonomy policy", which allowed schools to develop specific "curricular profiles", is taken as an example for discussing processes and effects of school decentralization policies. Data from school case studies (based on qualitative interviews and document analysis) are used to analyse and interpret the…

  16. Decentralization and School Improvement: Can We Fulfill the Promise?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hannaway, Jane, Ed.; Carnoy, Martin, Ed.

    In this book, eight contributors examine issues related to the likely effects of the decentralization of school governance on educational practice. Two major themes emerge in the book. The first (chapters 1 through 4) is that governance reforms in education may have little to do with what actually happens in schools, but have much to do with…

  17. Educational Reform in South Africa: Decentralization and Parent Engagement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Joubert, Rika; van Rooyen, Jean W.

    2011-01-01

    The promulgation of the South African Schools Act in 1996 was a critical moment in the process of making a compromise between a centralized and a decentralized system. The act describes the establishment, membership, and responsibilities of school governing bodies as the vehicle for parental engagement and decision making. The article touches on…

  18. Decentralization and Faculty Ownership: Keys to a Successful Assessment Strategy.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Foley, Terrence; And Others

    In an effort to prepare for a North Central Association accreditation visit, Henry Ford Community College (HFCC), in Michigan, developed and implemented a decentralized and faculty-driven assessment plan. First, a faculty member was assigned to begin the groundwork for the assessment plan and an Instructional Assessment Committee was formed to…

  19. Centralization and Decentralization of Schools' Physical Facilities Management in Nigeria

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ikoya, Peter O.

    2008-01-01

    Purpose: This research aims to examine the difference in the availability, adequacy and functionality of physical facilities in centralized and decentralized schools districts, with a view to making appropriate recommendations to stakeholders on the reform programmes in the Nigerian education sector. Design/methodology/approach: Principals,…

  20. PROBLEMS OF SCHOOL DECENTRALIZATION IN NEW YORK CITY.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    GITTELL, MARILYN

    DEMANDS FOR GREATER COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT IN AND LOCAL CONTROL OF PUBLIC SCHOOLS ARE BECOMING INCREASINGLY INSISTENT. IN SEVERAL OF NEW YORK CITY'S SCHOOL DISTRICTS LOCAL BOARDS HAVE TAKEN THE INITIATIVE TO HEIGHTEN THEIR EFFECTIVENESS AND POWERS, BUT THEY AND OTHERS DISAGREE ABOUT DEFINITION OF DECENTRALIZATION AND WAYS TO IMPLEMENT IT. AN…

  1. Taking someone else's spatial perspective: Natural stance or effortful decentring?

    PubMed

    Arnold, Gabriel; Spence, Charles; Auvray, Malika

    2016-03-01

    When perceiving stimuli, self-centred and decentred perspectives can be adopted. In the present study, we investigate whether perceivers have a natural perspective that constrains their spatial perception, with some people perceiving better with self-centred than decentred perspectives and vice versa for other people. We used a recognition task of tactile ambiguous letters (b, d, p, and q) presented on the stomach, for which three perspectives can be adopted (trunk-centred, head-centred, and decentred). At first, the participants were free to adopt any perspective they wanted. Then, either the same or a different perspective was imposed on them. Without constraints, 80% of the participants adopted a self-centred perspective (50% trunk-centred, 30% head-centred) and 20% a decentred one. The perspective adopted freely appears to be natural as recognition performance decreases with a different perspective and returns to its previous high level with the same perspective. Thus, to perceive space, some perceivers adopt naturally a perspective centred on themselves whereas others take naturally others' perspective. PMID:26722709

  2. Some notions of decentralization and coordination in large-scale dynamic systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chong, C. Y.

    1975-01-01

    Some notions of decentralization and coordination in the control of large-scale dynamic systems are discussed. Decentralization and coordination have always been important concepts in the study of large systems. Roughly speaking decentralization is the process of dividing a large problem into subproblems so that it can be handled more easily. Coordination is the manipulation of the subproblem so that the original problem is solved. The various types of decentralization and coordination that have been used to control dynamic systems are discussed. The emphasis was to distinguish between on-line and off-line operations to understand the results available by indicating the aspects of the problem which are decentralized.

  3. Decentralizing conservation and diversifying livelihoods within Kanchenjunga Conservation Area, Nepal.

    PubMed

    Parker, Pete; Thapa, Brijesh; Jacob, Aerin

    2015-12-01

    To alleviate poverty and enhance conservation in resource dependent communities, managers must identify existing livelihood strategies and the associated factors that impede household access to livelihood assets. Researchers increasingly advocate reallocating management power from exclusionary central institutions to a decentralized system of management based on local and inclusive participation. However, it is yet to be shown if decentralizing conservation leads to diversified livelihoods within a protected area. The purpose of this study was to identify and assess factors affecting household livelihood diversification within Nepal's Kanchenjunga Conservation Area Project, the first protected area in Asia to decentralize conservation. We randomly surveyed 25% of Kanchenjunga households to assess household socioeconomic and demographic characteristics and access to livelihood assets. We used a cluster analysis with the ten most common income generating activities (both on- and off-farm) to group the strategies households use to diversify livelihoods, and a multinomial logistic regression to identify predictors of livelihood diversification. We found four distinct groups of household livelihood strategies with a range of diversification that directly corresponded to household income. The predictors of livelihood diversification were more related to pre-existing socioeconomic and demographic factors (e.g., more landholdings and livestock, fewer dependents, receiving remittances) than activities sponsored by decentralizing conservation (e.g., microcredit, training, education, interaction with project staff). Taken together, our findings indicate that without direct policies to target marginalized groups, decentralized conservation in Kanchenjunga will continue to exclude marginalized groups, limiting a household's ability to diversify their livelihood and perpetuating their dependence on natural resources. PMID:26363256

  4. U-Form vs. M-Form: How to Understand Decision Autonomy Under Healthcare Decentralization?

    PubMed Central

    Bustamante, Arturo Vargas

    2016-01-01

    For more than three decades healthcare decentralization has been promoted in developing countries as a way of improving the financing and delivery of public healthcare. Decision autonomy under healthcare decentralization would determine the role and scope of responsibility of local authorities. Jalal Mohammed, Nicola North, and Toni Ashton analyze decision autonomy within decentralized services in Fiji. They conclude that the narrow decision space allowed to local entities might have limited the benefits of decentralization on users and providers. To discuss the costs and benefits of healthcare decentralization this paper uses the U-form and M-form typology to further illustrate the role of decision autonomy under healthcare decentralization. This paper argues that when evaluating healthcare decentralization, it is important to determine whether the benefits from decentralization are greater than its costs. The U-form and M-form framework is proposed as a useful typology to evaluate different types of institutional arrangements under healthcare decentralization. Under this model, the more decentralized organizational form (M-form) is superior if the benefits from flexibility exceed the costs of duplication and the more centralized organizational form (U-form) is superior if the savings from economies of scale outweigh the costly decision-making process from the center to the regions. Budgetary and financial autonomy and effective mechanisms to maintain local governments accountable for their spending behavior are key decision autonomy variables that could sway the cost-benefit analysis of healthcare decentralization. PMID:27694684

  5. U-Form vs. M-Form: How to Understand Decision Autonomy Under Healthcare Decentralization?

    PubMed Central

    Bustamante, Arturo Vargas

    2016-01-01

    For more than three decades healthcare decentralization has been promoted in developing countries as a way of improving the financing and delivery of public healthcare. Decision autonomy under healthcare decentralization would determine the role and scope of responsibility of local authorities. Jalal Mohammed, Nicola North, and Toni Ashton analyze decision autonomy within decentralized services in Fiji. They conclude that the narrow decision space allowed to local entities might have limited the benefits of decentralization on users and providers. To discuss the costs and benefits of healthcare decentralization this paper uses the U-form and M-form typology to further illustrate the role of decision autonomy under healthcare decentralization. This paper argues that when evaluating healthcare decentralization, it is important to determine whether the benefits from decentralization are greater than its costs. The U-form and M-form framework is proposed as a useful typology to evaluate different types of institutional arrangements under healthcare decentralization. Under this model, the more decentralized organizational form (M-form) is superior if the benefits from flexibility exceed the costs of duplication and the more centralized organizational form (U-form) is superior if the savings from economies of scale outweigh the costly decision-making process from the center to the regions. Budgetary and financial autonomy and effective mechanisms to maintain local governments accountable for their spending behavior are key decision autonomy variables that could sway the cost-benefit analysis of healthcare decentralization.

  6. Transnational corporations as 'keystone actors' in marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Österblom, Henrik; Jouffray, Jean-Baptiste; Folke, Carl; Crona, Beatrice; Troell, Max; Merrie, Andrew; Rockström, Johan

    2015-01-01

    Keystone species have a disproportionate influence on the structure and function of ecosystems. Here we analyze whether a keystone-like pattern can be observed in the relationship between transnational corporations and marine ecosystems globally. We show how thirteen corporations control 11-16% of the global marine catch (9-13 million tons) and 19-40% of the largest and most valuable stocks, including species that play important roles in their respective ecosystem. They dominate all segments of seafood production, operate through an extensive global network of subsidiaries and are profoundly involved in fisheries and aquaculture decision-making. Based on our findings, we define these companies as keystone actors of the Anthropocene. The phenomenon of keystone actors represents an increasingly important feature of the human-dominated world. Sustainable leadership by keystone actors could result in cascading effects throughout the entire seafood industry and enable a critical transition towards improved management of marine living resources and ecosystems.

  7. Transnational corporations as 'keystone actors' in marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Österblom, Henrik; Jouffray, Jean-Baptiste; Folke, Carl; Crona, Beatrice; Troell, Max; Merrie, Andrew; Rockström, Johan

    2015-01-01

    Keystone species have a disproportionate influence on the structure and function of ecosystems. Here we analyze whether a keystone-like pattern can be observed in the relationship between transnational corporations and marine ecosystems globally. We show how thirteen corporations control 11-16% of the global marine catch (9-13 million tons) and 19-40% of the largest and most valuable stocks, including species that play important roles in their respective ecosystem. They dominate all segments of seafood production, operate through an extensive global network of subsidiaries and are profoundly involved in fisheries and aquaculture decision-making. Based on our findings, we define these companies as keystone actors of the Anthropocene. The phenomenon of keystone actors represents an increasingly important feature of the human-dominated world. Sustainable leadership by keystone actors could result in cascading effects throughout the entire seafood industry and enable a critical transition towards improved management of marine living resources and ecosystems. PMID:26017777

  8. Values of decentralized systems that avoid investments in idle capacity within the wastewater sector: a theoretical justification.

    PubMed

    Wang, Sheng

    2014-04-01

    In this work, the values of decentralized (onsite) systems that avoid investments in idle capacity within wastewater plans are quantitatively justified using the specific net present value (SNPV) approach. SNPV is a currently proposed criterion in environmental engineering economics that is defined as the net present value of the cost per unit of service or per population equivalent (PE). The SNPV approach was reintroduced with bugs fixed and then applied to the economic analysis of the capital and operating costs of one-stage completed central plants, stage-expanded central plants, and decentralized treatment facilities. The results show that under a demand growth scenario, the central plant will inevitably reach idle capacity, which can be reduced by a staged expansion. However, the staged expansion plan will lose the economies of scale and, hence, is only viable under projections of a low or moderate price inflation rate or high demand growth rate. Onsite treatment systems can theoretically achieve 100% utilization. Assuming that the capital costs per PE of the onsite and central systems are equal, the former is economically favorable in most cases of price inflation as a result of its cost saving on idle capacity. Onsite treatment systems can be viable even though their capital expenditures per PE are higher than that of a comparable centralized option as to a capital investment. This finding suggests wide opening of onsite technology choices. Use of the SNPV showed that average operating expenses of centralized plants decrease as demand growth rates increase as a benefit of economies of scale, whereas those of onsite treatment systems depend only on price inflation. Semi-decentralized systems feature both the financial advantage of the onsite system (capital investment) and the superiority of centralized systems (operation and maintenance); thus, it is worth consideration. The results of this study illustrate not only the value of decentralized systems but

  9. Values of decentralized systems that avoid investments in idle capacity within the wastewater sector: a theoretical justification.

    PubMed

    Wang, Sheng

    2014-04-01

    In this work, the values of decentralized (onsite) systems that avoid investments in idle capacity within wastewater plans are quantitatively justified using the specific net present value (SNPV) approach. SNPV is a currently proposed criterion in environmental engineering economics that is defined as the net present value of the cost per unit of service or per population equivalent (PE). The SNPV approach was reintroduced with bugs fixed and then applied to the economic analysis of the capital and operating costs of one-stage completed central plants, stage-expanded central plants, and decentralized treatment facilities. The results show that under a demand growth scenario, the central plant will inevitably reach idle capacity, which can be reduced by a staged expansion. However, the staged expansion plan will lose the economies of scale and, hence, is only viable under projections of a low or moderate price inflation rate or high demand growth rate. Onsite treatment systems can theoretically achieve 100% utilization. Assuming that the capital costs per PE of the onsite and central systems are equal, the former is economically favorable in most cases of price inflation as a result of its cost saving on idle capacity. Onsite treatment systems can be viable even though their capital expenditures per PE are higher than that of a comparable centralized option as to a capital investment. This finding suggests wide opening of onsite technology choices. Use of the SNPV showed that average operating expenses of centralized plants decrease as demand growth rates increase as a benefit of economies of scale, whereas those of onsite treatment systems depend only on price inflation. Semi-decentralized systems feature both the financial advantage of the onsite system (capital investment) and the superiority of centralized systems (operation and maintenance); thus, it is worth consideration. The results of this study illustrate not only the value of decentralized systems but

  10. Lifelong Learning in the EU: Changing Conceptualisations, Actors, and Policies

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Volles, Nina

    2016-01-01

    This paper explores the changing conceptualisations, actors, and policies of lifelong learning (LLL) in the European Union (EU) from the time the topic first emerged and was promoted by international organisations in the 1960s. The author uses Kingdon's Multiple Streams Framework to analyse how the LLL discourse became an important part of the EU…

  11. The Use and Abuse of Improvisation in Actor Training.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sprigg, Douglas C.

    An acting teacher can train students to bring the reality of their personal lives to the various artificial structures that give form to playscripts and that can otherwise induce rigid or mechanical performances if not balanced by the vibrancy of the actor. A series of exercises allows students to discover how they may use their own impulses,…

  12. Researching the Habitus of Global Policy Actors in Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lingard, Bob; Sellar, Sam; Baroutsis, Aspa

    2015-01-01

    This paper reprises the argument for the emergence of a global education policy field and then focuses on the shared habitus of global and national policy actors and technicians. It is argued that this shared habitus is constituted as a reflection of and a contribution to the creation of the global education policy field. Bourdieu's approach…

  13. 29 CFR 570.125 - Actors and performers.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... Provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, as Amended Exemptions § 570.125 Actors and performers. Section 13(c) of the Act provides an exemption from the child labor provisions for “any child employed as... Regulations Relating to Labor (Continued) WAGE AND HOUR DIVISION, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR......

  14. 29 CFR 570.125 - Actors and performers.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... Provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, as Amended Exemptions § 570.125 Actors and performers. Section 13(c) of the Act provides an exemption from the child labor provisions for “any child employed as... Regulations Relating to Labor (Continued) WAGE AND HOUR DIVISION, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR......

  15. 29 CFR 570.125 - Actors and performers.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... Provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, as Amended Exemptions § 570.125 Actors and performers. Section 13(c) of the Act provides an exemption from the child labor provisions for “any child employed as... Regulations Relating to Labor (Continued) WAGE AND HOUR DIVISION, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR......

  16. 29 CFR 570.125 - Actors and performers.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... Provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, as Amended Exemptions § 570.125 Actors and performers. Section 13(c) of the Act provides an exemption from the child labor provisions for “any child employed as... Regulations Relating to Labor (Continued) WAGE AND HOUR DIVISION, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR......

  17. 29 CFR 570.125 - Actors and performers.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... Provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, as Amended Exemptions § 570.125 Actors and performers. Section 13(c) of the Act provides an exemption from the child labor provisions for “any child employed as... Regulations Relating to Labor (Continued) WAGE AND HOUR DIVISION, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR......

  18. Hugh Grant's Image Restoration Discourse: An Actor Apologizes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Benoit, William L.

    1997-01-01

    Examines the strategies used by actor Hugh Grant (in his appearances on talk shows) to help restore his reputation after he was arrested for lewd behavior with a prostitute. Uses this case as a springboard to contrast entertainment image repair with political and corporate image repair, arguing that important situational differences can be…

  19. Actor Networks and the Division of Knowledge in the University.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Busch, Lawrence

    This paper discusses the current division of knowledge at the college and university level, its historical roots, and the application of Actor Network Theory (ANT) to arrive at an explanation of the permanence of the current division of knowledge as well as what form a new division of knowledge might take. It finds fragmentation and disintegration…

  20. Educational Decentralization in Communist and Post-Communist Hungary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaufman, Cathy

    1997-01-01

    National political reorganization in a post-communist era has reconceptualized both the societal role of education and the cultural significance of schooling for citizens in emerging democracies. To date, attention has focused primarily on changing structures rather than on participant perceptions within those structures. In this policy analysis of Hungary's overlapping decentralization and de-sovietization process, the author constructs macro and micro depictions of contemporary social and educational change. These two columns of inquiry illuminate the interactive dynamics between political, economic, and educational systems and the reidentification process of individuals within evolving systems. Because the decentralization of Hungary's educational system began long before the political break with Moscow in 1989, this case enables a more comprehensive and comparative perspective regarding the reorganization of power between school and state.

  1. Model-Based Design of Tree WSNs for Decentralized Detection.

    PubMed

    Tantawy, Ashraf; Koutsoukos, Xenofon; Biswas, Gautam

    2015-01-01

    The classical decentralized detection problem of finding the optimal decision rules at the sensor and fusion center, as well as variants that introduce physical channel impairments have been studied extensively in the literature. The deployment of WSNs in decentralized detection applications brings new challenges to the field. Protocols for different communication layers have to be co-designed to optimize the detection performance. In this paper, we consider the communication network design problem for a tree WSN. We pursue a system-level approach where a complete model for the system is developed that captures the interactions between different layers, as well as different sensor quality measures. For network optimization, we propose a hierarchical optimization algorithm that lends itself to the tree structure, requiring only local network information. The proposed design approach shows superior performance over several contentionless and contention-based network design approaches. PMID:26307989

  2. Incentivizing Decentralized Sanitation: The Role of Discount Rates.

    PubMed

    Wood, Alison; Blackhurst, Michael; Garland, Jay L; Lawler, Desmond F

    2016-06-21

    In adoption decisions for decentralized sanitation technologies, two decision makers are involved: the public utility and the individual homeowner. Standard life cycle cost is calculated from the perspective of the utility, which uses a market-based discount rate in these calculations. However, both decision-makers must be considered, including their differing perceptions of the time trade-offs inherent in a stream of costs and benefits. This study uses the discount rate as a proxy for these perceptions and decision-maker preferences. The results in two case studies emphasize the dependence on location of such analyses. Falmouth, Massachusetts, appears to be a good candidate for incentivizing decentralized sanitation while the Allegheny County Sanitary Authority service area in Pennsylvania appears to have no need for similar incentives. This method can be applied to any two-party decision in which the parties are expected to have different discount rates.

  3. Constructed wetlands as sustainable ecotechnologies in decentralization practices: a review.

    PubMed

    Valipour, Alireza; Ahn, Young-Ho

    2016-01-01

    Recently, a range of novel and cost-effective engineered wetland technologies for decentralization practices of domestic wastewater treatment have been developed with ecological process modification, the use of functionalized plants, and advanced biofilm formation. However, selecting the one that can be more appreciated for on-site sanitation is still uncertain. This paper reviews the role of plants, media materials, microorganisms, and oxygen transfer in domestic wastewater purification through constructed wetlands (CWs). The effectiveness of traditional and recently developed CWs and the necessity of an induced biofilm attachment surface (BAS) in these systems for the treatment of domestic sewage are presented. This review also elucidates the idea of CWs for domestic wastewater characteristics highly stressed by total dissolved solids and the adaptive strategies in mitigating the cold climate impacts on their efficiencies. Further research needed to enhance the stability and sustainability of CWs is highlighted. By a more advanced investigation, BAS CWs can be specified as an ideal treatment process in decentralization.

  4. Decentralized adaptive control designs and microstrip antennas for smart structures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khorrami, Farshad; Jain, Sandeep; Das, Nirod K.

    1996-05-01

    Smart structures lend themselves naturally to a decentralized control design framework, especially with adaptation mechanisms. The main reason being that it is highly undesirable to connect all the sensors and actuators in a large structure to a central processor. It is rather desirable to have local decision-making at each smart patch. Furthermore, this local controllers should be easily `expandable' to `contractible.' This corresponds to the fact that addition/deletion of several smart patches should not require a total redesign of the control system. The decentralized control strategies advocated in this paper are of expandable/contractible type. On another front, we are considering utilization of micro-strip antennas for power transfer to and from smart structures. We have made preliminary contributions in this direction and further developments are underway. These approaches are being pursued for active vibration damping and noise cancellation via piezoelectric ceramics although the methodology is general enough to be applicable to other type of active structures.

  5. Wave scheduling - Decentralized scheduling of task forces in multicomputers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Van Tilborg, A. M.; Wittie, L. D.

    1984-01-01

    Decentralized operating systems that control large multicomputers need techniques to schedule competing parallel programs called task forces. Wave scheduling is a probabilistic technique that uses a hierarchical distributed virtual machine to schedule task forces by recursively subdividing and issuing wavefront-like commands to processing elements capable of executing individual tasks. Wave scheduling is highly resistant to processing element failures because it uses many distributed schedulers that dynamically assign scheduling responsibilities among themselves. The scheduling technique is trivially extensible as more processing elements join the host multicomputer. A simple model of scheduling cost is used by every scheduler node to distribute scheduling activity and minimize wasted processing capacity by using perceived workload to vary decentralized scheduling rules. At low to moderate levels of network activity, wave scheduling is only slightly less efficient than a central scheduler in its ability to direct processing elements to accomplish useful work.

  6. Incentivizing Decentralized Sanitation: The Role of Discount Rates.

    PubMed

    Wood, Alison; Blackhurst, Michael; Garland, Jay L; Lawler, Desmond F

    2016-06-21

    In adoption decisions for decentralized sanitation technologies, two decision makers are involved: the public utility and the individual homeowner. Standard life cycle cost is calculated from the perspective of the utility, which uses a market-based discount rate in these calculations. However, both decision-makers must be considered, including their differing perceptions of the time trade-offs inherent in a stream of costs and benefits. This study uses the discount rate as a proxy for these perceptions and decision-maker preferences. The results in two case studies emphasize the dependence on location of such analyses. Falmouth, Massachusetts, appears to be a good candidate for incentivizing decentralized sanitation while the Allegheny County Sanitary Authority service area in Pennsylvania appears to have no need for similar incentives. This method can be applied to any two-party decision in which the parties are expected to have different discount rates. PMID:27183382

  7. VR/IS Lab Virtual Actor research overview

    SciTech Connect

    Shawver, D.M.; Stansfield, S.

    1995-06-22

    This overview presents current research at Sandia National Laboratories in the Virtual Reality and Intelligent Simulation Lab. Into an existing distributed VR environment which we have been developing, and which provides shared immersion for multiple users, we are adding virtual actor support. The virtual actor support we are adding to this environment is intended to provide semi-autonomous actors, with oversight and high-level guiding control by a director/user, and to allow the overall action to be driven by a scenario. We present an overview of the environment into which our virtual actors will be added in Section 3, and discuss the direction of the Virtual Actor research itself in Section 4. We will briefly review related work in Section 2. First however we need to place the research in the context of what motivates it. The motivation for our construction of this environment, and the line of research associated with it, is based on a long-term program of providing support, through simulation, for situational training, by which we mean a type of training in which students learn to handle multiple situations or scenarios. In these situations, the student may encounter events ranging from the routine occurance to the rare emergency. Indeed, the appeal of such training systems is that they could allow the student to experience and develop effective responses for situations they would otherwise have no opportunity to practice, until they happened to encounter an actual occurance. Examples of the type of students for this kind of training would be security forces or emergency response forces. An example of the type of training scenario we would like to support is given in Section 4.2.

  8. Expectations as a key to understanding actor strategies in the field of fuel cell and hydrogen vehicles.

    PubMed

    Budde, Björn; Alkemade, Floortje; Weber, K Matthias

    2012-07-01

    Due to its environmental impact, the mobility system is increasingly under pressure. The challenges to cope with climate change, air quality, depleting fossil resources imply the need for a transition of the current mobility system towards a more sustainable one. Expectations and visions have been identified as crucial in the guidance of such transitions, and more specifically of actor strategies. Still, it remained unclear why the actors involved in transition activities appear to change their strategies frequently and suddenly. The empirical analysis of the expectations and strategies of three actors in the field of hydrogen and fuel cell technology indicates that changing actor strategies can be explained by rather volatile expectations related to different levels. Our case studies of the strategies of two large car manufacturers and the German government demonstrate that the car manufacturers refer strongly to expectations about the future regime, while expectations related to the socio-technical landscape level appear to be crucial for the strategy of the German government.

  9. Expectations as a key to understanding actor strategies in the field of fuel cell and hydrogen vehicles.

    PubMed

    Budde, Björn; Alkemade, Floortje; Weber, K Matthias

    2012-07-01

    Due to its environmental impact, the mobility system is increasingly under pressure. The challenges to cope with climate change, air quality, depleting fossil resources imply the need for a transition of the current mobility system towards a more sustainable one. Expectations and visions have been identified as crucial in the guidance of such transitions, and more specifically of actor strategies. Still, it remained unclear why the actors involved in transition activities appear to change their strategies frequently and suddenly. The empirical analysis of the expectations and strategies of three actors in the field of hydrogen and fuel cell technology indicates that changing actor strategies can be explained by rather volatile expectations related to different levels. Our case studies of the strategies of two large car manufacturers and the German government demonstrate that the car manufacturers refer strongly to expectations about the future regime, while expectations related to the socio-technical landscape level appear to be crucial for the strategy of the German government. PMID:24850974

  10. Risk: For Whom? Representations of Mining Activity by Different Social Actors in the Molango Manganese District of Hidalgo, Mexico.

    PubMed

    Catalán-Vázquez, Minerva; Riojas-Rodríguez, Horacio; Pelcastre-Villafuerte, Blanca Estela

    2014-01-01

    Previous studies have shown high levels of manganese exposure and neurocognitive damage in the population living in the mining zone in Molango, Mexico. One of the objectives of the Intersectoral Group on Environmental Management for the mining district has been to provide public participation in the risk management plan. To achieve this, it is important to know how the different social actors represent the mining activity. The objectives of this study were to characterize the social representations of the mining activity by different social actors. A qualitative design was used based on in-depth interviews of residents, public officials, and a mining company representative. The analysis was conducted according to themes for each group of actors. Essentially, distinct social representations of the different mining activities were identified. Residents viewed mining activities as synonymous with contamination and, therefore, as having affected all areas of their environment, health, and daily life. These activities were seen as a collective risk. The public officials and the mining company held that there was no evidence of harm and saw mining activities as a generator of regional development. Harm to health and the environment were seen as a stance taken by the communities in order to obtain economic benefits from the company. These images of the "other" are shaped by social, political, and cultural factors. They make it difficult for the actors to reach cooperative agreements and thereby affect progress on the risk management plan. Decisionmakers need to take these differences into account when promoting social participation.

  11. Expectations as a key to understanding actor strategies in the field of fuel cell and hydrogen vehicles

    PubMed Central

    Budde, Björn; Alkemade, Floortje; Weber, K. Matthias

    2012-01-01

    Due to its environmental impact, the mobility system is increasingly under pressure. The challenges to cope with climate change, air quality, depleting fossil resources imply the need for a transition of the current mobility system towards a more sustainable one. Expectations and visions have been identified as crucial in the guidance of such transitions, and more specifically of actor strategies. Still, it remained unclear why the actors involved in transition activities appear to change their strategies frequently and suddenly. The empirical analysis of the expectations and strategies of three actors in the field of hydrogen and fuel cell technology indicates that changing actor strategies can be explained by rather volatile expectations related to different levels. Our case studies of the strategies of two large car manufacturers and the German government demonstrate that the car manufacturers refer strongly to expectations about the future regime, while expectations related to the socio-technical landscape level appear to be crucial for the strategy of the German government. PMID:24850974

  12. Evolutionary Concepts for Decentralized Air Traffic Flow Management

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Adams, Milton; Kolitz, Stephan; Milner, Joseph; Odoni, Amedeo

    1997-01-01

    Alternative concepts for modifying the policies and procedures under which the air traffic flow management system operates are described, and an approach to the evaluation of those concepts is discussed. Here, air traffic flow management includes all activities related to the management of the flow of aircraft and related system resources from 'block to block.' The alternative concepts represent stages in the evolution from the current system, in which air traffic management decision making is largely centralized within the FAA, to a more decentralized approach wherein the airlines and other airspace users collaborate in air traffic management decision making with the FAA. The emphasis in the discussion is on a viable medium-term partially decentralized scenario representing a phase of this evolution that is consistent with the decision-making approaches embodied in proposed Free Flight concepts for air traffic management. System-level metrics for analyzing and evaluating the various alternatives are defined, and a simulation testbed developed to generate values for those metrics is described. The fundamental issue of modeling airline behavior in decentralized environments is also raised, and an example of such a model, which deals with the preservation of flight bank integrity in hub airports, is presented.

  13. Efficient decentralized data aggregation in wireless smart sensor networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sim, Sung-Han; Carbonell-Marquez, Juan Francisco; Spencer, Billie F., Jr.

    2010-04-01

    Smart sensors have been recognized as a promising technology with the potential to overcome many of the inherent difficulties and limitations associated with traditional wired structural health monitoring (SHM) systems. The unique features offered by smart sensors, including wireless communication, on-board computation, and cost effectiveness, enable deployment of the dense array of sensors that are needed for monitoring of large-scale civil infrastructure. Despite the many advances in smart sensor technologies, power consumption is still considered as one of the most important challenges that should be addressed for the smart sensors to be more widely adopted in SHM applications. Data communication, the most significant source of the power consumption, can be reduced by appropriately selecting data processing schemes and the related network topology. This paper presents a new decentralized data aggregation approach for system identification based on the Random Decrement Technique (RDT). Following a brief overview of the RDT, which is an output-only system identification approach, a decentralized hierarchical approach is described and shown to be suitable for implementation in the intrinsically distributed computing environment found in wireless smart sensor networks (WSSNs). RDT-based decentralized data aggregation is then implemented on the Imote2 smart sensor platform based on the Illinois Structural Health Monitoring Project (ISHMP) Services Toolsuite. Finally, the efficacy of the RDT method is demonstrated experimentally in terms of the required data communication and the accuracy of identified dynamic properties.

  14. Robust Decentralized Nonlinear Control for a Twin Rotor MIMO System

    PubMed Central

    Belmonte, Lidia María; Morales, Rafael; Fernández-Caballero, Antonio; Somolinos, José Andrés

    2016-01-01

    This article presents the design of a novel decentralized nonlinear multivariate control scheme for an underactuated, nonlinear and multivariate laboratory helicopter denominated the twin rotor MIMO system (TRMS). The TRMS is characterized by a coupling effect between rotor dynamics and the body of the model, which is due to the action-reaction principle originated in the acceleration and deceleration of the motor-propeller groups. The proposed controller is composed of two nested loops that are utilized to achieve stabilization and precise trajectory tracking tasks for the controlled position of the generalized coordinates of the TRMS. The nonlinear internal loop is used to control the electrical dynamics of the platform, and the nonlinear external loop allows the platform to be perfectly stabilized and positioned in space. Finally, we illustrate the theoretical control developments with a set of experiments in order to verify the effectiveness of the proposed nonlinear decentralized feedback controller, in which a comparative study with other controllers is performed, illustrating the excellent performance of the proposed robust decentralized control scheme in both stabilization and trajectory tracking tasks. PMID:27472338

  15. Evolution of decentred laser beams propagating through atmospheric turbulence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Xiaoqing; Ji, Xiaoling; Zhu, Wenyue

    2012-07-01

    The changes of the average intensity, the centre of beam gravity and the position of intensity maximum of decentred laser beams propagating through atmospheric turbulence are examined in detail. It is shown that the decentred intensity distribution is amended gradually with increasing the propagation distance and the strength of turbulence, and it becomes an off-axis Gaussian-like beam when the propagation distance and the strength of turbulence become large enough. The centre of beam gravity is independent of both the propagation distance and the strength of turbulence. On the other hand, there are two intensity maxima, and their positions are symmetrical around the propagation z-axis when the propagation distance z is small. With increasing z, there is only one intensity maximum. As z further increases, position of the intensity maximum is further shifted towards the z-axis. When z is large enough, the position of the intensity maximum is unchanged. The unchanged position of the intensity maximum moves further away from the z-axis with an increase in the refraction index structure constant, the decentred parameter and the waist width.

  16. Game-Based Virtual Worlds as Decentralized Virtual Activity Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scacchi, Walt

    There is widespread interest in the development and use of decentralized systems and virtual world environments as possible new places for engaging in collaborative work activities. Similarly, there is widespread interest in stimulating new technological innovations that enable people to come together through social networking, file/media sharing, and networked multi-player computer game play. A decentralized virtual activity system (DVAS) is a networked computer supported work/play system whose elements and social activities can be both virtual and decentralized (Scacchi et al. 2008b). Massively multi-player online games (MMOGs) such as World of Warcraft and online virtual worlds such as Second Life are each popular examples of a DVAS. Furthermore, these systems are beginning to be used for research, deve-lopment, and education activities in different science, technology, and engineering domains (Bainbridge 2007, Bohannon et al. 2009; Rieber 2005; Scacchi and Adams 2007; Shaffer 2006), which are also of interest here. This chapter explores two case studies of DVASs developed at the University of California at Irvine that employ game-based virtual worlds to support collaborative work/play activities in different settings. The settings include those that model and simulate practical or imaginative physical worlds in different domains of science, technology, or engineering through alternative virtual worlds where players/workers engage in different kinds of quests or quest-like workflows (Jakobsson 2006).

  17. Balancing influence between actors in healthcare decision making

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Healthcare costs in most developed countries are not clearly linked to better patient and public health outcomes, but are rather associated with service delivery orientation. In the U.S. this has resulted in large variation in healthcare availability and use, increased cost, reduced employer participation in health insurance programs, and reduced overall population health outcomes. Recent U.S. healthcare reform legislation addresses only some of these issues. Other countries face similar healthcare issues. Discussion A major goal of healthcare is to enhance patient health outcomes. This objective is not realized in many countries because incentives and structures are currently not aligned for maximizing population health. The misalignment occurs because of the competing interests between "actors" in healthcare. In a simplified model these are individuals motivated to enhance their own health; enterprises (including a mix of nonprofit, for profit and government providers, payers, and suppliers, etc.) motivated by profit, political, organizational and other forces; and government which often acts in the conflicting roles of a healthcare payer and provider in addition to its role as the representative and protector of the people. An imbalance exists between the actors, due to the resources and information control of the enterprise and government actors relative to the individual and the public. Failure to use effective preventive interventions is perhaps the best example of the misalignment of incentives. We consider the current Pareto efficient balance between the actors in relation to the Pareto frontier, and show that a significant change in the healthcare market requires major changes in the utilities of the enterprise and government actors. Summary A variety of actions are necessary for maximizing population health within the constraints of available resources and the current balance between the actors. These actions include improved transparency of

  18. Teachers as Actors: The Implications of Acting on Physics Teaching

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Milner-Bolotin, Marina

    2007-10-01

    In the spring of 2006, a rather unusual advertisement by the Centre of Teaching and Academic Growth at UBC (http://www.tag.ubc.ca) came to my attention. Faculty members were invited to take part in a workshop entitled "All the World's a Stage: Teachers as Actors," offered by a zoology instructor and an amateur actor, Greg Bole: Teaching can be seen as creating an interpersonal relationship and hence uses many of the same skills as acting. The investigation and use of acting skills in teacher preparation can allow a greater facility with diverse methods, increase skill at adapting to change in the classroom or lecture hall, and an increased ability to quickly form positive relationships with students. (Greg Bole: http://www.tag.ubc.ca/programs/series-detail.php?series_id=249 )

  19. Performance Analysis of an Actor-Based Distributed Simulation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schoeffler, James D.

    1998-01-01

    Object-oriented design of simulation programs appears to be very attractive because of the natural association of components in the simulated system with objects. There is great potential in distributing the simulation across several computers for the purpose of parallel computation and its consequent handling of larger problems in less elapsed time. One approach to such a design is to use "actors", that is, active objects with their own thread of control. Because these objects execute concurrently, communication is via messages. This is in contrast to an object-oriented design using passive objects where communication between objects is via method calls (direct calls when they are in the same address space and remote procedure calls when they are in different address spaces or different machines). This paper describes a performance analysis program for the evaluation of a design for distributed simulations based upon actors.

  20. ACTORS: A model of concurrent computation in distributed systems

    SciTech Connect

    Agha, G.

    1986-01-01

    The transition from sequential to parallel computation is an area of critical concern in today's computer technology, particularly in architecture, programming languages, systems, and artificial intelligence. This book addresses issues in concurrency, and by producing both a syntactic definition and a denotational model of Hewitt's actor paradigm - a model of computation specifically aimed at constructing and analyzing distributed large-scale parallel systems - it advances the understanding of parallel computation.

  1. Searching for realism, structure and agency in Actor Network Theory.

    PubMed

    Elder-Vass, Dave

    2008-09-01

    Superficially, Actor Network Theory (ANT) and critical realism (CR) are radically opposed research traditions. Written from a realist perspective, this paper asks whether there might be a basis for finding common ground between these two traditions. It looks in turn at the questions of realism, structure, and agency, analysing the differences between the two perspectives and seeking to identify what each might learn from the other. Overall, the paper argues that there is a great deal that realists can learn from actor network theory; yet ANT remains stunted by its lack of a depth ontology. It fails to recognize the significance of mechanisms, and of their dependence on emergence, and thus lacks both dimensions of the depth that is characteristic of critical realism's ontology. This prevents ANT from recognizing the role and powers of social structure; but on the other hand, realists would do well to heed ANT's call for us to trace the connections through which structures are constantly made and remade. A lack of ontological depth also underpins ANT's practice of treating human and non-human actors symmetrically, yet this remains a valuable provocation to sociologists who neglect non-human entities entirely.

  2. Decentralized Formation Flying Control in a Multiple-Team Hierarchy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mueller, Joseph .; Thomas, Stephanie J.

    2005-01-01

    This paper presents the prototype of a system that addresses these objectives-a decentralized guidance and control system that is distributed across spacecraft using a multiple-team framework. The objective is to divide large clusters into teams of manageable size, so that the communication and computational demands driven by N decentralized units are related to the number of satellites in a team rather than the entire cluster. The system is designed to provide a high-level of autonomy, to support clusters with large numbers of satellites, to enable the number of spacecraft in the cluster to change post-launch, and to provide for on-orbit software modification. The distributed guidance and control system will be implemented in an object-oriented style using MANTA (Messaging Architecture for Networking and Threaded Applications). In this architecture, tasks may be remotely added, removed or replaced post-launch to increase mission flexibility and robustness. This built-in adaptability will allow software modifications to be made on-orbit in a robust manner. The prototype system, which is implemented in MATLAB, emulates the object-oriented and message-passing features of the MANTA software. In this paper, the multiple-team organization of the cluster is described, and the modular software architecture is presented. The relative dynamics in eccentric reference orbits is reviewed, and families of periodic, relative trajectories are identified, expressed as sets of static geometric parameters. The guidance law design is presented, and an example reconfiguration scenario is used to illustrate the distributed process of assigning geometric goals to the cluster. Next, a decentralized maneuver planning approach is presented that utilizes linear-programming methods to enact reconfiguration and coarse formation keeping maneuvers. Finally, a method for performing online collision avoidance is discussed, and an example is provided to gauge its performance.

  3. Breaking into the Business: Experiences of Actors with Disabilities in the Entertainment Industry

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Raynor, Olivia; Hayward, Katharine

    2009-01-01

    The pursuit of an acting career is a difficult one for anybody. However, studies have yet to factor how disability affects casting opportunities. This study describes the employment of actors with disabilities, along with the unique barriers they encounter in the audition and casting process. Actors with disabilities from the Screen Actors Guild…

  4. Cognitively Central Actors and Their Personal Networks in an Energy Efficiency Training Program

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hytönen, Kaisa; Palonen, Tuire; Hakkarainen, Kai

    2014-01-01

    This article aims to examine cognitively central actors and their personal networks in the emerging field of energy efficiency. Cognitively central actors are frequently sought for professional advice by other actors and, therefore, they are positioned in the middle of a social network. They often are important knowledge resources, especially in…

  5. Who Needs What? Some Thoughts on the Possibility of Using Psychology in Actor Training.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vulova, Marina

    2001-01-01

    Contends that the aim of professional actor training is to reveal and develop an actor's individuality. Proposes that the responsibility of drama teachers is to lead training in such away that students feel accepted, understood, and respected. Proposes that psychodrama is the most appropriate method for student and professional actors' personal…

  6. Decentralized and efficient control of transboundary pollution in federal systems

    SciTech Connect

    Silva, E.C.D.

    1997-01-01

    Decentralized control of transboundary pollution in federal systems can be efficient when population crowding is socially costly. In this paper, an upstream region abates pollution or makes an interregional income transfer to the downstream region with the sole intent of deterring immigration. Because either instrument, abatement expenditure or interregional income transfer, alone implements an efficient population distribution between the regions, interregional income transfers are unnecessary for efficiency. Without explicit income transfers, each region provides the efficient portion of the aggregate level of pollution abatement in the Nash equilibrium. 12 refs.

  7. Decentralized multi-robot simultaneous localization and mapping

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jaai, R.; Chopra, N.; Balachandran, B.; Karki, H.

    2011-04-01

    In the simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) problem, one addresses the problem of using mobile sensor platforms or robotic systems to map unknown environments while simultaneously localizing the mobile systems relative to the map. Applications include mapping in oil storage tanks, oil pipes, search and rescue operations, surveillance operations, exploration operations. In this effort, a previously proposed multi-robot localization algorithm is extended to implement SLAM. The decentralized algorithm is demonstrated to work in dynamic robot networks. Experimental and numerical studies conducted with multiple networked mobile platforms are also discussed to validate the analytical findings.

  8. Decentralized optimal control of dynamical systems under uncertainty

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gabasov, R.; Dmitruk, N. M.; Kirillova, F. M.

    2011-07-01

    The problem of optimal control of a group of interconnected dynamical objects under uncertainty is considered. The cases are examined in which the centralized control of the group of objects is impossible due to delay in the channel for information exchange between the group members. Optimal self-control algorithms in real time for each dynamical object are proposed. Various types of a priori and current information about the behavior of the group members and about uncertainties in the system are examined. The proposed methods supplement the earlier developed optimal control methods for an individual dynamical system and the methods of decentralized optimal control of deterministic objects. The results are illustrated with examples.

  9. A decentralized square root information filter/smoother

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bierman, G. J.; Belzer, M. R.

    1985-01-01

    A number of developments has recently led to a considerable interest in the decentralization of linear least squares estimators. The developments are partly related to the impending emergence of VLSI technology, the realization of parallel processing, and the need for algorithmic ways to speed the solution of dynamically decoupled, high dimensional estimation problems. A new method is presented for combining Square Root Information Filters (SRIF) estimates obtained from independent data sets. The new method involves an orthogonal transformation, and an information matrix filter 'homework' problem discussed by Schweppe (1973) is generalized. The employed SRIF orthogonal transformation methodology has been described by Bierman (1977).

  10. Genetic Algorithm based Decentralized PI Type Controller: Load Frequency Control

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dwivedi, Atul; Ray, Goshaidas; Sharma, Arun Kumar

    2016-12-01

    This work presents a design of decentralized PI type Linear Quadratic (LQ) controller based on genetic algorithm (GA). The proposed design technique allows considerable flexibility in defining the control objectives and it does not consider any knowledge of the system matrices and moreover it avoids the solution of algebraic Riccati equation. To illustrate the results of this work, a load-frequency control problem is considered. Simulation results reveal that the proposed scheme based on GA is an alternative and attractive approach to solve load-frequency control problem from both performance and design point of views.

  11. A Decentralized Adaptive Approach to Fault Tolerant Flight Control

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wu, N. Eva; Nikulin, Vladimir; Heimes, Felix; Shormin, Victor

    2000-01-01

    This paper briefly reports some results of our study on the application of a decentralized adaptive control approach to a 6 DOF nonlinear aircraft model. The simulation results showed the potential of using this approach to achieve fault tolerant control. Based on this observation and some analysis, the paper proposes a multiple channel adaptive control scheme that makes use of the functionally redundant actuating and sensing capabilities in the model, and explains how to implement the scheme to tolerate actuator and sensor failures. The conditions, under which the scheme is applicable, are stated in the paper.

  12. Education Decentralization in Argentina: A "Global-Local Conditions of Possibility" Approach to State, Market, and Society Change.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rhoten, Diana

    2000-01-01

    Examines international origins, national intentions, and local interpretations and actions of the recent education decentralization movement in Argentina, focusing on three provinces. Discusses the international policy environment in which privatization, deregulation, and decentralization have flourished. Both material capacities and symbolic…

  13. Institutional v. Technical Environments: Reconciling the Goals of Decentralization in an Evolving Charter School Organization

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Huerta, Luis A.

    2009-01-01

    This article analyzes how macrolevel institutional forces persist and limit the expansion of decentralized schools that attempt to challenge normative definitions and practices of traditional school organizations. Using qualitative case study methodology, the analysis focuses on how one decentralized charter school navigated and reconciled its…

  14. Educational Decentralization: A Review of Popular Discourse on Chinese-English Bilingual Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    He, An E.

    2011-01-01

    Educational decentralization is a worldwide phenomenon, which takes different forms and leads to different outcomes in different socio-economic contexts. Taking Chinese-English bilingual education in Mainland China as an exemplar, this study examines how the decentralization of education has worked in China in the past two decades, and what…

  15. Decentralization of Higher Education and Its Implications for Educational Autonomy in Taiwan

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lo, William Yat Wai

    2010-01-01

    This article primarily aims to investigate the effects of decentralization on educational autonomy in Taiwan through historical and documentary analysis. To draw an analytical framework, it begins with a brief examination of the concept of autonomy. This is followed by an examination of how decentralization has influenced the…

  16. The Effect of School Autonomy and School Internal Decentralization on Students' Reading Literacy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Maslowski, Ralf; Scheerens, Jaap; Luyten, Hans

    2007-01-01

    Over the past 2 decades, a large number of countries have been engaged in the decentralization of decision-making to schools. Although the motives and incentives for school autonomy are often diverse, it is commonly believed that decentralization will enhance the quality of schooling. Based on a secondary analysis of data from OECD's Programme for…

  17. Street-Level Governments: Assessing Decentralization and Urban Services (Executive Summary).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yin, Robert K.; Yates, Douglas

    The purpose of the study reported here was to assess the various decentralization efforts as they occurred in different services and in different cities. The study reviewed decentralization's record in terms of five outcomes: (1) Increases in the flow of information between servers and served; (2) Improvements in service officials attitudes; (3)…

  18. The Recent Process of Decentralization and Democratic Management of Education in Brazil.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Filho, Jose Camilo dos Santos

    1993-01-01

    Reviews the history of Brazilian decentralization policies, including those implemented by the military regime of 1964. Describes the experiences of democratic public school administration initiated in the 1970s-80s. Analyzes the move toward decentralization and democratization of public school administration in federal and state constitutions and…

  19. The Effect of Political Decentralization on School Leadership in German Vocational Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gessler, Michael; Ashmawy, Iman K.

    2016-01-01

    In this explorative qualitative study the effect of political decentralization on vocational school leadership is investigated. Through conducting structural interviews with 15 school principals in the states of Bremen and Lower Saxony in Germany, the study was able to conclude that political decentralization entails the creation of elected bodies…

  20. Decentralization and Recentralization Reform in Mongolia: Tracing the Swing of the Pendulum

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Steiner-Khamsi, Gita; Stolpe, Ines

    2004-01-01

    For the past 10 years the Ministry of Education of Mongolia has periodically oscillated between decentralization and recentralization policies. On paper, it has consistently and enthusiastically subscribed to decentralization, but in practice has given these policies low priority. This study attempts to explain the discrepancies between policy…

  1. Wave Upon Wave: Fiji's Experiments in Decentralizing Its Health Care System.

    PubMed

    Mohammed, Jalal; Ashton, Toni; North, Nicola

    2016-04-01

    Decentralization in the health sector has been widely implemented since the 1970s as a reform mechanism with mixed results. This study describes Fiji's 2 attempts at decentralizing its health sector and examines the implications they have had for the functions of planning, financing, and delivery of health services. The first wave attempted a major restructure by devolving Fiji's health system. Political instability, along with a lack of acceptance, stalled its implementation resulting in a delegated system. While the functions of planning and financing remained centralized, the function of delivery was delegated to geographic regions. The second wave was a more focused effort that targeted the deconcentration of outpatient services in one division. This attempt also decentralized the delivery function while keeping the other 2 functions centralized. Fiji's incremental approach to decentralization could provide lessons for Asia-Pacific countries that have had failed attempts in large scale decentralization efforts.

  2. [Analysis of the healthcare service decentralization process in Côte d'Ivoire].

    PubMed

    Soura, B D; Coulibaly, S S

    2014-01-01

    The decentralization of healthcare services is becoming increasingly important in strategies of public sector management. This concept is analyzed from various points of view, including legal, economic, political, and sociological. Several typologies have been proposed in the literature to analyze this decentralization process, which can take different forms ranging from simple deconcentration to more elaborate devolution. In some instances, decentralization can be analyzed by the degree of autonomy given to local authorities. This article applies these typologies to analyze the healthcare system decentralization process in Cote d'Ivoire. Special attention is paid to the new forms of community healthcare organizations. These decentralized structures enjoy a kind of autonomy, with characteristics closer to those of devolution. The model might serve as an example for population involvement in defining and managing healthcare problems in Cote d'Ivoire. We end with proposals for the improvement of the process.

  3. Attempts to decentralize in recent Brazilian health policy: issues and problems, 1988-1994.

    PubMed

    Araújo Júnior, J L

    1997-01-01

    Decentralization became an official policy in the Brazilian health sector after the fall of the military regime of 1964-1985. In this article the author reviews the concept and types of decentralization, with particular attention to the process of decentralization itself. There is a gap between the type of decentralization (devolution) called for in the national constitution and the deconcentration of activities actually implemented. This gap is explained by Brazil's centralist tradition and its supporters, staff resistance at the national level, and the weakness of local governments. Several methods could be used to redirect the reforms toward their original purpose, such as improving community participation, establishing a clear agenda for the decentralization process, and setting up some mechanisms to enhance this policy.

  4. Energy conservation and energy decentralization: issues and prospects

    SciTech Connect

    Levine, M.D.; Craig, P.P.

    1980-01-01

    Views are presented of the seemingly paradoxical nature and irrationality of the energy system and the decisions that determine its evolution. An economic approach to energy decisions, while widely espoused and generally believed to be the underpinning of our system, appears not to be functioning in very-important areas. The result is enormous waste of economic and intangible resources to produce energy that could be effectively replaced by energy conservation at low costs. This inefficiency in the economic system is, in the author's judgment, far greater than is recognized either by the public or by experts. They feel it has led to an over-investment in centralized energy systems and has discouraged the use of decentralized systems that could contribute significantly in the near term to a lessening of our energy problems. There are some signs that the situation is changing, albeit rather slowly. High prices and the widespread recognition of the seriousness of our energy problems have contributed to an increasing involvement of individuals in energy decisions profoundly affecting their future. To achieve an evolution of the energy system in which decentralized technologies (and, in the near term, particularly technologies that improve the efficiency of energy use) play an important role, the government must act forcefully. This action needs to recognize and be responsive to the powerful discriminatory effect of the economic system, as it is presently constituted, against investments in energy conservation.

  5. Decentralized Optimal Dispatch of Photovoltaic Inverters in Residential Distribution Systems

    SciTech Connect

    Dall'Anese, Emiliano; Dhople, Sairaj V.; Johnson, Brian B.; Giannakis, Georgios B.

    2015-10-05

    Summary form only given. Decentralized methods for computing optimal real and reactive power setpoints for residential photovoltaic (PV) inverters are developed in this paper. It is known that conventional PV inverter controllers, which are designed to extract maximum power at unity power factor, cannot address secondary performance objectives such as voltage regulation and network loss minimization. Optimal power flow techniques can be utilized to select which inverters will provide ancillary services, and to compute their optimal real and reactive power setpoints according to well-defined performance criteria and economic objectives. Leveraging advances in sparsity-promoting regularization techniques and semidefinite relaxation, this paper shows how such problems can be solved with reduced computational burden and optimality guarantees. To enable large-scale implementation, a novel algorithmic framework is introduced - based on the so-called alternating direction method of multipliers - by which optimal power flow-type problems in this setting can be systematically decomposed into sub-problems that can be solved in a decentralized fashion by the utility and customer-owned PV systems with limited exchanges of information. Since the computational burden is shared among multiple devices and the requirement of all-to-all communication can be circumvented, the proposed optimization approach scales favorably to large distribution networks.

  6. Decentralized control of large flexible structures by joint decoupling

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Su, Tzu-Jeng; Juang, Jer-Nan

    1992-01-01

    A decentralized control design method is presented for large complex flexible structures by using the idea of joint decoupling. The derivation is based on a coupled substructure state-space model, which is obtained from enforcing conditions of interface compatibility and equilibrium to the substructure state-space models. It is shown that by restricting the control law to be localized state feedback and by setting the joint actuator input commands to decouple joint 'degrees of freedom' (dof) from interior dof, the global structure control design problem can be decomposed into several substructure control design problems. The substructure control gains and substructure observers are designed based on modified substructure state-space models. The controllers produced by the proposed method can operate successfully at the individual substructure level as well as at the global structure level. Therefore, not only control design but also control implementation is decentralized. Stability and performance requirement of the closed-loop system can be achieved by using any existing state feedback control design method. A two-component mass-spring damper system and a three-truss structure are used as examples to demonstrate the proposed method.

  7. Large-scale experimental design for decentralized SLAM

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cunningham, Alex; Dellaert, Frank

    2012-06-01

    This paper presents an analysis of large scale decentralized SLAM under a variety of experimental conditions to illustrate design trade-offs relevant to multi-robot mapping in challenging environments. As a part of work through the MAST CTA, the focus of these robot teams is on the use of small-scale robots with limited sensing, communication and computational resources. To evaluate mapping algorithms with large numbers (50+) of robots, we developed a simulation incorporating sensing of unlabeled landmarks, line-of-sight blocking obstacles, and communication modeling. Scenarios are randomly generated with variable models for sensing, communication, and robot behavior. The underlying Decentralized Data Fusion (DDF) algorithm in these experiments enables robots to construct a map of their surroundings by fusing local sensor measurements with condensed map information from neighboring robots. Each robot maintains a cache of previously collected condensed maps from neighboring robots, and actively distributes these maps throughout the network to ensure resilience to communication and node failures. We bound the size of the robot neighborhoods to control the growth of the size of neighborhood maps. We present the results of experiments conducted in these simulated scenarios under varying measurement models and conditions while measuring mapping performance. We discuss the trade-offs between mapping performance and scenario design, including robot teams separating and joining, multi-robot data association, exploration bounding, and neighborhood sizes.

  8. ENERGY CONSERVATION AND ENERGY DECENTRALIZATION: ISSUES AND PROSPECTS

    SciTech Connect

    Levine, Mark D.; Craig, Paul P.

    1980-01-01

    We have presented views of the seemingly paradoxical nature and irrationality of the energy system and the decisions that determine its evolution. An economic approach to energy decisions, while widely espoused and generally believed to be the underpinning of our system. appears not to be functioning in very important areas. The result is enormous waste of economic and intangible resources to produce energy that could be effectively replaced by energy conservation at low costs. This inefficiency in the economic system is, in our judgment. far greater than is recognized either by the public or by 'experts.' It has led to an over-investment in centralized energy systems and has discouraged the use of decentralized systems that could contribute significantly in the near term to a lessening of our energy problems. There are some signs that the situation is changing. albeit rather slowly. High prices and the widespread recognition of the seriousness of our energy problems have contributed to an increasing involvement of individuals in energy decisions profoundly affecting their future. To achieve an evolution of the energy system in which decentralized technologies (and, in the near term, particularly technologies that improve the efficiency of energy use) play an important role, the government must act forcefully. This action needs to recognize and be responsive to the powerful discriminatory effect of the economic system, as it is presently constituted, against investments in energy conservation.

  9. Constructed wetlands as sustainable ecotechnologies in decentralization practices: a review.

    PubMed

    Valipour, Alireza; Ahn, Young-Ho

    2016-01-01

    Recently, a range of novel and cost-effective engineered wetland technologies for decentralization practices of domestic wastewater treatment have been developed with ecological process modification, the use of functionalized plants, and advanced biofilm formation. However, selecting the one that can be more appreciated for on-site sanitation is still uncertain. This paper reviews the role of plants, media materials, microorganisms, and oxygen transfer in domestic wastewater purification through constructed wetlands (CWs). The effectiveness of traditional and recently developed CWs and the necessity of an induced biofilm attachment surface (BAS) in these systems for the treatment of domestic sewage are presented. This review also elucidates the idea of CWs for domestic wastewater characteristics highly stressed by total dissolved solids and the adaptive strategies in mitigating the cold climate impacts on their efficiencies. Further research needed to enhance the stability and sustainability of CWs is highlighted. By a more advanced investigation, BAS CWs can be specified as an ideal treatment process in decentralization. PMID:26527342

  10. Ethics in actor networks, or: what Latour could learn from Darwin and Dewey.

    PubMed

    Waelbers, Katinka; Dorstewitz, Philipp

    2014-03-01

    In contemporary Science, Technology and Society (STS) studies, Bruno Latour's Actor Network Theory (ANT) is often used to study how social change arises from interaction between people and technologies. Though Latour's approach is rich in the sense of enabling scholars to appreciate the complexity of many relevant technological, environmental, and social factors in their studies, the approach is poor from an ethical point of view: the doings of things and people are couched in one and the same behaviorist (third person) vocabulary without giving due recognition to the ethical relevance of human intelligence, sympathy and reflection in making responsible choices. This article argues that two other naturalist projects, the non-teleological virtue ethics of Charles Darwin and the pragmatist instrumentalism of John Dewey can enrich ANT-based STS studies, both, in a descriptive and in a normative sense.

  11. Macro-actor execution on multilevel data-driven architectures

    SciTech Connect

    Gaudiot, J.L.; Najjar, W.

    1988-12-31

    The data-flow model of computation brings to multiprocessors high programmability at the expense of increased overhead. Applying the model at a higher level leads to better performance but also introduces loss of parallelism. We demonstrate here syntax directed program decomposition methods for the creation of large macro-actors in numerical algorithms. In order to alleviate some of the problems introduced by the lower resolution interpretation, we describe a multi-level of resolution and analyze the requirements for its actual hardware and software integration.

  12. Health sector decentralization and local decision-making: Decision space, institutional capacities and accountability in Pakistan.

    PubMed

    Bossert, Thomas John; Mitchell, Andrew David

    2011-01-01

    Health sector decentralization has been widely adopted to improve delivery of health services. While many argue that institutional capacities and mechanisms of accountability required to transform decentralized decision-making into improvements in local health systems are lacking, few empirical studies exist which measure or relate together these concepts. Based on research instruments administered to a sample of 91 health sector decision-makers in 17 districts of Pakistan, this study analyzes relationships between three dimensions of decentralization: decentralized authority (referred to as "decision space"), institutional capacities, and accountability to local officials. Composite quantitative indicators of these three dimensions were constructed within four broad health functions (strategic and operational planning, budgeting, human resources management, and service organization/delivery) and on an overall/cross-function basis. Three main findings emerged. First, district-level respondents report varying degrees of each dimension despite being under a single decentralization regime and facing similar rules across provinces. Second, within dimensions of decentralization-particularly decision space and capacities-synergies exist between levels reported by respondents in one function and those reported in other functions (statistically significant coefficients of correlation ranging from ρ=0.22 to ρ=0.43). Third, synergies exist across dimensions of decentralization, particularly in terms of an overall indicator of institutional capacities (significantly correlated with both overall decision space (ρ=0.39) and accountability (ρ=0.23)). This study demonstrates that decentralization is a varied experience-with some district-level officials making greater use of decision space than others and that those who do so also tend to have more capacity to make decisions and are held more accountable to elected local officials for such choices. These findings suggest that

  13. Construal level and free will beliefs shape perceptions of actors' proximal and distal intent

    PubMed Central

    Plaks, Jason E.; Robinson, Jeffrey S.

    2015-01-01

    Two components of lay observers' calculus of moral judgment are proximal intent (the actor's mind is focused on performing the action) and distal intent (the actor's mind is focused on the broader goal). What causes observers to prioritize one form of intent over the other? The authors observed whether construal level (Studies 1–2) and beliefs about free will (Studies 3–4) would influence participants' sensitivity to the actor's proximal vs. distal intent. In four studies, participants read scenarios in which the actor's proximal and distal intent were independently manipulated. In Study 1, when only distal intent was present in the actor's mind, participants rated the psychologically distant actor more responsible than the psychologically near actor. In Study 2, when only distal intent was in the actor's mind, participants with a chronic high level of action identification rated the actor more responsible than did those with a low level of action identification. In both studies, when only proximal intent was in the actor's mind, construal level did not predict judgments of responsibility. In Study 3, when only proximal intent was present in the actor's mind, the more participants believed in free will, the more they rated the actor responsible. When only distal intent was in the actor's mind, free will belief did not influence ratings of responsibility. In Study 4, the same pattern emerged when free will/determinism beliefs were manipulated and the actor performed a positive (life-saving) act. The authors discuss how these results shed new light on the literatures on moral reasoning and psycho-legal theory. PMID:26106352

  14. Understanding Health Information Seeking from an Actor-Centric Perspective.

    PubMed

    Batchelor, Simon; Waldman, Linda; Bloom, Gerry; Rasheed, Sabrina; Scott, Nigel; Ahmed, Tanvir; Khan, Nazib Uz Zaman; Sharmin, Tamanna

    2015-07-15

    This paper presents a conceptual approach for discussing health information seeking among poor households in Africa and Asia. This approach is part of a larger research endeavor aimed at understanding how health systems are adapting; with possibilities and constraints emerging. These health systems can be found in a context of the changing relationships between states, markets and civil society in low and middle income countries. The paper starts from an understanding of the health sector as a "health knowledge economy", organized to provide people with access to knowledge and advice. The use of the term "health knowledge economy" draws attention to the ways the health sector is part of a broader knowledge economy changing the way individuals and households obtain and use specialist information. The paper integrates an actor centric approach with the theory of planned behavior. It seeks to identify the actors engaged in the health knowledge economy as a precursor to longer term studies on the uptake of innovations integrating health services with mobile phones, commonly designated as mHealth, contributing to an understanding of the potential vulnerabilities of poor people, and highlighting possible dangers if providers of health information and advice are strongly influenced by interest groups.

  15. Understanding Health Information Seeking from an Actor-Centric Perspective

    PubMed Central

    Batchelor, Simon; Waldman, Linda; Bloom, Gerry; Rasheed, Sabrina; Scott, Nigel; Ahmed, Tanvir; Uz Zaman Khan, Nazib; Sharmin, Tamanna

    2015-01-01

    This paper presents a conceptual approach for discussing health information seeking among poor households in Africa and Asia. This approach is part of a larger research endeavor aimed at understanding how health systems are adapting; with possibilities and constraints emerging. These health systems can be found in a context of the changing relationships between states, markets and civil society in low and middle income countries. The paper starts from an understanding of the health sector as a “health knowledge economy”, organized to provide people with access to knowledge and advice. The use of the term “health knowledge economy” draws attention to the ways the health sector is part of a broader knowledge economy changing the way individuals and households obtain and use specialist information. The paper integrates an actor centric approach with the theory of planned behavior. It seeks to identify the actors engaged in the health knowledge economy as a precursor to longer term studies on the uptake of innovations integrating health services with mobile phones, commonly designated as mHealth, contributing to an understanding of the potential vulnerabilities of poor people, and highlighting possible dangers if providers of health information and advice are strongly influenced by interest groups. PMID:26184275

  16. The population-development tangle. Aspects and actors.

    PubMed

    Sen, G

    1993-01-01

    Since the 1974 Population Conference, the population field has become of interest to members of the fundamentalist right wing, feminists, and environmentalists. Therefore, it is necessary to understand the areas of agreement and disagreement among each set of actors as well as how they define the issues. Currently, development discourse is characterized by considerations of: 1) economic growth, 2) the provision of livelihoods, 3) the provision of basic needs, 4) ecological sustainability and renewability, and 5) political participation. The actors who define the terms of this discourse include: 1) corporate interests, which concentrate on economic growth; 2) international and national agencies, which place primary importance on economic growth and some importance on basic needs and ecological sustainability; 3) popular organizations and social movements, which concentrate on livelihoods, basic needs, and political participation; and 4) environmentalists, who focus on ecological sustainability, economic growth, and (occasionally) political participation. The field of population, on the other hand, is dominated by traditional populationists, whose primary focus is economic growth; developmentalists; the fundamentalist right, who are most concerned with family and control over reproduction; environmentalists; and the women's movement, which is most concerned with reproductive rights and reproductive health. When the perspective of poor women is considered, it can be seen that economic growth and ecological sustainability must support the securing of livelihoods, basic needs, political participation, and reproductive rights, and that reproductive health programs must be part of an overall health agenda.

  17. Understanding Health Information Seeking from an Actor-Centric Perspective.

    PubMed

    Batchelor, Simon; Waldman, Linda; Bloom, Gerry; Rasheed, Sabrina; Scott, Nigel; Ahmed, Tanvir; Khan, Nazib Uz Zaman; Sharmin, Tamanna

    2015-07-01

    This paper presents a conceptual approach for discussing health information seeking among poor households in Africa and Asia. This approach is part of a larger research endeavor aimed at understanding how health systems are adapting; with possibilities and constraints emerging. These health systems can be found in a context of the changing relationships between states, markets and civil society in low and middle income countries. The paper starts from an understanding of the health sector as a "health knowledge economy", organized to provide people with access to knowledge and advice. The use of the term "health knowledge economy" draws attention to the ways the health sector is part of a broader knowledge economy changing the way individuals and households obtain and use specialist information. The paper integrates an actor centric approach with the theory of planned behavior. It seeks to identify the actors engaged in the health knowledge economy as a precursor to longer term studies on the uptake of innovations integrating health services with mobile phones, commonly designated as mHealth, contributing to an understanding of the potential vulnerabilities of poor people, and highlighting possible dangers if providers of health information and advice are strongly influenced by interest groups. PMID:26184275

  18. Song Perception by Professional Singers and Actors: An MEG Study

    PubMed Central

    Rosslau, Ken; Herholz, Sibylle C.; Knief, Arne; Ortmann, Magdalene; Deuster, Dirk; Schmidt, Claus-Michael; Zehnhoff-Dinnesen, Antoinetteam; Pantev, Christo; Dobel, Christian

    2016-01-01

    The cortical correlates of speech and music perception are essentially overlapping, and the specific effects of different types of training on these networks remain unknown. We compared two groups of vocally trained professionals for music and speech, singers and actors, using recited and sung rhyme sequences from German art songs with semantic and/ or prosodic/melodic violations (i.e. violations of pitch) of the last word, in order to measure the evoked activation in a magnetoencephalographic (MEG) experiment. MEG data confirmed the existence of intertwined networks for the sung and spoken modality in an early time window after word violation. In essence for this early response, higher activity was measured after melodic/prosodic than semantic violations in predominantly right temporal areas. For singers as well as for actors, modality-specific effects were evident in predominantly left-temporal lateralized activity after semantic expectancy violations in the spoken modality, and right-dominant temporal activity in response to melodic violations in the sung modality. As an indication of a special group-dependent audiation process, higher neuronal activity for singers appeared in a late time window in right temporal and left parietal areas, both after the recited and the sung sequences. PMID:26863437

  19. Song Perception by Professional Singers and Actors: An MEG Study.

    PubMed

    Rosslau, Ken; Herholz, Sibylle C; Knief, Arne; Ortmann, Magdalene; Deuster, Dirk; Schmidt, Claus-Michael; Zehnhoff-Dinnesen, Antoinetteam; Pantev, Christo; Dobel, Christian

    2016-01-01

    The cortical correlates of speech and music perception are essentially overlapping, and the specific effects of different types of training on these networks remain unknown. We compared two groups of vocally trained professionals for music and speech, singers and actors, using recited and sung rhyme sequences from German art songs with semantic and/ or prosodic/melodic violations (i.e. violations of pitch) of the last word, in order to measure the evoked activation in a magnetoencephalographic (MEG) experiment. MEG data confirmed the existence of intertwined networks for the sung and spoken modality in an early time window after word violation. In essence for this early response, higher activity was measured after melodic/prosodic than semantic violations in predominantly right temporal areas. For singers as well as for actors, modality-specific effects were evident in predominantly left-temporal lateralized activity after semantic expectancy violations in the spoken modality, and right-dominant temporal activity in response to melodic violations in the sung modality. As an indication of a special group-dependent audiation process, higher neuronal activity for singers appeared in a late time window in right temporal and left parietal areas, both after the recited and the sung sequences. PMID:26863437

  20. Actor coalitions and implementation in strategic delta planning: Opening the Haringvliet sluices in the Netherlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vermoolen, Myrthe; Hermans, Leon

    2016-04-01

    drinking water, but negative consequences for the ecological quality and biodiversity. In the 1980s environmental awareness increased. To restore natural processes, it was decided in 2000 to put the sluices 'ajar' as a first step towards the strategic long-term vision of tidal restoration and major rehabilitation of the Rhine-Meuse estuary. First planning was to have the Kierbesluit implemented in 2005. However, this has been put off again and again, and since the actual implementation started in 2013, planning is to have the infrastructures ready to start opening the sluices in 2018 - 13 years later. What was supposed to be the first step towards full estuarine recovery has become an end goal itself, with implementing actors strictly focusing on putting the sluices ajar and compensating for fresh water loss, dismissing building with nature possibilities behind the dam. The Advocacy Coalition Framework is used as a starting point for analysis, and will be altered and detailed with insights from implementation literature to identify lessons regarding the role and dynamics of actor coalitions from the planning to implementation stage of strategic delta planning.

  1. Nurse staffing in a decentralized organization: part II.

    PubMed

    Althaus, J N; Hardyck, N M; Pierce, P B; Rodgers, M S

    1982-04-01

    It must be emphasized that none of the steps described in this planning process emerged overnight. Rather, they were achieved through a process of evolution, sometimes through trial and error, and always with consultation and participation by many members of the hospital nursing staff. Participation by many in the process of planning for a workable staffing system has been essential to its success. Indeed, creative scheduling by the head nurse is possible because of the way in which the system has been organized. The fact that head nurses are responsible for staffing their own units makes it infinitely easier for them to see what they need to make their units operate effectively and efficiently. Creative scheduling includes the possibility of arranging nurses' hours outside the rigid three-shift schedule used by so many hospitals. Many El Camino nurses now report for work at different hours. In addition, the use of flexible work weeks has proven valuable. Some head nurses now allow for a ten-hour, four-day work week; in emergency staffing situations there have, on occasion, been twelve-hour days. Even as this system evolves, it faces change. Just as the requirements for staff cannot be rigid, so must problem solving be flexible and constantly under review. The fact that El Camino believes in constant monitoring of its system is essential to its success. A key philosophical foundation of decentralization is that it must be subject to change. This is no less true in staffing than in other parts of the decentralization structure. By agreeing that change is constant and necessary and that participation is required at all levels of the staffing planning process, we have constructed the outlines of a system that will work in the future as well as it does in the present. Our system centers around the head nurses. It involves their planning; thus it also involves the support of those members of the nursing staff who can provide essential information. But the decisions

  2. Decentralized formation flying control in a multiple-team hierarchy.

    PubMed

    Mueller, Joseph B; Thomas, Stephanie J

    2005-12-01

    In recent years, formation flying has been recognized as an enabling technology for a variety of mission concepts in both the scientific and defense arenas. Examples of developing missions at NASA include magnetospheric multiscale (MMS), solar imaging radio array (SIRA), and terrestrial planet finder (TPF). For each of these missions, a multiple satellite approach is required in order to accomplish the large-scale geometries imposed by the science objectives. In addition, the paradigm shift of using a multiple satellite cluster rather than a large, monolithic spacecraft has also been motivated by the expected benefits of increased robustness, greater flexibility, and reduced cost. However, the operational costs of monitoring and commanding a fleet of close-orbiting satellites is likely to be unreasonable unless the onboard software is sufficiently autonomous, robust, and scalable to large clusters. This paper presents the prototype of a system that addresses these objectives-a decentralized guidance and control system that is distributed across spacecraft using a multiple team framework. The objective is to divide large clusters into teams of "manageable" size, so that the communication and computation demands driven by N decentralized units are related to the number of satellites in a team rather than the entire cluster. The system is designed to provide a high level of autonomy, to support clusters with large numbers of satellites, to enable the number of spacecraft in the cluster to change post-launch, and to provide for on-orbit software modification. The distributed guidance and control system will be implemented in an object-oriented style using a messaging architecture for networking and threaded applications (MANTA). In this architecture, tasks may be remotely added, removed, or replaced post launch to increase mission flexibility and robustness. This built-in adaptability will allow software modifications to be made on-orbit in a robust manner. The

  3. Decentralized formation flying control in a multiple-team hierarchy.

    PubMed

    Mueller, Joseph B; Thomas, Stephanie J

    2005-12-01

    In recent years, formation flying has been recognized as an enabling technology for a variety of mission concepts in both the scientific and defense arenas. Examples of developing missions at NASA include magnetospheric multiscale (MMS), solar imaging radio array (SIRA), and terrestrial planet finder (TPF). For each of these missions, a multiple satellite approach is required in order to accomplish the large-scale geometries imposed by the science objectives. In addition, the paradigm shift of using a multiple satellite cluster rather than a large, monolithic spacecraft has also been motivated by the expected benefits of increased robustness, greater flexibility, and reduced cost. However, the operational costs of monitoring and commanding a fleet of close-orbiting satellites is likely to be unreasonable unless the onboard software is sufficiently autonomous, robust, and scalable to large clusters. This paper presents the prototype of a system that addresses these objectives-a decentralized guidance and control system that is distributed across spacecraft using a multiple team framework. The objective is to divide large clusters into teams of "manageable" size, so that the communication and computation demands driven by N decentralized units are related to the number of satellites in a team rather than the entire cluster. The system is designed to provide a high level of autonomy, to support clusters with large numbers of satellites, to enable the number of spacecraft in the cluster to change post-launch, and to provide for on-orbit software modification. The distributed guidance and control system will be implemented in an object-oriented style using a messaging architecture for networking and threaded applications (MANTA). In this architecture, tasks may be remotely added, removed, or replaced post launch to increase mission flexibility and robustness. This built-in adaptability will allow software modifications to be made on-orbit in a robust manner. The

  4. Action adaptation during natural unfolding social scenes influences action recognition and inferences made about actor beliefs.

    PubMed

    Keefe, Bruce D; Wincenciak, Joanna; Jellema, Tjeerd; Ward, James W; Barraclough, Nick E

    2016-07-01

    When observing another individual's actions, we can both recognize their actions and infer their beliefs concerning the physical and social environment. The extent to which visual adaptation influences action recognition and conceptually later stages of processing involved in deriving the belief state of the actor remains unknown. To explore this we used virtual reality (life-size photorealistic actors presented in stereoscopic three dimensions) to see how visual adaptation influences the perception of individuals in naturally unfolding social scenes at increasingly higher levels of action understanding. We presented scenes in which one actor picked up boxes (of varying number and weight), after which a second actor picked up a single box. Adaptation to the first actor's behavior systematically changed perception of the second actor. Aftereffects increased with the duration of the first actor's behavior, declined exponentially over time, and were independent of view direction. Inferences about the second actor's expectation of box weight were also distorted by adaptation to the first actor. Distortions in action recognition and actor expectations did not, however, extend across different actions, indicating that adaptation is not acting at an action-independent abstract level but rather at an action-dependent level. We conclude that although adaptation influences more complex inferences about belief states of individuals, this is likely to be a result of adaptation at an earlier action recognition stage rather than adaptation operating at a higher, more abstract level in mentalizing or simulation systems. PMID:27472496

  5. Tuberculosis control: decentralization, local planning and management specificities.

    PubMed

    Trigueiro, Janaína Von Söhsten; Nogueira, Jordana de Almeida; de Sá, Lenilde Duarte; Palha, Pedro Fredemir; Villa, Tereza Cristina Scatena; Trigueiro, Débora Raquel Soares Guedes

    2011-01-01

    The goal was to analyze, according to the perception of health managers, the practices that guide tuberculosis control actions in cities in the metropolitan region of João Pessoa - PB, Brazil. This qualitative study involved eight professionals in management functions. Testimonies were collected through semi-structured interviews between May and June 2009 and organized through content analysis. Despite the acknowledged benefits of tuberculosis control action decentralization, local planning indicates the predominance of a bureaucratic model that is restricted to negotiation and supplies. Local programming is centered on the coordinator, which shows a command line and vertical management that lead to the fragmentation of the work process. Management action should follow an innovative and transformative route that surpasses bureaucratic barriers and faces the biggest challenge it is proposed: to balance professional interrelations with a view to improving health work performance. PMID:22249661

  6. Linear decentralized systems with special structure. [for twin lift helicopters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Martin, C. F.

    1982-01-01

    Certain fundamental structures associated with linear systems having internal symmetries are outlined. It is shown that the theory of finite-dimensional algebras and their representations are closely related to such systems. It is also demonstrated that certain problems in the decentralized control of symmetric systems are equivalent to long-standing problems of linear systems theory. Even though the structure imposed arose in considering the problems of twin-lift helicopters, any large system composed of several identical intercoupled control systems can be modeled by a linear system that satisfies the constraints imposed. Internal symmetry can be exploited to yield new system-theoretic invariants and a better understanding of the way in which the underlying structure affects overall system performance.

  7. Mitigation of Remedial Action Schemes by Decentralized Robust Governor Control

    SciTech Connect

    Elizondo, Marcelo A.; Marinovici, Laurentiu D.; Lian, Jianming; Kalsi, Karanjit; Du, Pengwei

    2014-04-15

    This paper presents transient stability improvement by a new distributed hierarchical control architecture (DHC). The integration of remedial action schemes (RAS) to the distributed hierarchical control architecture is studied. RAS in power systems are designed to maintain stability and avoid undesired system conditions by rapidly switching equipment and/or changing operating points according to predetermined rules. The acceleration trend relay currently in use in the US western interconnection is an example of RAS that trips generators to maintain transient stability. The link between RAS and DHC is through fast acting robust turbine/governor control that can also improve transient stability. In this paper, the influence of the decentralized robust turbine/governor control on the design of RAS is studied. Benefits of combining these two schemes are increasing power transfer capability and mitigation of RAS generator tripping actions; the later benefit is shown through simulations.

  8. [Squatting cast for biomechanical treatment of decentred hip joints].

    PubMed

    Mühlbacher, E; Lick-Schiffer, W; Lojpur, M; Baumgartner, F; Spieß, T; Tschauner, C

    2014-12-01

    The so-called "congenital" luxation of the hip joint is endemic in Central Europe and occurs in about 1% of all newborn infants. By the means of ultrasonographic diagnosis according to the Graf method an early detection instantly after birth has become a good clinical routine in the German-speaking countries. Sonography-based conservative treatment has become the gold standard. The cast in squatting ("human") position is a standard procedure in order to retain the originally decentred or unstable hip joints in the reduced position: 100° flexion and 50° abduction are necessary to fix the hip joint in the reduced position without the risk of avascular necrosis. After the fixation in a squatting-cast, a period of functional bracing in flexed position enhances bony maturation. This two-phase functional conservative treatment can avoid later osteotomies or even early total hip replacement.

  9. Organically Grown Architectures: Creating Decentralized, Autonomous Systems by Embryomorphic Engineering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doursat, René

    Exploding growth growth in computational systems forces us to gradually replace rigid design and control with decentralization and autonomy. Information technologies will progress, instead, by"meta-designing" mechanisms of system self-assembly, self-regulation and evolution. Nature offers a great variety of efficient complex systems, in which numerous small elements form large-scale, adaptive patterns. The new engineering challenge is to recreate this self-organization and let it freely generate innovative designs under guidance. This article presents an original model of artificial system growth inspired by embryogenesis. A virtual organism is a lattice of cells that proliferate, migrate and self-pattern into differentiated domains. Each cell's fate is controlled by an internal gene regulatory network network. Embryomorphic engineering emphasizes hyperdistributed architectures, and their development as a prerequisite of evolutionary design.

  10. Mathematically Designing a Local Interaction Algorithm for Decentralized Network Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kubo, Takeshi; Hasegawa, Teruyuki; Hasegawa, Toru

    In the near future, decentralized network systems consisting of a huge number of sensor nodes are expected to play an important role. In such a network, each node should control itself by means of a local interaction algorithm. Although such local interaction algorithms improve system reliability, how to design a local interaction algorithm has become an issue. In this paper, we describe a local interaction algorithm in a partial differential equation (or PDE) and propose a new design method whereby a PDE is derived from the solution we desire. The solution is considered as a pattern of nodes' control values over the network each of which is used to control the node's behavior. As a result, nodes collectively provide network functions such as clustering, collision and congestion avoidance. In this paper, we focus on a periodic pattern comprising sinusoidal waves and derive the PDE whose solution exhibits such a pattern by exploiting the Fourier method.

  11. Decentralized adaptive control of robot manipulators with robust stabilization design

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yuan, Bau-San; Book, Wayne J.

    1988-01-01

    Due to geometric nonlinearities and complex dynamics, a decentralized technique for adaptive control for multilink robot arms is attractive. Lyapunov-function theory for stability analysis provides an approach to robust stabilization. Each joint of the arm is treated as a component subsystem. The adaptive controller is made locally stable with servo signals including proportional and integral gains. This results in the bound on the dynamical interactions with other subsystems. A nonlinear controller which stabilizes the system with uniform boundedness is used to improve the robustness properties of the overall system. As a result, the robot tracks the reference trajectories with convergence. This strategy makes computation simple and therefore facilitates real-time implementation.

  12. Decentralized reinforcement-learning control and emergence of motion patterns

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Svinin, Mikhail; Yamada, Kazuyaki; Okhura, Kazuhiro; Ueda, Kanji

    1998-10-01

    In this paper we propose a system for studying emergence of motion patterns in autonomous mobile robotic systems. The system implements an instance-based reinforcement learning control. Three spaces are of importance in formulation of the control scheme. They are the work space, the sensor space, and the action space. Important feature of our system is that all these spaces are assumed to be continuous. The core part of the system is a classifier system. Based on the sensory state space analysis, the control is decentralized and is specified at the lowest level of the control system. However, the local controllers are implicitly connected through the perceived environment information. Therefore, they constitute a dynamic environment with respect to each other. The proposed control scheme is tested under simulation for a mobile robot in a navigation task. It is shown that some patterns of global behavior--such as collision avoidance, wall-following, light-seeking--can emerge from the local controllers.

  13. A centralized global automation group in a decentralized organization.

    PubMed

    Ormand, J; Bruner, J; Birkemo, L; Hinderliter-Smith, J; Veitch, J

    2000-01-01

    In the latter part of the 1990s, many companies have worked to foster a 'matrix' style culture through several changes in organizational structure. This type of culture facilitates communication and development of new technology across organizational and global boundaries. At Glaxo Wellcome, this matrix culture is reflected in an automation strategy that relies on both centralized and decentralized resources. The Group Development Operations Information Systems Robotics Team is a centralized resource providing development, support, integration, and training in laboratory automation across businesses in the Development organization. The matrix culture still presents challenges with respect to communication and managing the development of technology. A current challenge for our team is to go beyond our recognized role as a technology resource and actually to influence automation strategies across the global Development organization. We shall provide an overview of our role as a centralized resource, our team strategy, examples of current and past successes and failures, and future directions.

  14. Decentralized adaptive control of manipulators - Theory, simulation, and experimentation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Seraji, Homayoun

    1989-01-01

    The author presents a simple decentralized adaptive-control scheme for multijoint robot manipulators based on the independent joint control concept. The control objective is to achieve accurate tracking of desired joint trajectories. The proposed control scheme does not use the complex manipulator dynamic model, and each joint is controlled simply by a PID (proportional-integral-derivative) feedback controller and a position-velocity-acceleration feedforward controller, both with adjustable gains. Simulation results are given for a two-link direct-drive manipulator under adaptive independent joint control. The results illustrate trajectory tracking under coupled dynamics and varying payload. The proposed scheme is implemented on a MicroVAX II computer for motion control of the three major joints of a PUMA 560 arm. Experimental results are presented to demonstrate that trajectory tracking is achieved despite coupled nonlinear joint dynamics.

  15. Techno-economic analysis of decentralized biomass processing depots.

    PubMed

    Lamers, Patrick; Roni, Mohammad S; Tumuluru, Jaya S; Jacobson, Jacob J; Cafferty, Kara G; Hansen, Jason K; Kenney, Kevin; Teymouri, Farzaneh; Bals, Bryan

    2015-10-01

    Decentralized biomass processing facilities, known as biomass depots, may be necessary to achieve feedstock cost, quantity, and quality required to grow the future U.S. bioeconomy. In this paper, we assess three distinct depot configurations for technical difference and economic performance. The depot designs were chosen to compare and contrast a suite of capabilities that a depot could perform ranging from conventional pelleting to sophisticated pretreatment technologies. Our economic analyses indicate that depot processing costs are likely to range from ∼US$30 to US$63 per dry metric tonne (Mg), depending upon the specific technology implemented and the energy consumption for processing equipment such as grinders and dryers. We conclude that the benefits of integrating depots into the overall biomass feedstock supply chain will outweigh depot processing costs and that incorporation of this technology should be aggressively pursued. PMID:26196421

  16. A decentralized linear quadratic control design method for flexible structures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Su, Tzu-Jeng; Craig, Roy R., Jr.

    1990-01-01

    A decentralized suboptimal linear quadratic control design procedure which combines substructural synthesis, model reduction, decentralized control design, subcontroller synthesis, and controller reduction is proposed for the design of reduced-order controllers for flexible structures. The procedure starts with a definition of the continuum structure to be controlled. An evaluation model of finite dimension is obtained by the finite element method. Then, the finite element model is decomposed into several substructures by using a natural decomposition called substructuring decomposition. Each substructure, at this point, still has too large a dimension and must be reduced to a size that is Riccati-solvable. Model reduction of each substructure can be performed by using any existing model reduction method, e.g., modal truncation, balanced reduction, Krylov model reduction, or mixed-mode method. Then, based on the reduced substructure model, a subcontroller is designed by an LQ optimal control method for each substructure independently. After all subcontrollers are designed, a controller synthesis method called substructural controller synthesis is employed to synthesize all subcontrollers into a global controller. The assembling scheme used is the same as that employed for the structure matrices. Finally, a controller reduction scheme, called the equivalent impulse response energy controller (EIREC) reduction algorithm, is used to reduce the global controller to a reasonable size for implementation. The EIREC reduced controller preserves the impulse response energy of the full-order controller and has the property of matching low-frequency moments and low-frequency power moments. An advantage of the substructural controller synthesis method is that it relieves the computational burden associated with dimensionality. Besides that, the SCS design scheme is also a highly adaptable controller synthesis method for structures with varying configuration, or varying mass

  17. On the applicability of the decentralized control mechanism extracted from the true slime mold: a robotic case study with a serpentine robot.

    PubMed

    Sato, Takahide; Kano, Takeshi; Ishiguro, Akio

    2011-06-01

    A systematic method for an autonomous decentralized control system is still lacking, despite its appealing concept. In order to alleviate this, we focused on the amoeboid locomotion of the true slime mold, and extracted a design scheme for the decentralized control mechanism that leads to adaptive behavior for the entire system, based on the so-called discrepancy function. In this paper, we intensively investigate the universality of this design scheme by applying it to a different type of locomotion based on a 'synthetic approach'. As a first step, we implement this design scheme to the control of a real physical two-dimensional serpentine robot that exhibits slithering locomotion. The experimental results show that the robot exhibits adaptive behavior and responds to the environmental changes; it is also robust against malfunctions of the body segments due to the local sensory feedback control that is based on the discrepancy function. We expect the results to shed new light on the methodology of autonomous decentralized control systems.

  18. The actor as context for social judgments: effects of prior impressions and stereotypes.

    PubMed

    Stewart, T L; Doan, K A; Gingrich, B E; Smith, E R

    1998-11-01

    Three experiments identified conditions under which trait judgments made about a behavior were more likely to influence later judgments of the behavior. In Experiment 1, participants made trait judgments about numerous behaviors presented with photos of actors. Some behaviors were repeated, paired with the same or a different actor. All repeated behaviors were judged faster than new behaviors. Facilitation was greatest when repeated behaviors were paired with the same actor, suggesting greater influence of prior judgments in this condition. Experiments 2 and 3 replicated this effect, and the pattern of response times (RTs) suggested a stronger association between the actor and behavior when a prior impression of the actor had been formed (Experiment 2) and when the behavior was stereotypic of the actor's group (Experiment 3). Level of prejudice moderated RT patterns in Experiment 3. Implications for context effects, the nature of trait inferences, and stereotype change are discussed. PMID:9866181

  19. Ship Finds and Their Management as Actor Network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tuddenham, David Berg

    2012-12-01

    Ship finds in Norwegian waters that are more than 100 years old came under the jurisdiction of the Cultural Heritage Management (CHM) in 1963, when section 12a of the Norwegian Cultural Heritage Act was implemented. As a consequence, a functional division between land and sea was created where management objects receive different values depending on whether or not they belong to a ship. The objective of this paper is to review Norwegian CHM underwater policy, and discuss the creation of a new management object and its borders with the introduction of a section on ship finds specifically focusing on Actor Network Theory. It is argued that the understanding of the ship find and its belongings can not be understood as something based on inherent qualities to the management object. Instead this paper proposes to comprehend the ship find as a phenomenon held together within a heterogeneous network.

  20. Mesenchymal Stem Cells after Polytrauma: Actor and Target.

    PubMed

    Huber-Lang, Markus; Wiegner, Rebecca; Lampl, Lorenz; Brenner, Rolf E

    2016-01-01

    Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are multipotent cells that are considered indispensable in regeneration processes after tissue trauma. MSCs are recruited to damaged areas via several chemoattractant pathways where they function as "actors" in the healing process by the secretion of manifold pro- and anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, pro- and anticoagulatory, and trophic/angiogenic factors, but also by proliferation and differentiation into the required cells. On the other hand, MSCs represent "targets" during the pathophysiological conditions after severe trauma, when excessively generated inflammatory mediators, complement activation factors, and damage- and pathogen-associated molecular patterns challenge MSCs and alter their functionality. This in turn leads to complement opsonization, lysis, clearance by macrophages, and reduced migratory and regenerative abilities which culminate in impaired tissue repair. We summarize relevant cellular and signaling mechanisms and provide an up-to-date overview about promising future therapeutic MSC strategies in the context of severe tissue trauma. PMID:27340408

  1. Role of Actors and Gender Factor in Disaster Management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gundogdu, Oguz; Isik, Ozden; Ozcep, Ferhat; Goksu, Goksel

    2014-05-01

    In Turkey, the discussions in the modern sense about disaster management begun after the 1992 Erzincan and the 1995 Dinar earthquakes, faulting in terms of features and effects. These earthquakes are "Urban Earthquakes'' with effects and faulting charectristics, and have led to radical changes in terms of disaster and disaster management. Disaster Management, to become a science in the world, but with the 1999 Izmit and Duzce earthquakes in Turkey has begun to take seriously on the agenda. Firstly, such as Civil Defense and Red Crescent organizations, by transforming its own, have entered into a new organizing effort. By these earthquakes, NGO's have contributed the search-rescue efforts in the field and to the process of normalization of life. Because "the authority and responsibilities" of NGO's could not be determined, and could not be in planning and scenario studies, we faced the problems. Thus, to the citizens of our country-specific "voluntary" has not benefited enough from the property. The most important development in disaster management in 2009, the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) has been the establishment. However, in terms of coordination and accreditation to the target point has been reached yet. Another important issue in disaster management (need to be addressed along with disaster actors) is the role of women in disasters. After the Golcuk Earthquake, successful field works of women and women's victimization has attracted attention in two different directions. Gender-sensitive policies should be noted by the all disaster actors due to the importance of the mitigation, and these policies should take place in laws, regulations and planning.

  2. The recent process of decentralization and democratic management of education in Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Santos Filho, José Camilo Dos

    1993-09-01

    Brazilian society is beginning a new historical period in which the principle of decentralization is beginning to predominate over centralization, which held sway during the last 25 years. In contrast to recent Brazilian history, there is now a search for political, democratic and participatory decentralization more consonant with grass-roots aspirations. The first section of this article presents a brief analysis of some decentralization policies implemented by the military regime of 1964, and discusses relevant facts related to the resistance of civil society to state authoritarianism, and to the struggle for the democratization and organization of civil society up to the end of the 1970s. The second section analyzes some new experiences of democratic public school administration initiated in the 1970s and 1980s. The final section discusses the move toward decentralization and democratization of public school administration in the new Federal and State Constitutions, and in the draft of the new Law of National Education.

  3. [Decentralization of the health sector in Mexico. Scope and limitations of local health systems].

    PubMed

    González-Block, M A

    1992-01-01

    This paper is a product of the reflection on the decentralization and sectorization experiences in Mexico since 1917 with particular emphasis on the 1980s. The historical analysis included the creation of an analytical model designed to identify the relationship between the distinct sanitary policies implemented in Mexico and the tendencies towards decentralization and integration. This analysis is combined with a critical review of the recent decentralization experiences undertaken in the states of Guerrero, Oaxaca and Nuevo León. While comparing Guerrero and Oaxaca, restitution and deconcentration under similar socio-economic conditions were discussed. The comparison between Guerrero and Nuevo Leon allowed the discussion of the benefits and limits of restitution under different socio-economic conditions. In addition, with this model the author discusses a few generalizations regarding the possible future of decentralization.

  4. Engaging Social Capital for Decentralized Urban Stormwater Management (Paper in Non-EPA Proceedings)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Decentralized approaches to urban stormwater management, whereby installations of green infrastructure (e.g., rain gardens, bioswales, constructed wetlands) are dispersed throughout a management area, are cost-effective solutions with co-benefits beyond just water abatement. Inst...

  5. Design of decentralized multivariable excitation controllers in multimachine power systems by projective controls

    SciTech Connect

    Arnautovic, D.; Medanic, J.

    1987-12-01

    A methodology for the design of decentralized multivariable excitation and controllers in multimachine power systems is developed using projective controls. The existing methodology, is extended to permit the coordinated design of AVR and PSS controllers in power systems.

  6. Effects of health care decentralization in Spain from a citizens' perspective.

    PubMed

    Antón, José-Ignacio; Muñoz de Bustillo, Rafael; Fernández Macías, Enrique; Rivera, Jesús

    2014-05-01

    The aim of this article is to analyze the impact of the decentralization of the public national health system in Spain on citizens' satisfaction with different dimensions of primary and hospital care. Using micro-data from the Health Barometer 1996-2009 and taking advantage of the exogeneity of the different pace of decentralization across Spain using a difference-in-differences strategy, we find that, in general, decentralization has not improved citizens' satisfaction with different features of the health services. In our base model, we find that there are even some small negative effects on a subset of variables. Sensitivity analysis confirms that there is no empirical evidence for supporting that decentralization has had a positive impact on citizens' satisfaction with health care. We outline several possible reasons for this.

  7. Decentralized control of units in smart grids for the support of renewable energy supply

    SciTech Connect

    Sonnenschein, Michael; Lünsdorf, Ontje; Bremer, Jörg; Tröschel, Martin

    2015-04-15

    Due to the significant environmental impact of power production from fossil fuels and nuclear fission, future energy systems will increasingly rely on distributed and renewable energy sources (RES). The electrical feed-in from photovoltaic (PV) systems and wind energy converters (WEC) varies greatly both over short and long time periods (from minutes to seasons), and (not only) by this effect the supply of electrical power from RES and the demand for electrical power are not per se matching. In addition, with a growing share of generation capacity especially in distribution grids, the top-down paradigm of electricity distribution is gradually replaced by a bottom-up power supply. This altogether leads to new problems regarding the safe and reliable operation of power grids. In order to address these challenges, the notion of Smart Grids has been introduced. The inherent flexibilities, i.e. the set of feasible power schedules, of distributed power units have to be controlled in order to support demand–supply matching as well as stable grid operation. Controllable power units are e.g. combined heat and power plants, power storage systems such as batteries, and flexible power consumers such as heat pumps. By controlling the flexibilities of these units we are particularly able to optimize the local utilization of RES feed-in in a given power grid by integrating both supply and demand management measures with special respect to the electrical infrastructure. In this context, decentralized systems, autonomous agents and the concept of self-organizing systems will become key elements of the ICT based control of power units. In this contribution, we first show how a decentralized load management system for battery charging/discharging of electrical vehicles (EVs) can increase the locally used share of supply from PV systems in a low voltage grid. For a reliable demand side management of large sets of appliances, dynamic clustering of these appliances into uniformly

  8. Decentralization's impact on the health workforce: Perspectives of managers, workers and national leaders

    PubMed Central

    Kolehmainen-Aitken, Riitta-Liisa

    2004-01-01

    Designers and implementers of decentralization and other reform measures have focused much attention on financial and structural reform measures, but ignored their human resource implications. Concern is mounting about the impact that the reallocation of roles and responsibilities has had on the health workforce and its management, but the experiences and lessons of different countries have not been widely shared. This paper examines evidence from published literature on decentralization's impact on the demand side of the human resource equation, as well as the factors that have contributed to the impact. The elements that make such an impact analysis exceptionally complex are identified. They include the mode of decentralization that a country is implementing, the level of responsibility for the salary budget and pay determination, and the civil service status of transferred health workers. The main body of the paper is devoted to examining decentralization's impact on human resource issues from three different perspectives: that of local health managers, health workers themselves, and national health leaders. These three groups have different concerns in the human resource realm, and consequently, have been differently affected by decentralization processes. The paper concludes with recommendations regarding three key concerns that national authorities and international agencies should give prompt attention to. They are (1) defining the essential human resource policy, planning and management skills for national human resource managers who work in decentralized countries, and developing training programs to equip them with such skills; (2) supporting research that focuses on improving the knowledge base of how different modes of decentralization impact on staffing equity; and (3) identifying factors that most critically influence health worker motivation and performance under decentralization, and documenting the most cost-effective best practices to improve them

  9. Organizational precedents for ownership and management of decentralized renewable-energy systems

    SciTech Connect

    Meunier, R.; Silversmith, J.A.

    1981-03-01

    Three existing organizational types that meet the decentralization criteria of local consumer ownership and control - cooperatives, Rural Electric Cooperatives, and municipal utilities - are examined. These three organizational precedents are analyzed in terms of their histories, structures, legal powers, sources of capital, and social and political aspects. Examples of related experiments with renewable energy technologies are given, and inferences are drawn regarding the organizations' suitability as vehicles for future implementation of decentralized renewable energy systems.

  10. Decentralization's impact on the health workforce: Perspectives of managers, workers and national leaders.

    PubMed

    Kolehmainen-Aitken, Riitta-Liisa

    2004-05-14

    Designers and implementers of decentralization and other reform measures have focused much attention on financial and structural reform measures, but ignored their human resource implications. Concern is mounting about the impact that the reallocation of roles and responsibilities has had on the health workforce and its management, but the experiences and lessons of different countries have not been widely shared. This paper examines evidence from published literature on decentralization's impact on the demand side of the human resource equation, as well as the factors that have contributed to the impact. The elements that make such an impact analysis exceptionally complex are identified. They include the mode of decentralization that a country is implementing, the level of responsibility for the salary budget and pay determination, and the civil service status of transferred health workers.The main body of the paper is devoted to examining decentralization's impact on human resource issues from three different perspectives: that of local health managers, health workers themselves, and national health leaders. These three groups have different concerns in the human resource realm, and consequently, have been differently affected by decentralization processes. The paper concludes with recommendations regarding three key concerns that national authorities and international agencies should give prompt attention to. They are (1) defining the essential human resource policy, planning and management skills for national human resource managers who work in decentralized countries, and developing training programs to equip them with such skills; (2) supporting research that focuses on improving the knowledge base of how different modes of decentralization impact on staffing equity; and (3) identifying factors that most critically influence health worker motivation and performance under decentralization, and documenting the most cost-effective best practices to improve them

  11. Algorithms for output feedback, multiple-model, and decentralized control problems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Halyo, N.; Broussard, J. R.

    1984-01-01

    The optimal stochastic output feedback, multiple-model, and decentralized control problems with dynamic compensation are formulated and discussed. Algorithms for each problem are presented, and their relationship to a basic output feedback algorithm is discussed. An aircraft control design problem is posed as a combined decentralized, multiple-model, output feedback problem. A control design is obtained using the combined algorithm. An analysis of the design is presented.

  12. Chronic decentralization of the heart differentially remodels canine intrinsic cardiac neuron muscarinic receptors.

    PubMed

    Smith, F M; McGuirt, A S; Hoover, D B; Armour, J A; Ardell, J L

    2001-11-01

    The objective of the study was to determine if chronic interruption of all extrinsic nerve inputs to the heart alters cholinergic-mediated responses within the intrinsic cardiac nervous system (ICN). Extracardiac nerve inputs to the ICN were surgically interrupted (ICN decentralized). Three weeks later, the intrinsic cardiac right atrial ganglionated plexus (RAGP) was removed and intrinsic cardiac neuronal responses were evaluated electrophysiologically. Cholinergic receptor abundance was evaluated using autoradiography. In sham controls and chronic decentralized ICN ganglia, neuronal postsynaptic responses were mediated by acetylcholine, acting at nicotinic and muscarinic receptors. Muscarine- but not nicotine-mediated synaptic responses that were enhanced after chronic ICN decentralization. After chronic decentralization, muscarine facilitation of orthodromic neuronal activation increased. Receptor autoradiography demonstrated that nicotinic and muscarinic receptor density associated with the RAGP was unaffected by decentralization and that muscarinic receptors were tenfold more abundant than nicotinic receptors in the right atrial ganglia in each group. After chronic decentralization of the ICN, intrinsic cardiac neurons remain viable and responsive to cholinergic synaptic inputs. Enhanced muscarinic responsiveness of intrinsic cardiac neurons occurs without changes in receptor abundance.

  13. Between Argument and Coercion: Social Coordination in Rural Environmental Governance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Taylor, Bruce M.

    2010-01-01

    Increasingly, partnerships and other cooperative forms of governance are common-place in addressing problems of environmental management in rural landscapes. These forms of governance are multi-dimensional in the policy instruments employed; the make-up of actors; and, the types of rationalities that actors use to debate the problem and proposed…

  14. Non-State Actors, and the Advance of Frontier Higher Education Markets in the Global South

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Robertson, Susan L.; Komljenovic, Janja

    2016-01-01

    This paper examines the growth of global non-state and multilateral actors in the "global south" and the creation of frontier markets in the higher education sector. These developments are part of market-making changes in higher education as the sector is opened to new actors, logics, and innovative services, aimed at "the global…

  15. Reading Educational Reform with Actor Network Theory: Fluid Spaces, Otherings, and Ambivalences

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fenwick, Tara

    2011-01-01

    In considering two extended examples of educational reform efforts, this discussion traces relations that become visible through analytic approaches associated with actor-network theory (ANT). The strategy here is to present multiple readings of the two examples. The first reading adopts an ANT approach to follow ways that all actors--human and…

  16. Explaining How Political Actors Gain Strategic Positions: Predictors of Centrality in State Reading Policy Issue Networks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Young, Tamara V.; Wang, Yuling; Lewis, Wayne D.

    2016-01-01

    Using data from interviews with 111 reading policy actors from California, Connecticut, Michigan, and Utah, this study explains how individuals acquire central positions in issue networks. Regression analyses showed that the greater a policy actor's reputed influence was and the more similar their preferences were to other members in the network,…

  17. Asian American Actors in Film, Television and Theater, An Ethnographic Case Study.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, Joann

    2001-01-01

    Examined how Asian American actors coped with the constraints of being minorities in an industry where physical appearance is crucial to success. Respondents' narratives reflected such coping strategies as not confronting issues of race, rationalizing that things are much better now for Asian American actors than in previous years, and believing…

  18. Camus' Actor as Tom Stoppard's Player; A Key to Interpreting "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead."

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zivanovic, Judith

    An examination of Albert Camus' definition of the actor in "The Myth on Sisyphus" helps to illuminate the character and role of The Player in Tom Stoppard's play and, hence, to bring light to an understanding of the philosophy of the play itself. The actor, for Camus, reveals our mortality in the face of the absurdity of our mortality, but also…

  19. An Enterprise Information Architecture: A Case Study for Decentralized Organizations

    SciTech Connect

    Watson, R.W.

    1999-09-28

    As enterprises become increasingly information based, making improvements in their information activities is a top priority to assure their continuing competitiveness. A key to achieving these improvements is developing an Enterprise Information Architecture (EIA). An EIA can be viewed as a structured set of multidimensional interrelated elements that support all information processes. The current ad hoc EIAs in place within many enterprises can not meet their future needs because of a lack of a coherent framework, incompatibilities, missing elements, few and poorly understood standards, uneven quality and unnecessary duplications. This paper discusses the EIA developed at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory as a case study, for other information based enterprises, particularly those with decentralized and autonomous organization structures and cultures. While the architecture is important, the process by which it is developed and sustained over time is equally important. This paper outlines the motivation for an EIA and discusses each of the interacting elements identified. It also presents an organizational structure and processes for building a sustainable EIA activity.

  20. An Enterprise Information Architecture: A Case Study for Decentralized Organizations

    SciTech Connect

    Watson, R.W.

    1999-06-15

    As enterprises become increasingly information based, making improvements in their information activities is a top priority to assure their continuing competitiveness. A key to achieving these improvements is developing an Enterprise Information Architecture (EIA). An EIA can be viewed as a structured set of multidimensional interrelated elements that support all information processes. The current ad hoc EIAs in place within many enterprises can not meet their future needs because of a lack of a coherent framework, incompatibilities, missing elements, few and poorly understood standards, uneven quality and unnecessary duplications. This paper discusses the EIA developed at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory as a case study, for other information based enterprises, particularly those with decentralized and autonomous organization structures and cultures. While the architecture is important, the process by which it is developed and sustained over time is equally important. This paper outlines the motivation for an EIA and discusses each of the interacting elements identified. It also presents an organizational structure and processes for building a sustainable EIA activity.

  1. An information-based approach to decentralized multiplatform sensor management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kreucher, Christopher M.; Kastella, Keith D.; Wegrzyn, John W.; Rickenbach, Brent L.

    2006-05-01

    This paper describes a decentralized low communication approach to multi-platform sensor management. The method is based on a physicomimetic relaxation to a joint information theoretic optimization, which inherits the benefits of information theoretic scheduling while maintaining tractability. The method uses only limited message passing, only neighboring nodes communicate, and each node makes its own sensor management decisions. We show by simulation that the method allows a network of sensor nodes to automatically self organize and perform a global task. In the model problem, a group of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) hover above a ground surveillance region. An initially unknown number of moving ground targets inhabit the region. Each UAV is capable of making noisy measurements of the patch of ground directly below, which provide evidence as to the presence or absence of targets in that sub-region. The goal of the network is to determine the number of targets and their individual states (positions and velocities) in the entire surveillance region through repeated interrogation by the individual nodes. As the individual nodes can only see a small portion of the ground, they must move in a manner that is both responsive to measurements and coordinated with other nodes.

  2. Cross-layer design for decentralized detection in WSNs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tantawy, Ashraf; Koutsoukos, Xenofon; Biswas, Gautam

    2014-12-01

    A wireless sensor network (WSN) deployed for detection applications has the distinguishing feature that the sensors cooperate to perform the detection task. Therefore, the decoupled and maximum throughput design approaches typically used to design communication networks do not lead to the desired optimal detection performance. Recent work on decentralized detection has addressed the design of media access control (MAC) and routing protocols for detection applications by considering independently the quality of information (QoI), channel state information (CSI), and residual energy information (REI) for each sensor. However, little attention has been given to integrate the three quality measures (QoI, CSI, and REI) in the system design. In this work, we present a cross-layer approach to design a QoI, CSI, and REI-aware transmission control policy (XCP) that coordinates communication between local sensors and the fusion center, in order to maximize the detection performance. We formulate and solve a constrained non-linear optimization problem to find the optimal XCP design variables, for both ALOHA and time-division multiple access (TDMA) sensor networks. We show the detection performance gain compared to the typical decoupled and maximum throughput design approaches, without utilizing additional network resources. We compare ALOHA and TDMA MAC schemes and show the conditions under which each transmission scheme outperforms.

  3. A robust decentralized load frequency controller for interconnected power systems.

    PubMed

    Dong, Lili; Zhang, Yao; Gao, Zhiqiang

    2012-05-01

    A novel design of a robust decentralized load frequency control (LFC) algorithm is proposed for an inter-connected three-area power system, for the purpose of regulating area control error (ACE) in the presence of system uncertainties and external disturbances. The design is based on the concept of active disturbance rejection control (ADRC). Estimating and mitigating the total effect of various uncertainties in real time, ADRC is particularly effective against a wide range of parameter variations, model uncertainties, and large disturbances. Furthermore, with only two tuning parameters, the controller provides a simple and easy-to-use solution to complex engineering problems in practice. Here, an ADRC-based LFC solution is developed for systems with turbines of various types, such as non-reheat, reheat, and hydraulic. The simulation results verified the effectiveness of the ADRC, in comparison with an existing PI-type controller tuned via genetic algorithm linear matrix inequalities (GALMIs). The comparison results show the superiority of the proposed solution. Moreover, the stability and robustness of the closed-loop system is studied using frequency-domain analysis. PMID:22424605

  4. A decentralized software bus based on IP multicas ting

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Callahan, John R.; Montgomery, Todd

    1995-01-01

    We describe decentralized reconfigurable implementation of a conference management system based on the low-level Internet Protocol (IP) multicasting protocol. IP multicasting allows low-cost, world-wide, two-way transmission of data between large numbers of conferencing participants through the Multicasting Backbone (MBone). Each conference is structured as a software bus -- a messaging system that provides a run-time interconnection model that acts as a separate agent (i.e., the bus) for routing, queuing, and delivering messages between distributed programs. Unlike the client-server interconnection model, the software bus model provides a level of indirection that enhances the flexibility and reconfigurability of a distributed system. Current software bus implementations like POLYLITH, however, rely on a centralized bus process and point-to-point protocols (i.e., TCP/IP) to route, queue, and deliver messages. We implement a software bus called the MULTIBUS that relies on a separate process only for routing and uses a reliable IP multicasting protocol for delivery of messages. The use of multicasting means that interconnections are independent of IP machine addresses. This approach allows reconfiguration of bus participants during system execution without notifying other participants of new IP addresses. The use of IP multicasting also permits an economy of scale in the number of participants. We describe the MULITIBUS protocol elements and show how our implementation performs better than centralized bus implementations.

  5. Decentralized autonomous planning of cluster reconfiguration for fractionated spacecraft

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chu, Jing; Guo, Jian; Gill, Eberhard

    2016-06-01

    Autonomous cluster operation such as cluster reconfiguration is one of the enabling technologies for fractionated spacecraft. By virtue of the multi-agent system theory, this paper presents an organizational architecture for fractionated spacecraft, which not only enables autonomous cluster operations but also facilitates its non-traditional attributes. Within this organizational architecture, a decentralized framework is proposed to solve cluster reconfiguration problems based on primal and dual decomposition, where subgradient methods are adopted to include reconfiguration cases with non-differentiable objectives. Two typical constraints are considered: final configuration constraints representing coupling variables and collision avoidance constraints representing coupling constraints, both of which are non-convex. General schemes are proposed to convexify those constraints via the linearization and convex restriction technology. Then final configuration constraints are tackled by primal decomposition, while collision avoidance constraints by dual decomposition. To the end, multi-level primal and dual decompositions are employed to solve reconfiguration problems with both coupling variables and coupling constraints. For illustration an example of in-plane cluster reconfiguration is solved and compared with the centralized approach the solution is optimal.

  6. Optimizing selection of decentralized stormwater management strategies in urbanized regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Z.; Montalto, F.

    2011-12-01

    A variety of decentralized stormwater options are available for implementation in urbanized regions. These strategies, which include bio-retention, porous pavement, green roof etc., vary in terms of cost, ability to reduce runoff, and site applicability. This paper explores the tradeoffs between different types of stormwater control meastures that could be applied in a typical urban study area. A nested optimization strategy first identifies the most cost-effective (e.g. runoff reduction / life cycle cost invested ) options for individual land parcel typologies, and then scales up the results with detailed attention paid to uncertainty in adoption rates, life cycle costs, and hydrologic performance. The study is performed with a custom built stochastic rainfall-runoff model (Monte Carlo techniques are used to quantify uncertainties associated with phased implementation of different strategies and different land parcel typologies under synthetic precipitation ensembles). The results are presented as a comparison of cost-effectiveness over the time span of 30 years, and state an optimized strategy on the cumulative cost-effectiveness over the period.

  7. A cylindrical SPECT camera with de-centralized readout scheme

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Habte, F.; Stenström, P.; Rillbert, A.; Bousselham, A.; Bohm, C.; Larsson, S. A.

    2001-09-01

    An optimized brain single photon emission computed tomograph (SPECT) camera is being designed at Stockholm University and Karolinska Hospital. The design goal is to achieve high sensitivity, high-count rate and high spatial resolution. The sensitivity is achieved by using a cylindrical crystal, which gives a closed geometry with large solid angles. A de-centralized readout scheme where only a local environment around the light excitation is readout supports high-count rates. The high resolution is achieved by using an optimized crystal configuration. A 12 mm crystal plus 12 mm light guide combination gave an intrinsic spatial resolution better than 3.5 mm (140 keV) in a prototype system. Simulations show that a modified configuration can improve this value. A cylindrical configuration with a rotating collimator significantly simplifies the mechanical design of the gantry. The data acquisition and control system uses early digitization and subsequent digital signal processing to extract timing and amplitude information, and monitors the position of the collimator. The readout system consists of 12 or more modules each based on programmable logic and a digital signal processor. The modules send data to a PC file server-reconstruction engine via a Firewire (IEEE-1394) network.

  8. [Decentralization: part of the health system problem or the solution?].

    PubMed

    López-Casasnovas, G; Rico, A

    2003-01-01

    The greatest change experienced by the Spanish health system in the last two decades has probably been the devolution of power to the autonomous communities composing the Spanish state. This may generate tensions in the status quo and poses questions of whether decentralization of the health system is compatible with a cohesive national health system and whether this devolution of power is part of the problem of the health system or part of its solution. Generalized devolution occurring as rapidly as that produced in Spain (negotiated in slightly less than 6 months, with minimal financial agreements, without explicit legal frameworks in the areas of coordination and development of basic norms, and with a new agreement of general financing of the autonomous communities which possibly contains lacunae, etc.) presents an uncertain panorama. The possible misuse of the wide powers recently transferred to the autonomous communities could easily be used by those who would like to see a restoration of pre-democratic centralism to sow fear of the collapse of the health service as the cornerstone of the welfare state among the general public. The present article briefly addresses these questions.

  9. Decentralized Monitoring and Control of Electric Power Distribution System with a use case of Community Energy Storage System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huq, Kazi Mohammad Moyeenull

    This work focuses on the platform and framework required for developing decentralized monitoring and control applications for a distribution system. Decentralized control of Community Energy Storage (CES) devices has been considered as a use case. The first chapter gives an overview of energy management system and applications. Then the development of centralized and decentralized CES control applications are discussed. The next chapters discusses the software architecture of a typical centralized SCADAEMS platform and outlines the architecture required for a decentralized platform. Then, suitability of IEC 61850 standard for decentralized monitoring and control is investigated and an approach to developing decentralized applications in IEC 61850 enabled environment is proposed and demonstrated. Finally, CIM standard is reviewed for exchanging power system topology information for distributed control.

  10. A macro actor/token implementation of production systems on a data-flow multiprocessor

    SciTech Connect

    Sohn, A.; Gaudiot, J.-L.

    1991-12-31

    The importance of production systems in artificial intelligence has been repeatedly demonstrated by a number of expert systems. Much effort has therefore been expended on finding an efficient processing mechanism to process production systems. While data-flow principles of execution offer the promise of high programmability for numerical computations, the authors study here variable resolution actors, called macro actors, a processing mechanism for production systems. Characteristics of the production system paradigm are identified, based on which they introduce the concept of macro tokens as a companion to macro actors. A set of guidelines is identified in the context of production systems to derive well-formed macroactors from primitive micro actors. Parallel pattern matching is written in macro actors/tokens to be executed on the Macro Data-flow simulator. Simulation results demonstrate that the macro approach can be an efficient implementation of production systems.

  11. Opening up the solar box: Cultural resource management and actor network theory in solar energy projects in the Mojave Desert

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gorrie, Bryan F.

    This project considers the ways that Actor-Network Theory (ANT) can be brought to bear upon Cultural Resource Management (CRM) practices on renewable energy projects. ANT is a way of making inquiry into scientific knowledge practices and as CRM is intended to preserve environmental, historic, and prehistoric resources, it necessarily involves certain kinds of knowledge generation about regions in which projects are being developed. Because the practice of CRM is complex, involving a range of actors from developers to biologists, native peoples to academics, private landholders to environmental and cultural activists, it is imperative to account for the interests of all stakeholders and to resist devolving into the polemical relations of winners and losers, good and bad participants, or simple situations of right and wrong. This project intends to account for the "matters of concern" of various actors, both primary and secondary, by examining the case study of a single solar installation project in the Mojave Desert. A theoretical description of ANT is provided at the beginning and the concerns of this theory are brought to bear upon the case study project through describing the project, discussing the laws governing CRM on federal lands and in the state of California, and providing the points of view of various interviewees who worked directly or indirectly on various aspects of CRM for the solar project. The creators of ANT claim that it is not a methodology but it does speak to ethnomethodologies in that it insists that there is always something more to learn from inquiring into and describing any given situation. These descriptions avoid generalizations, providing instead various points of entry, from diverse perspectives to the project. There is an invitation to avoid assuming that one knows all there is to know about a given situation and to choose instead to continue investigating and thus give voice to the more obscure, often marginalized, voices in the

  12. An Investigation on the Environmental Knowledge, Attitudes and Behavior of Maltese Youth

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mifsud, Mark C.

    2011-01-01

    Not much is known about the environmental knowledge, attitudes and actions of young people in the Maltese islands. The main actors that are responsible for the acquisition and development of environmental perspectives of young people in Malta are also not well known. There is as yet, little understanding of the extent to which these actors are…

  13. Decentralization and decision space in the health sector: a case study from Karnataka, India.

    PubMed

    Seshadri, Shreelata Rao; Parab, Suraj; Kotte, Sandesh; Latha, N; Subbiah, Kalyani

    2016-03-01

    Various attempts have been made in India with respect to decentralization, most significantly the 73rd Amendment to the Constitution of India (1993) which provided the necessary legal framework for decentralization to take place. However, the outcome has been mixed: an evaluation of the impact of decentralization in the health sector found virtually no change in health system performance and access to health services in terms of availability of health personnel or improvement in various health indicators, such as Infant Mortality Rates or Maternal Mortality Ratio. Subsequently, there has been a conscious effort under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM)-launched in 2005-to promote decentralization of funds, functions and functionaries to lower levels of government; and Karnataka had a head-start since devolution of all 29 functions prescribed by the 73rd Amendment had already taken place in the state by the late 1990s. This study presents the findings of an on-going research effort to build empirical evidence on decentralization in the health sector and its impact on system performance. The focus here is on analyzing the responses of health personnel at the district level and below on their perceived 'Decision Space'-the range of choice or autonomy they see themselves as having along a series of functional dimensions. Overall, the data indicate that there is a substantial gap between the spirit of the NRHM guidelines on decentralization and the actual implementation on the ground. There is a need for substantial capacity building at all levels of the health system to genuinely empower functionaries, particularly at the district level, in order to translate the benefits of decentralization into reality. PMID:25967105

  14. Decentralization and decision space in the health sector: a case study from Karnataka, India.

    PubMed

    Seshadri, Shreelata Rao; Parab, Suraj; Kotte, Sandesh; Latha, N; Subbiah, Kalyani

    2016-03-01

    Various attempts have been made in India with respect to decentralization, most significantly the 73rd Amendment to the Constitution of India (1993) which provided the necessary legal framework for decentralization to take place. However, the outcome has been mixed: an evaluation of the impact of decentralization in the health sector found virtually no change in health system performance and access to health services in terms of availability of health personnel or improvement in various health indicators, such as Infant Mortality Rates or Maternal Mortality Ratio. Subsequently, there has been a conscious effort under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM)-launched in 2005-to promote decentralization of funds, functions and functionaries to lower levels of government; and Karnataka had a head-start since devolution of all 29 functions prescribed by the 73rd Amendment had already taken place in the state by the late 1990s. This study presents the findings of an on-going research effort to build empirical evidence on decentralization in the health sector and its impact on system performance. The focus here is on analyzing the responses of health personnel at the district level and below on their perceived 'Decision Space'-the range of choice or autonomy they see themselves as having along a series of functional dimensions. Overall, the data indicate that there is a substantial gap between the spirit of the NRHM guidelines on decentralization and the actual implementation on the ground. There is a need for substantial capacity building at all levels of the health system to genuinely empower functionaries, particularly at the district level, in order to translate the benefits of decentralization into reality.

  15. Optical performance of toric intraocular lenses in the presence of decentration

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Bin; Ma, Jin-Xue; Liu, Dan-Yan; Du, Ying-Hua; Guo, Cong-Rong; Cui, Yue-Xian

    2015-01-01

    AIM To evaluate the optical performance of toric intraocular lenses (IOLs) after decentration and with different pupil diameters, but with the IOL astigmatic axis aligned. METHODS Optical performances of toric T5 and SN60AT spherical IOLs after decentration were tested on a theoretical pseudophakic model eye based on the Hwey-Lan Liou schematic eye using the Zemax ray-tracing program. Changes in optical performance were analyzed in model eyes with 3-mm, 4-mm, and 5-mm pupil diameters and decentered from 0.25 mm to 0.75 mm with an interval of 5° at the meridian direction from 0° to 90°. The ratio of the modulation transfer function (MTF) between a decentered and a centered IOL (MTFDecentration/MTFCentration) was calculated to analyze the decrease in optical performance. RESULTS Optical performance of the toric IOL remained unchanged when IOLs were decentered in any meridian direction. The MTFs of the two IOLs decreased, whereas optical performance remained equivalent after decentration. The MTFDecentration/MTFCentration ratios of the IOLs at a decentration from 0.25 mm to 0.75 mm were comparable in the toric and SN60AT IOLs. After decentration, MTF decreased further, with the MTF of the toric IOL being slightly lower than that of the SN60AT IOL. Imaging qualities of the two IOLs decreased when the pupil diameter and the degree of decentration increased, but the decrease was similar in the toric and spherical IOLs. CONCLUSIONS Toric IOLs were comparable to spherical IOLs in terms of tolerance to decentration at the correct axial position. PMID:26309871

  16. Learning about a fish from an ANT: actor network theory and science education in the postgenomic era

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pierce, Clayton

    2015-03-01

    This article uses actor network theory (ANT) to develop a more appropriate model of scientific literacy for students, teachers, and citizens in a society increasingly populated with biotechnological and bioscientific nonhumans. In so doing, I take the recent debate surrounding the first genetically engineered animal food product under review by the FDA, AquaBounty Technologies' AquAdvantage® salmon, as a vehicle for exploring the ways in which the biosciences have fundamentally altered the boundary between nature and culture and thus the way the public understands both. In response to the new challenges of a postgenomic society, I outline three frameworks for using ANT literacies in classroom settings. Each frame, I argue, is foundational to the development of a scientific literacy that can trace and map actors involved in controversies such as the AquAdvantage® salmon. In examining these frames I follow the actor of a salmon through an environmental history lens, the technoscientific literacy operating in AquaBounty's FDA application and the National Academies new science education framework, and finally to a model of democracy rooted in an ethic of the common. The ultimate claim of this article is that until science education (and education in general) can begin to include nonhumans such as the AquAdvantage® salmon as part of a common political framework, students, educators, and community members will continue to be at the mercy of experts and corporate stakeholders for defining the terms in which people heal, feed, and educate themselves now and in the future.

  17. Linking functional diversity and social actor strategies in a framework for interdisciplinary analysis of nature's benefits to society

    PubMed Central

    Díaz, Sandra; Cáceres, Daniel M.; Trainor, Sarah F.; Pérez-Harguindeguy, Natalia; Bret-Harte, M. Syndonia; Finegan, Bryan; Peña-Claros, Marielos; Poorter, Lourens

    2011-01-01

    The crucial role of biodiversity in the links between ecosystems and societies has been repeatedly highlighted both as source of wellbeing and as a target of human actions, but not all aspects of biodiversity are equally important to different ecosystem services. Similarly, different social actors have different perceptions of and access to ecosystem services, and therefore, they have different wants and capacities to select directly or indirectly for particular biodiversity and ecosystem characteristics. Their choices feed back onto the ecosystem services provided to all parties involved and in turn, affect future decisions. Despite this recognition, the research communities addressing biodiversity, ecosystem services, and human outcomes have yet to develop frameworks that adequately treat the multiple dimensions and interactions in the relationship. Here, we present an interdisciplinary framework for the analysis of relationships between functional diversity, ecosystem services, and human actions that is applicable to specific social environmental systems at local scales. We connect the mechanistic understanding of the ecological role of diversity with its social relevance: ecosystem services. The framework permits connections between functional diversity components and priorities of social actors using land use decisions and ecosystem services as the main links between these ecological and social components. We propose a matrix-based method that provides a transparent and flexible platform for quantifying and integrating social and ecological information and negotiating potentially conflicting land uses among multiple social actors. We illustrate the applicability of our framework by way of land use examples from temperate to subtropical South America, an area of rapid social and ecological change. PMID:21220325

  18. Deterring Asymmetric Threats from Sub-State Actors

    SciTech Connect

    Homsy, R V

    2002-01-31

    Deterrence means preventing another's actions by influencing their decisionmaking process. Nuclear deterrence was successfully accomplished during the Cold War by holding the adversary's valuable assets at risk by targeting them with nuclear weapons, a policy known as mutually assured destruction (MAD). In this case neither player attacks the other, because the ultimate outcome is self-destruction. Deterrence based upon MAD is largely ineffective against sub-state actors who may have few if any assets, the location of which may be unknown. Furthermore, the threat of destroying their assets may only serve to strengthen their motivation to do more stealthy violence, the threat being interpreted as a taunt. The key to establishing deterrence is understanding the adversary's decision process, starting with the factors upon which decisions are made, called decision attributes. Asymmetric threats are assumed to involve chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear (CBRN) weapons. So, the key decision attributes here are concerned with the acquisition and use of CBRN weapons. We have identified the following five countermeasure objectives for establishing deterrence: (1) Reduce access to CBRN weapons, expertise, materials, and equipment; (2) Make CBRN weapons difficult to use; (3) Reduce the effectiveness of CBRN weapons; (4) Increase the likelihood of being caught acquiring and using CBRN weapons; and (5) Establish a policy of retribution for acquiring and using CBRN weapons. It should be emphasized that an adversary's perception toward these objectives is most important in affecting their decisionmaking. Of course each adversary will respond differently toward these countermeasures, depending upon their motivations, objectives, preferences, resources, and willingness to gamble. Motivation of violence is defined as the fundamental cause or driving force; absent which the intent to do violence no longer exists. Correct understanding of motivations requires adapting your

  19. Force-stabilizing synergies in motor tasks involving two actors

    PubMed Central

    Solnik, Stanislaw; Reschechtko, Sasha; Wu, Yen-Hsun; Zatsiorsky, Vladimir M.; Latash, Mark L.

    2015-01-01

    We investigated the ability of two persons to produce force-stabilizing synergies in accurate multi-finger force production tasks under visual feedback on the total force only. The subjects produced a time profile of total force (the sum of two hand forces in one-person tasks and the sum of two subject forces in two-person tasks) consisting of a ramp-up, steady-state, and ramp-down segments; the steady-state segment was interrupted in the middle by a quick force pulse. Analyses of the structure of inter-trial finger force variance, motor equivalence, anticipatory synergy adjustments (ASAs), and the unintentional drift of the sharing pattern were performed. The two-person performance was characterized by a dramatically higher amount of inter-trial variance that did not affect total force, higher finger force deviations that did not affect total force (motor equivalent deviations), shorter ASAs, and larger drift of the sharing pattern. The rate of sharing pattern drift correlated with the initial disparity between the forces produced by the two persons (or two hands). The drift accelerated following the quick force pulse. Our observations show that sensory information on the task-specific performance variable is sufficient for the organization of performance-stabilizing synergies. They suggest, however, that two actors are less likely to follow a single optimization criterion as compared to a single performer. The presence of ASAs in the two-person condition might reflect fidgeting by one or both of the subjects. We discuss the characteristics of the drift in the sharing pattern as reflections of different characteristic times of motion within the sub-spaces that affect and do not affect salient performance variables. PMID:26105756

  20. Force-stabilizing synergies in motor tasks involving two actors.

    PubMed

    Solnik, Stanislaw; Reschechtko, Sasha; Wu, Yen-Hsun; Zatsiorsky, Vladimir M; Latash, Mark L

    2015-10-01

    We investigated the ability of two persons to produce force-stabilizing synergies in accurate multi-finger force production tasks under visual feedback on the total force only. The subjects produced a time profile of total force (the sum of two hand forces in one-person tasks and the sum of two subject forces in two-person tasks) consisting of a ramp-up, steady-state, and ramp-down segments; the steady-state segment was interrupted in the middle by a quick force pulse. Analyses of the structure of inter-trial finger force variance, motor equivalence, anticipatory synergy adjustments (ASAs), and the unintentional drift of the sharing pattern were performed. The two-person performance was characterized by a dramatically higher amount of inter-trial variance that did not affect total force, higher finger force deviations that did not affect total force (motor equivalent deviations), shorter ASAs, and larger drift of the sharing pattern. The rate of sharing pattern drift correlated with the initial disparity between the forces produced by the two persons (or two hands). The drift accelerated following the quick force pulse. Our observations show that sensory information on the task-specific performance variable is sufficient for the organization of performance-stabilizing synergies. They suggest, however, that two actors are less likely to follow a single optimization criterion as compared to a single performer. The presence of ASAs in the two-person condition might reflect fidgeting by one or both of the subjects. We discuss the characteristics of the drift in the sharing pattern as reflections of different characteristic times of motion within the subspaces that affect and do not affect salient performance variables. PMID:26105756

  1. Src: Marker or Actor in Prostate Cancer Aggressiveness

    PubMed Central

    Vlaeminck-Guillem, Virginie; Gillet, Germain; Rimokh, Ruth

    2014-01-01

    A key question for urologic practitioners is whether an apparently organ-confined prostate cancer (PCa) is actually aggressive or not. The dilemma is to specifically identify among all prostate tumors the very aggressive high-grade cancers that will become life-threatening by developing extra-prostatic invasion and metastatic potential and the indolent cancers that will never modify a patient’s life expectancy. A choice must be made between several therapeutic options to achieve the optimal personalized management of the disease that causes as little harm as possible to patients. Reliable clinical, biological, or pathological markers that would enable distinctions to be made between aggressive and indolent PCas in routine practice at the time of initial diagnosis are still lacking. The molecular mechanisms that explain why a PCa is aggressive or not are also poorly understood. Among the potential markers and/or actors in PCa aggressiveness, Src and other members of the Src kinase family, are valuable candidates. Activation of Src-dependent intracellular pathways is frequently observed in PCa. Indeed, Src is at the cross-roads of several pathways [including androgen receptor (AR), TGFbeta, Bcl-2, Akt/PTEN or MAPK, and ERK …], and is now known to influence some of the cellular and tissular events that accompany tumor progression: cell proliferation, cell motility, invasion, epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, resistance to apoptosis, angiogenesis, neuroendocrine differentiation, and metastatic spread. Recent work even suggests that Src could also play a part in PCa initiation in coordination with the AR. The aim of this review is to gather data that explore the links between the Src kinase family and PCa progression and aggressiveness. PMID:25184116

  2. Competition in decentralized electricity markets: Three papers on electricity auctions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harbord, David William Cameron

    This thesis consists of three self-contained papers on the analysis of electricity auctions written over a period of twelve years. The first paper models price competition in a decentralized wholesale market for electricity as a first-price, sealed-bid, multi-unit auction. In both the pure and mixed-strategy equilibria of the model, above marginal cost pricing and inefficient despatch of generating units occur. An alternative regulatory pricing rule is considered and it is shown that offering to supply at marginal cost can be induced as a dominant strategy for all firms. The second paper analyses strategic interaction between long-term contracts and price competition in the British electricity wholesale market, and confirms that forward contracts will tend to put downward pressure on spot market prices. A 'strategic commitment' motive for selling forward contracts is also identified: a generator may commit itself to bidding lower prices into the spot market in order to ensure that it will be despatched with its full capacity. The third paper characterizes bidding behavior and market outcomes in uniform and discriminatory electricity auctions. Uniform auctions result in higher average prices than discriminatory auctions, but the ranking in terms of productive efficiency is ambiguous. The comparative effects of other market design features, such as the number of steps in suppliers' bid functions, the duration of bids and the elasticity of demand are analyzed. The paper also clarifies some methodological issues in the analysis of electricity auctions. In particular we show that analogies with continuous share auctions are misplaced so long as firms are restricted to a finite number of bids.

  3. Bombing alone: tracing the motivations and antecedent behaviors of lone-actor terrorists,.

    PubMed

    Gill, Paul; Horgan, John; Deckert, Paige

    2014-03-01

    This article analyzes the sociodemographic network characteristics and antecedent behaviors of 119 lone-actor terrorists. This marks a departure from existing analyses by largely focusing upon behavioral aspects of each offender. This article also examines whether lone-actor terrorists differ based on their ideologies or network connectivity. The analysis leads to seven conclusions. There was no uniform profile identified. In the time leading up to most lone-actor terrorist events, other people generally knew about the offender's grievance, extremist ideology, views, and/or intent to engage in violence. A wide range of activities and experiences preceded lone actors' plots or events. Many but not all lone-actor terrorists were socially isolated. Lone-actor terrorists regularly engaged in a detectable and observable range of activities with a wider pressure group, social movement, or terrorist organization. Lone-actor terrorist events were rarely sudden and impulsive. There were distinguishable behavioral differences between subgroups. The implications for policy conclude this article.

  4. Decentralized harmonic active vibration control of a flexible plate using piezoelectric actuator-sensor pairs.

    PubMed

    Baudry, Matthieu; Micheau, Philippe; Berry, Alain

    2006-01-01

    We have investigated decentralized active control of periodic panel vibration using multiple pairs combining PZT actuators and PVDF sensors distributed on the panel. By contrast with centralized MIMO controllers used to actively control the vibrations or the sound radiation of extended structures, decentralized control using independent local control loops only requires identification of the diagonal terms in the plant matrix. However, it is difficult to a priori predict the global stability of such decentralized control. In this study, the general situation of noncollocated actuator-sensor pairs was considered. Frequency domain gradient and Newton-Raphson adaptation of decentralized control were analyzed, both in terms of performance and stability conditions. The stability conditions are especially derived in terms of the adaptation coefficient and a control effort weighting coefficient. Simulations and experimental results are presented in the case of a simply supported panel with four PZT-PVDF pairs distributed on it. Decentralized vibration control is shown to be highly dependent on the frequency, but can be as effective as a fully centralized control even when the plant matrix is not diagonal-dominant or is not strictly positive real (not dissipative).

  5. Fully decentralized control of a soft-bodied robot inspired by true slime mold.

    PubMed

    Umedachi, Takuya; Takeda, Koichi; Nakagaki, Toshiyuki; Kobayashi, Ryo; Ishiguro, Akio

    2010-03-01

    Animals exhibit astoundingly adaptive and supple locomotion under real world constraints. In order to endow robots with similar capabilities, we must implement many degrees of freedom, equivalent to animals, into the robots' bodies. For taming many degrees of freedom, the concept of autonomous decentralized control plays a pivotal role. However a systematic way of designing such autonomous decentralized control system is still missing. Aiming at understanding the principles that underlie animals' locomotion, we have focused on a true slime mold, a primitive living organism, and extracted a design scheme for autonomous decentralized control system. In order to validate this design scheme, this article presents a soft-bodied amoeboid robot inspired by the true slime mold. Significant features of this robot are twofold: (1) the robot has a truly soft and deformable body stemming from real-time tunable springs and protoplasm, the former is used for an outer skin of the body and the latter is to satisfy the law of conservation of mass; and (2) fully decentralized control using coupled oscillators with completely local sensory feedback mechanism is realized by exploiting the long-distance physical interaction between the body parts stemming from the law of conservation of protoplasmic mass. Simulation results show that this robot exhibits highly supple and adaptive locomotion without relying on any hierarchical structure. The results obtained are expected to shed new light on design methodology for autonomous decentralized control system.

  6. Sensitivity of off-axis performance of aspheric spectacle lenses to tilt and decentration.

    PubMed

    Atchison, D A; Tame, S A

    1993-10-01

    Apparatus was modified to measure, and theoretical raytracing was used to predict, off-axis powers of spectacle lenses in the presence of tilt or decentration. In response to poor fitting in the form of tilt or decentration, lenses with aspheric front surfaces were found to have greater off-axis power errors than best-form lenses with spherical surfaces. This is attributable to the aspheric lenses having flatter surfaces than the spherical lenses. The errors are up to twice those occurring for the spherical lenses, and can be quite high, e.g. 0.9 D astigmatism for +6D power with 10 degrees tilt in 20 degrees upgaze. Negative lenses are more sensitive to poor fitting than are positive lenses of the same power. The errors for straight ahead vision associated with tilt are approximately proportional to the square of the angle of tilt, and the errors for straight ahead vision associated with decentration are approximately proportional to the square of decentration. It is most important that aspheric lenses be correctly fitted, which means that each 2 degrees of pantascopic tilt should be accompanied by approximately 1 mm decentration. PMID:8278198

  7. Decentralization and equity of resource allocation: evidence from Colombia and Chile.

    PubMed Central

    Bossert, Thomas J.; Larrañaga, Osvaldo; Giedion, Ursula; Arbelaez, José Jesus; Bowser, Diana M.

    2003-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To investigate the relation between decentralization and equity of resource allocation in Colombia and Chile. METHODS: The "decision space" approach and analysis of expenditures and utilization rates were used to provide a comparative analysis of decentralization of the health systems of Colombia and Chile. FINDINGS: Evidence from Colombia and Chile suggests that decentralization, under certain conditions and with some specific policy mechanisms, can improve equity of resource allocation. In these countries, equitable levels of per capita financial allocations at the municipal level were achieved through different forms of decentralization--the use of allocation formulae, adequate local funding choices and horizontal equity funds. Findings on equity of utilization of services were less consistent, but they did show that increased levels of funding were associated with increased utilization. This suggests that improved equity of funding over time might reduce inequities of service utilization. CONCLUSION: Decentralization can contribute to, or at least maintain, equitable allocation of health resources among municipalities of different incomes. PMID:12751417

  8. Two routes to actorhood: lexicalized potency to act and identification of the actor role

    PubMed Central

    Frenzel, Sabine; Schlesewsky, Matthias; Bornkessel-Schlesewsky, Ina

    2015-01-01

    The inference of causality is a crucial cognitive ability and language processing is no exception: recent research suggests that, across different languages, the human language comprehension system attempts to identify the primary causer of the state of affairs described (the “actor”) quickly and unambiguously (Bornkessel-Schlesewsky and Schlesewsky, 2009). This identification can take place verb-independently based on certain prominence cues (e.g., case, word order, animacy). Here, we present two experiments demonstrating that actor potential is also encoded at the level of individual nouns (a king is a better actor than a beggar). Experiment 1 collected ratings for 180 German nouns on 12 scales defined by adjective oppositions and deemed relevant for actorhood potential. By means of structural equation modeling, an actor potential (ACT) value was calculated for each noun. Experiment 2, an event-related potential study, embedded nouns from Experiment 1 in verb-final sentences, in which they were either actors or non-actors. N400 amplitude increased with decreasing ACT values and this modulation was larger for highly frequent nouns and for actor versus non-actor nouns. We argue that potency to act is lexically encoded for individual nouns and, since it modulates the N400 even for non-actor participants, it should be viewed as a property that modulates ease of lexical access (akin, for example, to lexical frequency). We conclude that two separate dimensions of actorhood computation are crucial to language comprehension: an experience-based, lexically encoded (bottom–up) representation of actorhood potential, and a prominence-based, computational mechanism for calculating goodness-of-fit to the actor role in a particular (top–down) sentence context. PMID:25688217

  9. Risk Governance of Multiple Natural Hazards: Centralized versus Decentralized Approach in Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Komendantova, Nadejda; Scolobig, Anna; Vinchon, Charlotte

    2014-05-01

    The multi-risk approach is a relatively new field and its definition includes the need to consider multiple hazards and vulnerabilities in their interdependency (Selva, 2013) and the current multi-hazards disasters, such as the 2011 Tohoku earthquake, tsunami and nuclear catastrophe, showed the need for a multi-risk approach in hazard mitigation and management. Our knowledge about multi-risk assessment, including studies from different scientific disciplines and developed assessment tools, is constantly growing (White et al., 2001). However, the link between scientific knowledge, its implementation and the results in terms of improved governance and decision-making have gained significantly less attention (IRGC, 2005; Kappes et al., 2012), even though the interest to risk governance, in general, has increased significantly during the last years (Verweiy and Thompson, 2006). Therefore, the key research question is how risk assessment is implemented and what is the potential for the implementation of a multi-risk approach in different governance systems across Europe. More precisely, how do the characteristics of risk governance, such as the degree of centralization versus decentralization, influence the implementation of a multi-risk approach. The methodology of this research includes comparative case study analysis of top-down and bottom-up interactions in governance in the city of Naples, (Italy), where the institutional landscape is marked by significant autonomy of Italian regions in decision-making processes for assessing the majority of natural risks, excluding volcanic, and in Guadeloupe, French West Indies, an overseas department of France, where the decision-making process is marked by greater centralization in decision making associated with a well established state governance within regions, delegated to the prefect and decentralised services of central ministries. The research design included documentary analysis and extensive empirical work involving

  10. Evolving urban water and residuals management paradigms: water reclamation and reuse, decentralization, and resource recovery.

    PubMed

    Daigger, Glen T

    2009-08-01

    Population growth and improving standards of living, coupled with dramatically increased urbanization, are placing increased pressures on available water resources, necessitating new approaches to urban water management. The tradition linear "take, make, waste" approach to managing water increasingly is proving to be unsustainable, as it is leading to water stress (insufficient water supplies), unsustainable resource (energy and chemicals) consumption, the dispersion of nutrients into the aquatic environment (especially phosphorus), and financially unstable utilities. Different approaches are needed to achieve economic, environmental, and social sustainability. Fortunately, a toolkit consisting of stormwater management/rainwater harvesting, water conservation, water reclamation and reuse, energy management, nutrient recovery, and source separation is available to allow more closed-loop urban water and resource management systems to be developed and implemented. Water conservation and water reclamation and reuse (multiple uses) are becoming commonplace in numerous water-short locations. Decentralization, enabled by new, high-performance treatment technologies and distributed stormwater management/rainwater harvesting, is furthering this transition. Likewise, traditional approaches to residuals management are evolving, as higher levels of energy recovery are desired, and nutrient recovery and reuse is to be enhanced. A variety of factors affect selection of the optimum approach for a particular urban area, including local hydrology, available water supplies, water demands, local energy and nutrient-management situations, existing infrastructure, and utility governance structure. A proper approach to economic analysis is critical to determine the most sustainable solutions. Stove piping (i.e., separate management of drinking, storm, and waste water) within the urban water and resource management profession must be eliminated. Adoption of these new approaches to urban

  11. Experimental Verification of Fully Decentralized Control Inspired by Plasmodium of True Slime Mold

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Umedachi, Takuya; Takeda, Koichi; Nakagaki, Toshiyuki; Kobayashi, Ryo; Ishiguro, Akio

    This paper presents a fully decentralized control inspired by plasmodium of true slime mold and its validity using a soft-bodied amoeboid robot. The notable features of this paper are twofold: (1) the robot has truly soft and deformable body stemming from real-time tunable springs and a balloon, the former is utilized as an outer skin of the body and the latter serves as protoplasm; and (2) a fully decentralized control using coupled oscillators with completely local sensory feedback mechanism is realized by exploiting the long-distance physical interaction between the body parts induced by the law of conservation of protoplasmic mass. Experimental results show that this robot exhibits truly supple locomotion without relying on any hierarchical structure. The results obtained are expected to shed new light on design scheme for autonomous decentralized control system.

  12. Polya’s bees: A model of decentralized decision-making

    PubMed Central

    Golman, Russell; Hagmann, David; Miller, John H.

    2015-01-01

    How do social systems make decisions with no single individual in control? We observe that a variety of natural systems, including colonies of ants and bees and perhaps even neurons in the human brain, make decentralized decisions using common processes involving information search with positive feedback and consensus choice through quorum sensing. We model this process with an urn scheme that runs until hitting a threshold, and we characterize an inherent tradeoff between the speed and the accuracy of a decision. The proposed common mechanism provides a robust and effective means by which a decentralized system can navigate the speed-accuracy tradeoff and make reasonably good, quick decisions in a variety of environments. Additionally, consensus choice exhibits systemic risk aversion even while individuals are idiosyncratically risk-neutral. This too is adaptive. The model illustrates how natural systems make decentralized decisions, illuminating a mechanism that engineers of social and artificial systems could imitate. PMID:26601255

  13. Decentralized target geolocation for unmanned aerial vehicle with sensor bias estimation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baek, Kwangyul; Bang, Hyochoong

    2012-11-01

    This paper deals with the decentralized approach of target geolocation and sensor bias estimation for multiple unmanned aerial vehicles with bearing angle sensors. The bias of bearing sensor is crucial source that impoverish accuracy of target geolocation. The decentralized estimation approach utilizes the information filtering and dual estimation. The local estimator running in each vehicle estimates the target motion and its sensor bias simultaneously in dual estimation framework. The dual estimation consists of two parallel filters, which are the state filter for target motion and the parameter filter for sensor bias. The information increments of target motion in local vehicles are shared with other vehicles in information filtering framework which is suitable for multiple sensor estimation than conventional Kalman filter. Performance comparison of the proposed decentralized geolocation algorithm with bias estimation with the centralized approaches is demonstrated by numerical simulation.

  14. Resource allocation and budgetary mechanisms for decentralized health systems: experiences from Balochistan, Pakistan.

    PubMed Central

    Green, A.; Ali, B.; Naeem, A.; Ross, D.

    2000-01-01

    This paper identifies key political and technical issues involved in the development of an appropriate resource allocation and budgetary system for the public health sector, using experience gained in the Province of Balochistan, Pakistan. The resource allocation and budgetary system is a critical, yet often neglected, component of any decentralization policy. Current systems are often based on historical incrementalism that is neither efficient nor equitable. This article describes technical work carried out in Balochistan to develop a system of resource allocation and budgeting that is needs-based, in line with policies of decentralization, and implementable within existing technical constraints. However, the development of technical systems, while necessary, is not a sufficient condition for the implementation of a resource allocation and decentralized budgeting system. This is illustrated by analysing the constraints that have been encountered in the development of such a system in Balochistan. PMID:10994286

  15. A Decentralized Eigenvalue Computation Method for Spectrum Sensing Based on Average Consensus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mohammadi, Jafar; Limmer, Steffen; Stańczak, Sławomir

    2016-07-01

    This paper considers eigenvalue estimation for the decentralized inference problem for spectrum sensing. We propose a decentralized eigenvalue computation algorithm based on the power method, which is referred to as generalized power method GPM; it is capable of estimating the eigenvalues of a given covariance matrix under certain conditions. Furthermore, we have developed a decentralized implementation of GPM by splitting the iterative operations into local and global computation tasks. The global tasks require data exchange to be performed among the nodes. For this task, we apply an average consensus algorithm to efficiently perform the global computations. As a special case, we consider a structured graph that is a tree with clusters of nodes at its leaves. For an accelerated distributed implementation, we propose to use computation over multiple access channel (CoMAC) as a building block of the algorithm. Numerical simulations are provided to illustrate the performance of the two algorithms.

  16. A Feasibility Analysis Methodology for Decentralized Wastewater Systems - Energy-Efficiency and Cost.

    PubMed

    Naik, Kartiki S; Stenstrom, Michael K

    2016-03-01

    Centralized wastewater treatment, widely practiced in developed areas, involves transporting wastewater from large urban areas to a large capacity plant using a single network of sewers, whereas decentralization is the concept of wastewater collection, treatment and reuse at or near its point of generation. Smaller decentralized plants can achieve extensive reclamation and wastewater management with energy-efficient reclaimed water pumping, modularized expansion and lower capital investment. We devised a methodology to preliminarily assess these alternatives using local constraints and conducted a feasibility analysis for each option. It addressed various scenarios using the pump-back energy consumption, sewer and treatment plant construction and capacity expansion cost. We demonstrated this methodology by applying it to the Hollywood vicinity (California). In this study, the decentralized configuration was more economical and energy-efficient than the centralized system. The pump-back energy consumption was about 50% of the aeration energy consumption for the centralized option.

  17. Resource allocation and budgetary mechanisms for decentralized health systems: experiences from Balochistan, Pakistan.

    PubMed

    Green, A; Ali, B; Naeem, A; Ross, D

    2000-01-01

    This paper identifies key political and technical issues involved in the development of an appropriate resource allocation and budgetary system for the public health sector, using experience gained in the Province of Balochistan, Pakistan. The resource allocation and budgetary system is a critical, yet often neglected, component of any decentralization policy. Current systems are often based on historical incrementalism that is neither efficient nor equitable. This article describes technical work carried out in Balochistan to develop a system of resource allocation and budgeting that is needs-based, in line with policies of decentralization, and implementable within existing technical constraints. However, the development of technical systems, while necessary, is not a sufficient condition for the implementation of a resource allocation and decentralized budgeting system. This is illustrated by analysing the constraints that have been encountered in the development of such a system in Balochistan.

  18. [Health care reform, decentralization, prevention and control of vector-borne diseases].

    PubMed

    Schmunis, G A; Dias, J C

    2000-01-01

    Economic policies are changing Latin American health programs, particularly promoting decentralization. Numerous difficulties thus arise for the control of endemic diseases, since such activities traditionally depend on vertical, and centralized structures. Theoretical arguments in favor of decentralization notwithstanding, no such tradition exists at the county level. The lack of program expertise at peripheral levels, intensive staff turnover, and even corruption are additional difficulties. Hence, the simple bureaucratic transfer of activities from the Federal to county level is often irresponsible. The loss of priority for control of endemic diseases in Latin America may mean the inexorable extinction of traditional control services. Malaria, dengue fever, and Chagas disease programs are examples of the loss of expertise and effectiveness in Latin America. A better strategy for responsible decentralization is required. In particular, a shared transition involving all governmental levels is desirable to effectively modernize programs. Maintenance of regional reference centers to ensure supervision, surveillance, and training is suggested.

  19. Back to basics: does decentralization improve health system performance? Evidence from Ceara in north-east Brazil.

    PubMed Central

    Atkinson, Sarah; Haran, Dave

    2004-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To examine whether decentralization has improved health system performance in the State of Ceara, north-east Brazil. METHODS: Ceara is strongly committed to decentralization. A survey across 45 local (municipio) health systems collected data on performance and formal organization, including decentralization, informal management and local political culture. The indicators for informal management and local political culture were based on prior ethnographic research. Data were analysed using analysis of variance, Duncan's post-hoc test and multiple regression. FINDINGS: Decentralization was associated with improved performance, but only for 5 of our 22 performance indicators. Moreover, in the multiple regression, decentralization explained the variance in only one performance indicator; indicators for informal management and political culture appeared to be more important influences. However, some indicators for informal management were themselves associated with decentralization but not any of the political culture indicators. CONCLUSION: Good management practices in the study led to decentralized local health systems rather than vice versa. Any apparent association between decentralization and performance seems to be an artefact of the informal management, and the wider political culture in which a local health system is embedded strongly influences the performance of local health systems. PMID:15640917

  20. The Reform of Secondary Education in Indonesia during the 1990s: Basic Education Expansion and Quality Improvement through Curriculum Decentralization.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yeom, Min-Ho; Acedo, Clementina; Utomo, Erry

    2002-01-01

    Case study of two main secondary education reforms in Indonesia in the 1990s: Expansion of basic education and the decentralization of curriculum. Discusses the social, political, and economic trends in the 1990s, context of the secondary education reforms, and the rationale for the reforms. Focuses on the curriculum decentralization design and…

  1. Decentralization for High-Quality Education: Elements and Issues of Design. RTI Research Report Series. Occasional Paper

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Healey, F. Henry, III; Crouch, Luis

    2012-01-01

    The impact of education decentralization on high-quality education has been mixed at best. This can be attributed to a variety of factors including decentralization itself, ineffectual implementation, political-economic friction, and poor design. This paper focuses largely on the issue of design, contending that if governments or donors aim to…

  2. Two-factor theory, the actor-critic model, and conditioned avoidance.

    PubMed

    Maia, Tiago V

    2010-02-01

    Two-factor theory (Mowrer, 1947, 1951, 1956) remains one of the most influential theories of avoidance, but it is at odds with empirical findings that demonstrate sustained avoidance responding in situations in which the theory predicts that the response should extinguish. This article shows that the well-known actor-critic model seamlessly addresses the problems with two-factor theory, while simultaneously being consistent with the core ideas that underlie that theory. More specifically, the article shows that (1) the actor-critic model bears striking similarities to two-factor theory and explains all of the empirical phenomena that two-factor theory explains, in much the same way, and (2) there are subtle but important differences between the actor-critic model and two-factor theory, which result in the actor-critic model predicting the persistence of avoidance responses that is found empirically. PMID:20065349

  3. Modeling and training emotional talking faces of virtual actors in synthetic movies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karunaratne, Savant; Yan, Hong

    2000-05-01

    This paper presents an overview of a virtual actor system composed of several subsystems designed to automate some of these animation tasks. Our emphasis is on the facial animation of virtual actors. The paper specifically details the situations processor component of the framework, which is a major building block in the automatic virtual actor system. An expert system using a fuzzy knowledge-based control system is used to realize the automated system. Fuzzy linguistic rules are used to train virtual actors to know the appropriate emotions and gestures to use in different situations of a synthetic movie, the higher level parameters of which are provided by human directors. Theories of emotion, personality, dialogue, and acting, as well as empirical evidence is incorporated into our framework and knowledge bases to produce promising results.

  4. Actors conform, observers react: the effects of behavioral synchrony on conformity.

    PubMed

    Dong, Ping; Dai, Xianchi; Wyer, Robert S

    2015-01-01

    Engaging in synchronous behavior can induce a more general disposition to copy others, which increases the tendency to conform to others' preferences in an unrelated choice situation. In contrast, observing others perform synchronous behavior can induce psychological reactance and decrease conformity to others' preferences. Five experiments confirmed these different effects and circumscribed the conditions in which they occurred. Actors typically focus their attention on the goal to which their synchronous behavior is directed, inducing a copying-others mindset that generalizes to later situations. In contrast, observers focus on the actors' behavior independently of the goal to which it pertains. Consequently, they become sensitive to the restrictions on freedom that synchronous behavior requires and experience reactance. However, changing the relative attention that actors and observers pay to these factors can reverse the effects of the actors' synchronous behavior on conformity.

  5. Vocal range and intensity in actors: a studio versus stage comparison.

    PubMed

    Emerich, Kate A; Titze, Ingo R; Svec, Jan G; Popolo, Peter S; Logan, Gary

    2005-03-01

    A voice range profile (VRP) was obtained from each of eight professional actors and compared with two speech range profiles (SRPs). One speech profile was obtained during the dramatic reading of a scene in the laboratory and the other during a performance on stage in a professional theater. The objective was to determine the pitch and loudness ranges used by the actors in speech relative to the VRP. The principal question of interest was whether the actors stayed within the center of the VRP, or whether they tended to drift toward the boundaries of intensity and frequency. A second question was whether the performance within the laboratory accurately reflects that of a stage performance. The results suggest that some subjects tend to exceed the center of the VRP during the stage performance. It is hypothesized that these actors may stress their vocal mechanism during performance and are more likely candidates for vocal injury. PMID:15766852

  6. Decentralized control of the COFS-I Mast using linear dc motors

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lindner, Douglas K.; Celano, Tom; Ide, Eric

    1989-01-01

    Consideration is given to a decentralized control design for vibration suppression in the COFS-I Mast using linear dc motors for actuators. The decentralized control design is based results from power systems using root locus techniques that are not well known. The approach is effective because the loop gain is low due to low actuator authority. The frequency-dependent nonlinearities of the actuator are taken into account. Because of the tendency of the transients to saturate the the stroke length of the actuator, its effectiveness is limited.

  7. Decentralizing the Team Station: Simulation before Reality as a Best-Practice Approach.

    PubMed

    Charko, Jackie; Geertsen, Alice; O'Brien, Patrick; Rouse, Wendy; Shahid, Ammarah; Hardenne, Denise

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this article is to share the logistical planning requirements and simulation experience of one Canadian hospital as it prepared its staff for the change from a centralized inpatient unit model to the decentralized design planned for its new community hospital. With the commitment and support of senior leadership, project management resources and clinical leads worked collaboratively to design a decentralized prototype in the form of a pod-style environment in the hospital's current setting. Critical success factors included engaging the right stakeholders, providing an opportunity to test new workflows and technology, creating a strong communication plan and building on lessons learned as subsequent pod prototypes are launched. PMID:27133608

  8. Decentralized Adaptive Control of Systems with Uncertain Interconnections, Plant-Model Mismatch and Actuator Failures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Patre, Parag; Joshi, Suresh M.

    2011-01-01

    Decentralized adaptive control is considered for systems consisting of multiple interconnected subsystems. It is assumed that each subsystem s parameters are uncertain and the interconnection parameters are not known. In addition, mismatch can exist between each subsystem and its reference model. A strictly decentralized adaptive control scheme is developed, wherein each subsystem has access only to its own state but has the knowledge of all reference model states. The mismatch is estimated online for each subsystem and the mismatch estimates are used to adaptively modify the corresponding reference models. The adaptive control scheme is extended to the case with actuator failures in addition to mismatch.

  9. False recollection of the role played by an actor in an event

    PubMed Central

    Earles, Julie L.; Upshaw, Christin

    2013-01-01

    Two experiments demonstrated that eyewitnesses more frequently associate an actor with the actions of another person when those two people had appeared together in the same event, rather than in different events. This greater likelihood of binding an actor with the actions of another person from the same event was associated with high-confidence recognition judgments and “remember” responses in a remember–know task, suggesting that viewing an actor together with the actions of another person led participants to falsely recollect having seen that actor perform those actions. An analysis of age differences provided evidence that familiarity also contributed to false recognition independently of a false-recollection mechanism. In particular, older adults were more likely than young adults to falsely recognize a novel conjunction of a familiar actor and action, regardless of whether that actor and action were from the same or from different events. Older adults’ elevated rate of false recognition was associated with intermediate confidence levels, suggesting that it stemmed from increased reliance on familiarity rather than from false recollection. The implications of these results are discussed for theories of conjunction errors in memory and of unconscious transference in eyewitness testimony. PMID:23722927

  10. Characteristics of pornography film actors: self-report versus perceptions of college students.

    PubMed

    Griffith, James D; Hayworth, Michelle; Adams, Lea T; Mitchell, Sharon; Hart, Christian

    2013-05-01

    The assumed characteristics of individuals in the adult entertainment industry have been used to advocate positions for and against pornography. Although prior studies have investigated perceptions of porn actors, no data on the actual characteristics of this group exist. The present study compared the self-reports of 105 male and 177 female porn actors to the perceptions of 399 college students on childhood sexual abuse (CSA), self-esteem, work and non-work sexual behaviors, and safe sex issues. College students were asked to identify the characteristics associated with either a male or female porn star. College students provided underestimates for both female and male porn actors on self-esteem, age of first intercourse, lifetime number of partners outside of work, ideal experience in a romantic partner, concerns regarding sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), enjoyment of sex, and condom use during a first time sexual encounter, but overestimated earnings. Additional differences among male porn stars included an underestimate of the number of partners at work. For female porn stars, college students underestimated their enjoyment of work, the probability of catching an STD, and having unprotected sex. Although there were no significant differences on perceived rates of childhood abuse of porn actors, the incidence of CSA among the porn actor participants were within the ranges of the general population. The majority of college student stereotypes were not supported regarding the perceptions of porn actors. These findings were discussed within the context of attributing unfounded characteristics of individuals to an entire industry. PMID:23179237

  11. False recollection of the role played by an actor in an event.

    PubMed

    Kersten, Alan W; Earles, Julie L; Upshaw, Christin

    2013-11-01

    Two experiments demonstrated that eyewitnesses more frequently associate an actor with the actions of another person when those two people had appeared together in the same event, rather than in different events. This greater likelihood of binding an actor with the actions of another person from the same event was associated with high-confidence recognition judgments and "remember" responses in a remember-know task, suggesting that viewing an actor together with the actions of another person led participants to falsely recollect having seen that actor perform those actions. An analysis of age differences provided evidence that familiarity also contributed to false recognition independently of a false-recollection mechanism. In particular, older adults were more likely than young adults to falsely recognize a novel conjunction of a familiar actor and action, regardless of whether that actor and action were from the same or from different events. Older adults' elevated rate of false recognition was associated with intermediate confidence levels, suggesting that it stemmed from increased reliance on familiarity rather than from false recollection. The implications of these results are discussed for theories of conjunction errors in memory and of unconscious transference in eyewitness testimony. PMID:23722927

  12. Characteristics of pornography film actors: self-report versus perceptions of college students.

    PubMed

    Griffith, James D; Hayworth, Michelle; Adams, Lea T; Mitchell, Sharon; Hart, Christian

    2013-05-01

    The assumed characteristics of individuals in the adult entertainment industry have been used to advocate positions for and against pornography. Although prior studies have investigated perceptions of porn actors, no data on the actual characteristics of this group exist. The present study compared the self-reports of 105 male and 177 female porn actors to the perceptions of 399 college students on childhood sexual abuse (CSA), self-esteem, work and non-work sexual behaviors, and safe sex issues. College students were asked to identify the characteristics associated with either a male or female porn star. College students provided underestimates for both female and male porn actors on self-esteem, age of first intercourse, lifetime number of partners outside of work, ideal experience in a romantic partner, concerns regarding sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), enjoyment of sex, and condom use during a first time sexual encounter, but overestimated earnings. Additional differences among male porn stars included an underestimate of the number of partners at work. For female porn stars, college students underestimated their enjoyment of work, the probability of catching an STD, and having unprotected sex. Although there were no significant differences on perceived rates of childhood abuse of porn actors, the incidence of CSA among the porn actor participants were within the ranges of the general population. The majority of college student stereotypes were not supported regarding the perceptions of porn actors. These findings were discussed within the context of attributing unfounded characteristics of individuals to an entire industry.

  13. Bombing Alone: Tracing the Motivations and Antecedent Behaviors of Lone-Actor Terrorists*,†,‡

    PubMed Central

    Gill, Paul; Horgan, John; Deckert, Paige

    2014-01-01

    This article analyzes the sociodemographic network characteristics and antecedent behaviors of 119 lone-actor terrorists. This marks a departure from existing analyses by largely focusing upon behavioral aspects of each offender. This article also examines whether lone-actor terrorists differ based on their ideologies or network connectivity. The analysis leads to seven conclusions. There was no uniform profile identified. In the time leading up to most lone-actor terrorist events, other people generally knew about the offender’s grievance, extremist ideology, views, and/or intent to engage in violence. A wide range of activities and experiences preceded lone actors’ plots or events. Many but not all lone-actor terrorists were socially isolated. Lone-actor terrorists regularly engaged in a detectable and observable range of activities with a wider pressure group, social movement, or terrorist organization. Lone-actor terrorist events were rarely sudden and impulsive. There were distinguishable behavioral differences between subgroups. The implications for policy conclude this article. PMID:24313297

  14. Neuroimaging of the joint Simon effect with believed biological and non-biological co-actors

    PubMed Central

    Wen, Tanya; Hsieh, Shulan

    2015-01-01

    Performing a task alone or together with another agent can produce different outcomes. The current study used event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate the neural underpinnings when participants performed a Go/Nogo task alone or complementarily with another co-actor (unseen), whom was believed to be another human or a computer. During both complementary tasks, reaction time data suggested that participants integrated the potential action of their co-actor in their own action planning. Compared to the single-actor task, increased parietal and precentral activity during complementary tasks as shown in the fMRI data further suggested representation of the co-actor’s response. The superior frontal gyrus of the medial prefrontal cortex was differentially activated in the human co-actor condition compared to the computer co-actor condition. The medial prefrontal cortex, involved thinking about the beliefs and intentions of other people, possibly reflects a social-cognitive aspect or self-other discrimination during the joint task when believing a biological co-actor is present. Our results suggest that action co-representation can occur even offline with any agent type given a priori information that they are co-acting; however, additional regions are recruited when participants believe they are task-sharing with another human. PMID:26388760

  15. Actor-recipient role affects neural responses to self in emotional situations

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xiaoyan; Zheng, Li; Cheng, Xuemei; Li, Lin; Sun, Lining; Wang, Qianfeng; Guo, Xiuyan

    2015-01-01

    People often take either the role of an actor or that of recipient in positive and negative interpersonal events when they interact with others. The present study investigated how the actor-recipient role affected the neural responses to self in emotional situations. Twenty-five participants were scanned while they were presented with positive and negative interpersonal events and were asked to rate the degree to which the actor/the recipient was that kind of person who caused the interpersonal event. Half of the trials were self-relevant events and the other half were other-relevant events. Results showed that people were more likely to isolate self from negative events when they played the role of actor relative to recipient. Pregenual anterior cingulate cortex (pgACC) and posterior dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (pdACC) were more active for self than other only in negative events. More importantly, also in negative interpersonal events, dorsal medial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC) showed greater self-related activations (self-other) when participants played the role of recipient relative to actor, while activities in orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) were greater for self than other only when the evaluation target played the role of recipient. These results showed that the actor-recipient role affected neural responses to self in emotional situations, especially when a recipient role was played in negative situations. PMID:25926781

  16. Governing decentralization in health care under tough budget constraint: what can we learn from the Italian experience?

    PubMed

    Tediosi, Fabrizio; Gabriele, Stefania; Longo, Francesco

    2009-05-01

    In many European countries, since the World War II, there has been a trend towards decentralization of health policy to lower levels of governments, while more recently there have been re-centralization processes. Whether re-centralization will be the new paradigm of European health policy or not is difficult to say. In the Italian National Health Service (SSN) decentralization raised two related questions that might be interesting for the international debate on decentralization in health care: (a) what sort of regulatory framework and institutional balances are required to govern decentralization in health care in a heterogeneous country under tough budget constraints? (b) how can it be ensured that the most advanced parts of the country remain committed to solidarity, supporting the weakest ones? To address these questions this article describes the recent trends in SSN funding and expenditure, it reviews the strategy adopted by the Italian government for governing the decentralization process and discusses the findings to draw policy conclusions. The main lessons emerging from this experience are that: (1) when the differences in administrative and policy skills, in socio-economic standards and social capital are wide, decentralization may lead to undesirable divergent evolution paths; (2) even in decentralized systems, the role of the Central government can be very important to contain health expenditure; (3) a strong governance of the Central government may help and not hinder the enforcement of decentralization; and (4) supporting the weakest Regions and maintaining inter-regional solidarity is hard but possible. In Italy, despite an increasing role of the Central government in steering the SSN, the pattern of regional decentralization of health sector decision making does not seem at risk. Nevertheless, the Italian case confirms the complexity of decentralization and re-centralization processes that sometimes can be paradoxically reinforcing each other.

  17. Challenging Changes: Responses of Three Upper Secondary Schools to Sweden's Decentralization Process.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wettersten, Jill A.

    Sweden is undergoing a school decentralization process from a formerly centralized system. This report examines how school personnel are adapting to the changes. Schoolteachers, administrators, and staff members were interviewed, and, where appropriate, responses were coded for numerical assessment. Additional data include school-reform plans for…

  18. School Reform and Decentralization in the United States: The National Alliance Experience.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marsh, David D.

    In the past 2 decades, the United States has had a more troubled experience in establishing common standards and decentralized authority than comparable school systems in other cultures. This paper describes how the National Center for Education and Economy (NCEE) has been working through the National Alliance (NA) for Restructuring Education to…

  19. Maintaining Set-Aside Programs under School Decentralization. A Review of Legal Mandates.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moag, Joseph S.; Theodore, Nikolas C.

    The Chicago (Illinois) Board of Education has been engaged in a process of system-wide reorganization that may shift the locus of decision-making authority for many administrative functions from the Central Office to individual schools. Proponents of decentralization contend that restructuring will reduce costs and increase efficiencies at the…

  20. Decentralization and Social Partnership: The Development of Vocational Education at Shanghai and Shenzhen in China

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lai, Manhong; Lo, Leslie N. K.

    2006-01-01

    In 1985, the Chinese Mainland introduced a policy of decentralization in order to help facilitate the spread of basic education. By looking specifically at the developmental experiences of Shanghai and Shenzhen, we can gain an in depth understanding of the specific circumstances incurred under new education reforms. While undergoing…

  1. Effect of School Decentralization and School Climate on Student Mathematics Performance: The Case of Hong Kong

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ho, Esther Sui Chu

    2005-01-01

    For more than a decade, the Government of Hong Kong has instituted a policy of school decentralization aimed at devolving authority to all stakeholders, including the representatives of School Sponsoring Bodies, principals, teachers, parents, and community members. This study examines the relative contribution of two dimensions of school…

  2. Study of the Effectiveness of OCR for Decentralized Data Capture and Conversion. Final Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liston, David M.; And Others

    The ERIC network conversion to an OCR (Optical Character Recognition) mode of data entry was studied to analyze the potential effectiveness of OCR data entry for future EPC/s (Editorial Processing Centers). Study results are also applicable to any other system involving decentralized bibliographic data capture and conversion functions. The report…

  3. Nitrogen Control Through Decentralized Wastewater Treatment: Process Performance and Alternative Management Strategies

    EPA Science Inventory

    Decentralized or onsite wastewater treatment (OWT) systems have long been implicated in being a major source of N inputs to surface and ground waters and numerous regulatory bodies have promulgated strict total N (TN) effluent standards in N-sensitive areas. These standards, howe...

  4. Decentred Education: Suggestions for Framing a Socio-Spatial Research Agenda

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ferguson, Kathleen; Seddon, Terri

    2007-01-01

    This paper explores the trend towards a decentred social organization of learning that has become evident over the last 30-40 years. This is illustrated by the shifting imagery of education, from the red brick school to dispersed learning networks, or "learning bubbles", that constitute new learning spaces. In the context of our large funded…

  5. Decentralized Random Decrement Technique for Data Aggregation and System Identification in Wireless Smart Sensor Networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sim, Sung-Han; Spencer, B. F.; Jo, Hongki; Carbonell-Márquez, Juan Francisco

    Smart sensors have been recognized as a promising technology with the potential to overcome many of the inherent difficulties and limitations associated with traditional wired structural health monitoring (SHM) systems. The unique features offered by smart sensors, including wireless communication, on-board computation, and cost effectiveness, enable deployment of the dense array of sensors that are needed for monitoring of large-scale civil infrastructure. Despite the many advances in smart sensor technologies, power consumption is still considered as one of the most important challenges that should be addressed for the smart sensors to be more widely adopted in SHM applications. Data communication, the most significant source of the power consumption, can be reduced by appropriately selecting data processing schemes and the related network topology. This paper presents a new decentralized data aggregation approach for system identification based on the Random Decrement Technique (RDT). Following a brief overview of RDT, which is an output-only system identification approach, a hierarchical approach is described and shown to be suitable for implementation in the intrinsically decentralized computing environment found in wireless smart sensor networks (WSSNs). RDT-based decentralized data aggregation is then implemented on the Imote2 smart sensor platform based on the Illinois Structural Health Monitoring Project (ISHMP) Services Toolsuite. Finally, the efficacy of the decentralized RDT method is demonstrated experimentally in terms of the required data communication and the accuracy of identified dynamic properties.

  6. High degree decentralization for the optimum thermoeconomic design of a combined cycle

    SciTech Connect

    Benelmir, R. . Lab. d'Energetique et automatique); Evans, R.B. . George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering); Spakovsky, M.R. Von . Dept. de mecanique)

    1992-01-01

    Decentralized design methods will always greatly facilitate the optimum design of large engineering systems whenever a High Degree of Decentralization (HDD) is achieved. HDD allows the optimization of each component by itself without significantly sacrificing the overall system optimum. In this paper, a primary engineering component costing expression is introduced, resulting in a significant HDD - called Primary Decentralized Thermoeconomic Design - for the design of gas turbine cycles with or without a steam power bottoming cycle. This costing expression is a compromise between simplicity and a representative model for engineering component costing. A requirement for such an expression is that it provides a balance not only between the capital cost expenditures and the dissipation of exergy, but also between the capital cost and the dissipation of heat removal capacity. In fact, additional exergy dissipation always results in the dissipation of more heat, which must be removed from the overall power generation cycle. Applied to a combined cycle (a gas and steam turbine cycle), such decentralization serves to show how the steam power bottoming cycle assists the gas turbine cycle. This approach produces a significant HDD which allows engineers to study many more possible improvements in combined cycles than could otherwise be considered.

  7. Decentralized conversion of biomass to energy, fuels and electricity with fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Grimes, P.

    1996-12-31

    Fuel cells, new processes, advanced equipment and total system approaches will allow biomass to become a larger source of energy to make electricity, fuel and chemicals. These innovative new approaches allow smaller scale operations and allow decentralization of biomass to energy. The pivotal role of biomass will change and expand. Biomass will become a significant near term and a long term energy source.

  8. Responsibility Center Management: A Financial Paradigm and Alternative to Decentralized Budgeting.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hensley, Phyllis A.; Bava, D. J.; Brennan, Denise C.

    This study examined the implementation of Responsibility Center Management (RCM) systems in two institutions of higher education: the Graduate School of Business at Institution and the Center of Collaborative Education and Professional Studies at Institution B. RCM is a management and budgeting process for universities that decentralizes authority…

  9. Decision Space and Capacities in the Decentralization of Health Services in Fiji

    PubMed Central

    Bossert, Thomas J.

    2016-01-01

    The study of decentralization in Fiji shows that increasing capacities is not necessarily related to increasing decision space of local officials, which is in contrast with earlier studies in Pakistan. Future studies should address the relationship among decision space, capacities, and health system performance.

  10. From Policy Design to Campus: Implementation of a Tuition Decentralization Policy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harris, Michael S.

    2007-01-01

    This study analyzes the implementation of a tuition decentralization policy in North Carolina. Concepts of organizational culture served as a guiding framework for an interpretive analysis. Qualitative case study data for the research was collected from interviews with key policy makers within the University of North Carolina as well as an…

  11. The Russian Federation Islamic Republic of Dagestan: Curricular Decentralization, Social Cohesion, and Stability

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Eaton, Jana Sackman

    2005-01-01

    This article focuses on the curricular decentralization-sociopolitical stability nexus in the predominantly Muslim Russian Federation Republic of Dagestan, adjacent to war-torn Chechnya. Concomitant with the metamorphoses taking place in the economic and political sectors of society is the overhaul of institutionalized education. A major reform…

  12. Optimizing Natural Gas Networks through Dynamic Manifold Theory and a Decentralized Algorithm: Belgium Case Study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koch, Caleb; Winfrey, Leigh

    2014-10-01

    Natural Gas is a major energy source in Europe, yet political instabilities have the potential to disrupt access and supply. Energy resilience is an increasingly essential construct and begins with transmission network design. This study proposes a new way of thinking about modelling natural gas flow. Rather than relying on classical economic models, this problem is cast into a time-dependent Hamiltonian dynamics discussion. Traditional Natural Gas constraints, including inelastic demand and maximum/minimum pipe flows, are portrayed as energy functions and built into the dynamics of each pipe flow. Doing so allows the constraints to be built into the dynamics of each pipeline. As time progresses in the model, natural gas flow rates find the minimum energy, thus the optimal gas flow rates. The most important result of this study is using dynamical principles to ensure the output of natural gas at demand nodes remains constant, which is important for country to country natural gas transmission. Another important step in this study is building the dynamics of each flow in a decentralized algorithm format. Decentralized regulation has solved congestion problems for internet data flow, traffic flow, epidemiology, and as demonstrated in this study can solve the problem of Natural Gas congestion. A mathematical description is provided for how decentralized regulation leads to globally optimized network flow. Furthermore, the dynamical principles and decentralized algorithm are applied to a case study of the Fluxys Belgium Natural Gas Network.

  13. The Politics of School Decentralization. Lexington Books Politics of Education Series.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    La Noue, George R.; Smith, Bruce L. R.

    This study sought to provide an empirical base for a theoretical and public policy analysis of the decentralization movement in urban education. This research includes an analysis of a large number of cities for which comparative demographic and political data could be found or developed as well as a manageable number of case studies.…

  14. Court-Driven Reform and Equal Educational Opportunity: Centralization, Decentralization, and the Shifting Judicial Role

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Superfine, Benjamin Michael

    2010-01-01

    Judicial decisions focusing on equal educational opportunity involve significant issues of educational governance and often involve explicit questions about the extent to which authority to make educational decisions should be centralized or decentralized across various institutions and entities. This review aims at clarifying scholars'…

  15. School Decentralization and Community Control: Policy in Search of a Research Agenda.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Spivak, Harriet

    The relationship between research and educational policy in the areas of school system decentralization and community control is analyzed in this dissertation. The literature on decentraliztion and community control is reviewed. It is contended that existing empirical research on these subjects has not systematically tested the assumptions…

  16. The LEA's Role in a Decentralized School System: The School Principals' View

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Addi-Raccah, Audrey; Gavish, Yakov

    2010-01-01

    Since the wave of school reform decentralization, schools now maintain a more dynamic and diverse relationship with their environment than they did in the past. School principals' relationships with the local educational authority (LEA) are a prominent example of this change in Israel. LEAs try to gain more pedagogic influence over schools while…

  17. Decentralized water resources management in Mozambique: Challenges of implementation at the river basin level

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Inguane, Ronaldo; Gallego-Ayala, Jordi; Juízo, Dinis

    In the context of integrated water resources management implementation, the decentralization of water resources management (DWRM) at the river basin level is a crucial aspect for its success. However, decentralization requires the creation of new institutions on the ground, to stimulate an environment enabling stakeholder participation and integration into the water management decision-making process. In 1991, Mozambique began restructuring its water sector toward operational decentralized water resources management. Within this context of decentralization, new legal and institutional frameworks have been created, e.g., Regional Water Administrations (RWAs) and River Basin Committees. This paper identifies and analyzes the key institutional challenges and opportunities of DWRM implementation in Mozambique. The paper uses a critical social science research methodology for in-depth analysis of the roots of the constraining factors for the implementation of DWRM. The results obtained suggest that RWAs should be designed considering the specific geographic and infrastructural conditions of their jurisdictional areas and that priorities should be selected in their institutional capacity building strategies that match local realities. Furthermore, the results also indicate that RWAs have enjoyed limited support from basin stakeholders, mainly in basins with less hydraulic infrastructure, in securing water availability for their users and minimizing the effect of climate variability.

  18. Decentralization and Privatization of Education in El Salvador: Assessing the Experience.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cuellar-Marchelli, Helga

    2003-01-01

    Describes decentralization and privatization policies in El Salvador's education reform plan and assesses their potential success and limitations. The EDUCO program, in which nonprofit parents' associations in poor rural communities administer community schools, has expanded rural access to education. However, EDUCO also has potential to…

  19. Effectiveness of a decentralized stormwater management program in the reduction of runoff volume

    EPA Science Inventory

    A decentralized, retrofit approach to storm water management was implemented in a small suburban drainage on the basis of a voluntary reverse auction. This effort led to the installation of 83 rain gardens and 176 rain barrels on approximately 20 percent of 350 residential proper...

  20. Decentralization and Privatization of Education in El Salvador: Assessing the Experience. Occasional Paper.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marchelli, Helga Cuellar

    This paper presents the most notorious decentralization and privatization policies of education delivery included in the 1995-2005 education reform plan and briefly explains some of the factors justifying their existence, potential success, and possible limitations. It also examines the capacity of a privatization strategy, contracting…

  1. Vocational Training in Chile: A Decentralized and Market Oriented System. Training Policy Study No. 8.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Espinoza, Eduardo Martinez

    From 1976 to 1983 major reforms were enacted in Chile in the vocational training systems, based on four principles: decentralization, integration, diversification, and participation. The vocational training system in Chile is a legally established, market-oriented system in which many private training agencies compete to sell their services to…

  2. Does fiscal decentralization improve health outcomes? Evidence from infant mortality in Italy.

    PubMed

    Cavalieri, Marina; Ferrante, Livio

    2016-09-01

    Despite financial and decision-making responsibilities having been increasingly devolved to lower levels of government worldwide, the potential impact of these reforms remains largely controversial. This paper investigates the hypothesis that a shift towards a higher degree of fiscal autonomy of sub-national governments could improve health outcomes, as measured by infant mortality rates. Italy is used as a case study since responsibilities for healthcare have been decentralized to regions, though the central government still retains a key role in ensuring all citizens uniform access to health services throughout the country. A linear fixed-effects regression model with robust standard errors is employed for a panel of 20 regions over the period 1996-2012 (340 observations in the full sample). Decentralization is proxied by two different indicators, capturing the degree of decision-making autonomy in the allocation of tax revenues and the extent to which regions rely on fiscal transfers from the central government. The results show that a higher proportion of tax revenues raised and/or controlled locally as well as a lower transfer dependency from the central government are consistently associated with lower infant mortality rates, ceteris paribus. The marginal benefit from fiscal decentralization, however, is not constant but depends on the level of regional wealth, favouring poorest regions. In terms of policy implications, this study outlines how the effectiveness of decentralization in improving health outcomes is contingent on the characteristics of the context in which the process takes place. PMID:27475054

  3. Decentralized and Integrated Institutional Research: A Contradiction in Terms That Works. AIR 1991 Annual Forum Paper.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Frost, Susan H.

    A newly organized small college model for a decentralized institutional research office was described and evaluated. Using Hearn and Corcoran's six external or organizational forces (external environment, personalities or individual interests, management styles, power arrangements, microcomputing and telecommunications, and structural and…

  4. Decision-making in the School Desegregation--Decentralization Controversies. Final Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Swanson, Bert E.

    This study concentrates on the significant changes in policies and decisions as the New York City school system shifted from its previous efforts to desegregate the schools to the current attempts at decentralization. The major controversy in the city is now focused on who shall govern the schools. Findings are based on a three-part systems…

  5. Nicaragua's Experiment To Decentralize Schools: Contrasting Views of Parents, Teachers, and Directors.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rivarola, Magdalena; Fuller, Bruce

    1999-01-01

    Nicaragua's decentralization policy shifts management and budget decisions to local school councils. Interviews with teachers, parents, and directors in 12 elementary and secondary schools examined the effects of school context, poverty, and sources of authority on implementation of school autonomy; varying meanings of "autonomy" as seen by…

  6. Education "Decentralization" Processes in Mexico and Nicaragua: Legislative versus Ministry-Led Reform Strategies.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gershberg, Alec Ian

    1999-01-01

    Like most countries that have implemented some form of decentralization policy, Mexico followed a strategy of legislation first and actual reform second. Nicaragua, on the other hand, moved toward school-based management and significant changes in governance and finance with little legal framework. Benefits and pitfalls of the two national…

  7. Decentralizing Education in Transition Societies: Case Studies from Central and Eastern Europe. WBI Learning Resources Series.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fiszbein, Ariel, Ed.

    This book is about education system reform in Central and Eastern Europe, with emphasis on decentralization and management. In the past, local authorities served as implementation arms of the central ministry, while finance and decision-making were controlled by the central government, leaving local communities with little influence. New education…

  8. Sulfate-Reducing Microorganisms in Wetlands – Fameless Actors in Carbon Cycling and Climate Change

    PubMed Central

    Pester, Michael; Knorr, Klaus-Holger; Friedrich, Michael W.; Wagner, Michael; Loy, Alexander

    2012-01-01

    Freshwater wetlands are a major source of the greenhouse gas methane but at the same time can function as carbon sink. Their response to global warming and environmental pollution is one of the largest unknowns in the upcoming decades to centuries. In this review, we highlight the role of sulfate-reducing microorganisms (SRM) in the intertwined element cycles of wetlands. Although regarded primarily as methanogenic environments, biogeochemical studies have revealed a previously hidden sulfur cycle in wetlands that can sustain rapid renewal of the small standing pools of sulfate. Thus, dissimilatory sulfate reduction, which frequently occurs at rates comparable to marine surface sediments, can contribute up to 36–50% to anaerobic carbon mineralization in these ecosystems. Since sulfate reduction is thermodynamically favored relative to fermentative processes and methanogenesis, it effectively decreases gross methane production thereby mitigating the flux of methane to the atmosphere. However, very little is known about wetland SRM. Molecular analyses using dsrAB [encoding subunit A and B of the dissimilatory (bi)sulfite reductase] as marker genes demonstrated that members of novel phylogenetic lineages, which are unrelated to recognized SRM, dominate dsrAB richness and, if tested, are also abundant among the dsrAB-containing wetland microbiota. These discoveries point toward the existence of so far unknown SRM that are an important part of the autochthonous wetland microbiota. In addition to these numerically dominant microorganisms, a recent stable isotope probing study of SRM in a German peatland indicated that rare biosphere members might be highly active in situ and have a considerable stake in wetland sulfate reduction. The hidden sulfur cycle in wetlands and the fact that wetland SRM are not well represented by described SRM species explains their so far neglected role as important actors in carbon cycling and climate change. PMID:22403575

  9. Sulfate-reducing microorganisms in wetlands - fameless actors in carbon cycling and climate change.

    PubMed

    Pester, Michael; Knorr, Klaus-Holger; Friedrich, Michael W; Wagner, Michael; Loy, Alexander

    2012-01-01

    Freshwater wetlands are a major source of the greenhouse gas methane but at the same time can function as carbon sink. Their response to global warming and environmental pollution is one of the largest unknowns in the upcoming decades to centuries. In this review, we highlight the role of sulfate-reducing microorganisms (SRM) in the intertwined element cycles of wetlands. Although regarded primarily as methanogenic environments, biogeochemical studies have revealed a previously hidden sulfur cycle in wetlands that can sustain rapid renewal of the small standing pools of sulfate. Thus, dissimilatory sulfate reduction, which frequently occurs at rates comparable to marine surface sediments, can contribute up to 36-50% to anaerobic carbon mineralization in these ecosystems. Since sulfate reduction is thermodynamically favored relative to fermentative processes and methanogenesis, it effectively decreases gross methane production thereby mitigating the flux of methane to the atmosphere. However, very little is known about wetland SRM. Molecular analyses using dsrAB [encoding subunit A and B of the dissimilatory (bi)sulfite reductase] as marker genes demonstrated that members of novel phylogenetic lineages, which are unrelated to recognized SRM, dominate dsrAB richness and, if tested, are also abundant among the dsrAB-containing wetland microbiota. These discoveries point toward the existence of so far unknown SRM that are an important part of the autochthonous wetland microbiota. In addition to these numerically dominant microorganisms, a recent stable isotope probing study of SRM in a German peatland indicated that rare biosphere members might be highly active in situ and have a considerable stake in wetland sulfate reduction. The hidden sulfur cycle in wetlands and the fact that wetland SRM are not well represented by described SRM species explains their so far neglected role as important actors in carbon cycling and climate change.

  10. Not My Problem: Vicarious Conflict Adaptation with Human and Virtual Co-actors

    PubMed Central

    Spapé, Michiel M.; Ravaja, Niklas

    2016-01-01

    The Simon effect refers to an incompatibility between stimulus and response locations resulting in a conflict situation and, consequently, slower responses. Like other conflict effects, it is commonly reduced after repetitions, suggesting an executive control ability, which flexibly rewires cognitive processing and adapts to conflict. Interestingly, conflict is not necessarily individually defined: the Social Simon effect refers to a scenario where two people who share a task show a conflict effect where a single person does not. Recent studies showed these observations might converge into what could be called vicarious conflict adaptation, with evidence indicating that observing someone else's conflict may subsequently reduce one's own. While plausible, there is reason for doubt: both the social aspect of the Simon Effect, and the degree to which executive control accounts for the conflict adaptation effect, have become foci of debate in recent studies. Here, we present two experiments that were designed to test the social dimension of the effect by varying the social relationship between the actor and the co-actor. In Experiment 1, participants performed a conflict task with a virtual co-actor, while the actor-observer relationship was manipulated as a function of the similarity between response modalities. In Experiment 2, the same task was performed both with a virtual and with a human co-actor, while heart-rate measurements were taken to measure the impact of observed conflict on autonomous activity. While both experiments replicated the interpersonal conflict adaptation effects, neither showed evidence of the critical social dimension. We consider the findings as demonstrating that vicarious conflict adaptation does not rely on the social relationship between the actor and co-actor. PMID:27199839

  11. Not My Problem: Vicarious Conflict Adaptation with Human and Virtual Co-actors.

    PubMed

    Spapé, Michiel M; Ravaja, Niklas

    2016-01-01

    The Simon effect refers to an incompatibility between stimulus and response locations resulting in a conflict situation and, consequently, slower responses. Like other conflict effects, it is commonly reduced after repetitions, suggesting an executive control ability, which flexibly rewires cognitive processing and adapts to conflict. Interestingly, conflict is not necessarily individually defined: the Social Simon effect refers to a scenario where two people who share a task show a conflict effect where a single person does not. Recent studies showed these observations might converge into what could be called vicarious conflict adaptation, with evidence indicating that observing someone else's conflict may subsequently reduce one's own. While plausible, there is reason for doubt: both the social aspect of the Simon Effect, and the degree to which executive control accounts for the conflict adaptation effect, have become foci of debate in recent studies. Here, we present two experiments that were designed to test the social dimension of the effect by varying the social relationship between the actor and the co-actor. In Experiment 1, participants performed a conflict task with a virtual co-actor, while the actor-observer relationship was manipulated as a function of the similarity between response modalities. In Experiment 2, the same task was performed both with a virtual and with a human co-actor, while heart-rate measurements were taken to measure the impact of observed conflict on autonomous activity. While both experiments replicated the interpersonal conflict adaptation effects, neither showed evidence of the critical social dimension. We consider the findings as demonstrating that vicarious conflict adaptation does not rely on the social relationship between the actor and co-actor. PMID:27199839

  12. A Closed-Loop Hardware Simulation of Decentralized Satellite Formation Control

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ebimuma, Takuji; Lightsey, E. Glenn; Baur, Frank (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    In recent years, there has been significant interest in the use of formation flying spacecraft for a variety of earth and space science missions. Formation flying may provide smaller and cheaper satellites that, working together, have more capability than larger and more expensive satellites. Several decentralized architectures have been proposed for autonomous establishment and maintenance of satellite formations. In such architectures, each satellite cooperatively maintains the shape of the formation without a central supervisor, and processing only local measurement information. The Global Positioning System (GPS) sensors are ideally suited to provide such local position and velocity measurements to the individual satellites. An investigation of the feasibility of a decentralized approach to satellite formation flying was originally presented by Carpenter. He extended a decentralized linear-quadratic-Gaussian (LQG) framework proposed by Speyer in a fashion similar to an extended Kalman filter (EKE) which processed GPS position fix solutions. The new decentralized LQG architecture was demonstrated in a numerical simulation for a realistic scenario that is similar to missions that have been proposed by NASA and the U.S. Air Force. Another decentralized architecture was proposed by Park et al. using carrier differential-phase GPS (CDGPS). Recently, Busse et al demonstrated the decentralized CDGPS architecture in a hardware-in-the-loop simulation on the Formation Flying TestBed (FFTB) at Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), which features two Spirent Cox 16 channel GPS signal generator. Although representing a step forward by utilizing GPS signal simulators for a spacecraft formation flying simulation, only an open-loop performance, in which no maneuvers were executed based on the real-time state estimates, was considered. In this research, hardware experimentation has been extended to include closed-loop integrated guidance and navigation of multiple spacecraft

  13. Does HIV Services Decentralization Protect against the Risk of Catastrophic Health Expenditures? Some Lessons from Cameroon

    PubMed Central

    Boyer, Sylvie; Abu-Zaineh, Mohammad; Blanche, Jérôme; Loubière, Sandrine; Bonono, Renée-Cécile; Moatti, Jean-Paul; Ventelou, Bruno

    2011-01-01

    Objective Scaling up antiretroviral treatment (ART) through decentralization of HIV care is increasingly recommended as a strategy toward ensuring equitable access to treatment. However, there have been hitherto few attempts to empirically examine the performance of this policy, and particularly its role in protecting against the risk of catastrophic health expenditures (CHE). This article therefore seeks to assess whether HIV care decentralization has a protective effect against the risk of CHE associated with HIV infection. Data Source and Study Design We use primary data from the cross-sectional EVAL-ANRS 12-116 survey, conducted in 2006–2007 among a random sample of 3,151 HIV-infected outpatients followed up in 27 hospitals in Cameroon. Data Collection and Methods Data collected contain sociodemographic, economic, and clinical information on patients as well as health care supply-related characteristics. We assess the determinants of CHE among the ART-treated patients using a hierarchical logistic model (n = 2,412), designed to adequately investigate the separate effects of patients and supply-related characteristics. Principal Findings Expenditures for HIV care exceed 17 percent of household income for 50 percent of the study population. After adjusting for individual characteristics and technological level, decentralization of HIV services emerges as the main health system factor explaining interclass variance, with a protective effect on the risk of CHE. Conclusion The findings suggest that HIV care decentralization is likely to enhance equity in access to ART. Decentralization appears, however, to be a necessary but insufficient condition to fully remove the risk of CHE, unless other innovative reforms in health financing are introduced. PMID:22092226

  14. Decentralization and health resource allocation: a case study at the district level in Indonesia.

    PubMed

    Abdullah, Asnawi; Stoelwinder, Johannes

    2008-01-01

    Health resource allocation has been an issue of political debate in many health systems. However, the debate has tended to concentrate on vertical allocation from the national to regional level. Allocation within regions or institutions has been largely ignored. This study was conducted to contribute analysis to this gap. The objective was to investigate health resource allocation within District Health Offices (DHOs) and to compare the trends and patterns of several budget categories before and after decentralization. The study was conducted in three districts in the Province of Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam. Six fiscal year budgets, two before decentralization and four after, were studied. Data was collected from the Local Government Planning Office and DHOs. Results indicated that in the first year of implementing a decentralization policy, the local government budget rose sharply, particularly in the wealthiest district. In contrast, in relatively poor districts the budget was only boosted slightly. Increasing total local government budgets had a positive impact on increasing the health budget. The absolute amount of health budgets increased significantly, but by percentage did not change very much. Budgets for several projects and budget items increased significantly, but others, such as health promotion, monitoring and evaluation, and public-goods-related activities, decreased. This study concluded that decentralization in Indonesia had made a positive impact on district government fiscal capacity and had affected DHO budgets positively. However, an imbalanced budget allocation between projects and budget items was obvious, and this needs serious attention from policy makers. Otherwise, decentralization will not significantly improve the health system in Indonesia. PMID:18700274

  15. Decentralization and health resource allocation: a case study at the district level in Indonesia.

    PubMed

    Abdullah, Asnawi; Stoelwinder, Johannes

    2007-12-01

    Health resource allocation has been an issue of political debate in many health systems. However, the debate has tended to concentrate on vertical allocation from the national to regional level. Allocation within regions or institutions has been largely ignored. This study was conducted to contribute analysis to this gap. The objective was to investigate health resource allocation within District Health Offices (DHOs) and to compare the trends and patterns of several budget categories before and after decentralization. The study was conducted in three districts in the Province of Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam. Six fiscal year budgets, two before decentralization and four after, were studied. Data was collected from the Local Government Planning Office and DHOs. Results indicated that in the first year of implementing a decentralization policy, the local government budget rose sharply, particularly in the wealthiest district. In contrast, in relatively poor districts the budget was only boosted slightly. Increasing total local government budgets had a positive impact on increasing the health budget. The absolute amount of health budgets increased significantly, but by percentage did not change very much. Budgets for several projects and budget items increased significantly, but others, such as health promotion, monitoring and evaluation, and public-goods-related activities, decreased. This study concluded that decentralization in Indonesia had made a positive impact on district government fiscal capacity and had affected DHO budgets positively. However, an imbalanced budget allocation between projects and budget items was obvious, and this needs serious attention from policy makers. Otherwise, decentralization will not significantly improve the health system in Indonesia. PMID:18567948

  16. Representing Micro-Macro Linkages by Actor-Based Dynamic Network Models

    PubMed Central

    Snijders, Tom A.B.; Steglich, Christian E.G.

    2014-01-01

    Stochastic actor-based models for network dynamics have the primary aim of statistical inference about processes of network change, but may be regarded as a kind of agent-based models. Similar to many other agent-based models, they are based on local rules for actor behavior. Different from many other agent-based models, by including elements of generalized linear statistical models they aim to be realistic detailed representations of network dynamics in empirical data sets. Statistical parallels to micro-macro considerations can be found in the estimation of parameters determining local actor behavior from empirical data, and the assessment of goodness of fit from the correspondence with network-level descriptives. This article studies several network-level consequences of dynamic actor-based models applied to represent cross-sectional network data. Two examples illustrate how network-level characteristics can be obtained as emergent features implied by micro-specifications of actor-based models. PMID:25960578

  17. Application of the Actor-Critic Architecture to Functional Electrical Stimulation Control of a Human Arm.

    PubMed

    Thomas, Philip; Branicky, Michael; van den Bogert, Antonie; Jagodnik, Kathleen

    2009-01-01

    Clinical tests have shown that the dynamics of a human arm, controlled using Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES), can vary significantly between and during trials. In this paper, we study the application of the actor-critic architecture, with neural networks for the both the actor and the critic, as a controller that can adapt to these changing dynamics of a human arm. Development and tests were done in simulation using a planar arm model and Hill-based muscle dynamics. We begin by training it using a Proportional Derivative (PD) controller as a supervisor. We then make clinically relevant changes to the dynamics of the arm and test the actor-critic's ability to adapt without supervision in a reasonable number of episodes. Finally, we devise methods for achieving both rapid learning and long-term stability. PMID:20689654

  18. When private actors matter: Information-sharing network and surveillance of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in Vietnam.

    PubMed

    Delabouglise, A; Dao, T H; Truong, D B; Nguyen, T T; Nguyen, N T X; Duboz, R; Fournié, G; Antoine-Moussiaux, N; Grosbois, V; Vu, D T; Le, T H; Nguyen, V K; Salem, G; Peyre, M

    2015-07-01

    The effectiveness of animal health surveillance systems depends on their capacity to gather sanitary information from the animal production sector. In order to assess this capacity we analyzed the flow of sanitary information regarding Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) suspicions in poultry in Vietnam. Participatory methods were applied to assess the type of actors and likelihood of information sharing between actors in case of HPAI suspicion in poultry. While the reporting of HPAI suspicions is mandatory, private actors had more access to information than public actors. Actors of the upstream sector (medicine and feed sellers) played a key role in the diffusion of information. The central role of these actors and the influence of the information flow on the adoption by poultry production stakeholders of behaviors limiting (e.g. prevention measures) or promoting disease transmission (e.g. increased animal movements) should be accounted for in the design of surveillance and control programs. PMID:25847263

  19. When private actors matter: Information-sharing network and surveillance of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in Vietnam.

    PubMed

    Delabouglise, A; Dao, T H; Truong, D B; Nguyen, T T; Nguyen, N T X; Duboz, R; Fournié, G; Antoine-Moussiaux, N; Grosbois, V; Vu, D T; Le, T H; Nguyen, V K; Salem, G; Peyre, M

    2015-07-01

    The effectiveness of animal health surveillance systems depends on their capacity to gather sanitary information from the animal production sector. In order to assess this capacity we analyzed the flow of sanitary information regarding Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) suspicions in poultry in Vietnam. Participatory methods were applied to assess the type of actors and likelihood of information sharing between actors in case of HPAI suspicion in poultry. While the reporting of HPAI suspicions is mandatory, private actors had more access to information than public actors. Actors of the upstream sector (medicine and feed sellers) played a key role in the diffusion of information. The central role of these actors and the influence of the information flow on the adoption by poultry production stakeholders of behaviors limiting (e.g. prevention measures) or promoting disease transmission (e.g. increased animal movements) should be accounted for in the design of surveillance and control programs.

  20. Co-Construction of Agency and Environmental Management. The Case of Agri-Environmental Policy Implementation at Finnish Farms

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kaljonen, Minna

    2006-01-01

    One of the main challenges of European environmental policies is to recruit local-level actors to fulfill set targets. This article explores how targets of European agri-environmental policy have been achieved in Finland. It also analyses how implementation practices produce conditions for agri-environmental management and how policy success-or…

  1. [New actors in the fight against HIV/AIDS: overlapping and competition between existing structures].

    PubMed

    Tantchou Yakam, J C

    2008-06-01

    The HIV/AIDS pandemia reshaped international relations and the world research landscape. New facilities have been created and new actors have emerged. New institutions has been grafted into the existing health infrastructure resulting in overlapping and sometimes conflicting actions. In this study we analyze this co-existence using the "Centre of Prevention and Voluntary testing of HIV/AIDS" (CPDV) in Cameroon as an example. The purpose is to show that the involvment of new actors in a health systems with multiple dysfunctions creates an environment leading to "straddling". This situation also raises legitimacy issues and leads to competition for position within the existing hierarchies. PMID:18689327

  2. Decentralized aircraft landing scheduling at single runway non-controlled airports

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ding, Yuanyuan

    The existing air transportation system is approaching a bottleneck because its dominant hub-and-spoke model results in a concentration of a large percentage of the air traffic at a few hub airports. Advanced technologies are greatly needed to enhance the transportation capabilities of the small airports in the U.S.A., and distribute the high volume of air traffic at the hub airports to those small airports, which are mostly non-controlled airports. Currently, two major focus areas of research are being pursued to achieve this objective. One focus concentrates on the development of tools to improve operations in the current Air Traffic Management system. A more long-term research effort focuses on the development of decentralized Air Traffic Management techniques. This dissertation takes the latter approach and seeks to analyze the degree of decentralization for scheduling aircraft landings in the dynamic operational environment at single runway non-controlled airports. Moreover, it explores the feasibility and capability of scheduling aircraft landings within uninterrupted free-flight environment in which there is no existence of Air Traffic Control (ATC). First, it addresses the approach of developing static optimization algorithms for scheduling aircraft landings and, thus, analyzes the capability of automated aircraft landing scheduling at single runway non-controlled airports. Then, it provides detailed description of the implementation of a distributed Air Traffic Management (ATM) system that achieves decentralized aircraft landing scheduling with acceptable performance whereas a solution to the distributed coordination issues is presented. Finally real-time Monte Carlo flight simulations of multi-aircraft landing scenarios are conducted to evaluate the static and dynamic performance of the aircraft landing scheduling algorithms and operation concepts introduced. Results presented in the dissertation demonstrate that decentralized aircraft landing scheduling

  3. A Decentralized Wireless Solution to Monitor and Diagnose PV Solar Module Performance Based on Symmetrized-Shifted Gompertz Functions.

    PubMed

    Molina-García, Angel; Campelo, José Carlos; Blanc, Sara; Serrano, Juan José; García-Sánchez, Tania; Bueso, María C

    2015-07-29

    This paper proposes and assesses an integrated solution to monitor and diagnose photovoltaic (PV) solar modules based on a decentralized wireless sensor acquisition system. Both DC electrical variables and environmental data are collected at PV module level using low-cost and high-energy efficiency node sensors. Data is real-time processed locally and compared with expected PV module performances obtained by a PV module model based on symmetrized-shifted Gompertz functions (as previously developed and assessed by the authors). Sensor nodes send data to a centralized sink-computing module using a multi-hop wireless sensor network architecture. Such integration thus provides extensive analysis of PV installations, and avoids off-line tests or post-processing processes. In comparison with previous approaches, this solution is enhanced with a low-cost system and non-critical performance constraints, and it is suitable for extensive deployment in PV power plants. Moreover, it is easily implemented in existing PV installations, since no additional wiring is required. The system has been implemented and assessed in a Spanish PV power plant connected to the grid. Results and estimations of PV module performances are also included in the paper.

  4. A Decentralized Wireless Solution to Monitor and Diagnose PV Solar Module Performance Based on Symmetrized-Shifted Gompertz Functions.

    PubMed

    Molina-García, Angel; Campelo, José Carlos; Blanc, Sara; Serrano, Juan José; García-Sánchez, Tania; Bueso, María C

    2015-01-01

    This paper proposes and assesses an integrated solution to monitor and diagnose photovoltaic (PV) solar modules based on a decentralized wireless sensor acquisition system. Both DC electrical variables and environmental data are collected at PV module level using low-cost and high-energy efficiency node sensors. Data is real-time processed locally and compared with expected PV module performances obtained by a PV module model based on symmetrized-shifted Gompertz functions (as previously developed and assessed by the authors). Sensor nodes send data to a centralized sink-computing module using a multi-hop wireless sensor network architecture. Such integration thus provides extensive analysis of PV installations, and avoids off-line tests or post-processing processes. In comparison with previous approaches, this solution is enhanced with a low-cost system and non-critical performance constraints, and it is suitable for extensive deployment in PV power plants. Moreover, it is easily implemented in existing PV installations, since no additional wiring is required. The system has been implemented and assessed in a Spanish PV power plant connected to the grid. Results and estimations of PV module performances are also included in the paper. PMID:26230694

  5. A Decentralized Wireless Solution to Monitor and Diagnose PV Solar Module Performance Based on Symmetrized-Shifted Gompertz Functions

    PubMed Central

    Molina-García, Angel; Campelo, José Carlos; Blanc, Sara; Serrano, Juan José; García-Sánchez, Tania; Bueso, María C.

    2015-01-01

    This paper proposes and assesses an integrated solution to monitor and diagnose photovoltaic (PV) solar modules based on a decentralized wireless sensor acquisition system. Both DC electrical variables and environmental data are collected at PV module level using low-cost and high-energy efficiency node sensors. Data is real-time processed locally and compared with expected PV module performances obtained by a PV module model based on symmetrized-shifted Gompertz functions (as previously developed and assessed by the authors). Sensor nodes send data to a centralized sink-computing module using a multi-hop wireless sensor network architecture. Such integration thus provides extensive analysis of PV installations, and avoids off-line tests or post-processing processes. In comparison with previous approaches, this solution is enhanced with a low-cost system and non-critical performance constraints, and it is suitable for extensive deployment in PV power plants. Moreover, it is easily implemented in existing PV installations, since no additional wiring is required. The system has been implemented and assessed in a Spanish PV power plant connected to the grid. Results and estimations of PV module performances are also included in the paper. PMID:26230694

  6. Is it better to remove pharmaceuticals in decentralized or conventional wastewater treatment plants? A life cycle assessment comparison.

    PubMed

    Igos, Elorri; Benetto, Enrico; Venditti, Silvia; Kohler, Christian; Cornelissen, Alex; Moeller, Ruth; Biwer, Arno

    2012-11-01

    After ingestion, pharmaceuticals are excreted unchanged or metabolized. They subsequently arrive in conventional wastewater treatment plants and are then released into the environment, often without undergoing any degradation. Conventional treatment plants can be upgraded with post treatment, alternatively the removal of pharmaceuticals could be achieved directly at point sources. In the European project PILLS, several solutions for decentralized treatment of pharmaceuticals at hospitals were investigated at both pilot plant and full scale, and were then compared to conventional and upgraded centralized treatment plants using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). Within the scope of the study, pharmaceuticals were found to have a comparatively minor environmental impact. As a consequence, an additional post treatment does not provide significant benefits. In the comparison of post treatment technologies, ozonation and activated carbon performed better than UV. These results suffer however from high uncertainties due to the assessment models of the toxicity of pharmaceuticals in LCA. Our results should therefore be interpreted with caution. LCA is a holistic approach and does not cover effects or issues on a local level, which may be highly relevant. We should therefore apply the precautionary ALARA principle (As Low As Reasonably Achievable) and not conclude that the effect of pharmaceuticals is negligible in the environment. PMID:23037813

  7. Is it better to remove pharmaceuticals in decentralized or conventional wastewater treatment plants? A life cycle assessment comparison.

    PubMed

    Igos, Elorri; Benetto, Enrico; Venditti, Silvia; Kohler, Christian; Cornelissen, Alex; Moeller, Ruth; Biwer, Arno

    2012-11-01

    After ingestion, pharmaceuticals are excreted unchanged or metabolized. They subsequently arrive in conventional wastewater treatment plants and are then released into the environment, often without undergoing any degradation. Conventional treatment plants can be upgraded with post treatment, alternatively the removal of pharmaceuticals could be achieved directly at point sources. In the European project PILLS, several solutions for decentralized treatment of pharmaceuticals at hospitals were investigated at both pilot plant and full scale, and were then compared to conventional and upgraded centralized treatment plants using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). Within the scope of the study, pharmaceuticals were found to have a comparatively minor environmental impact. As a consequence, an additional post treatment does not provide significant benefits. In the comparison of post treatment technologies, ozonation and activated carbon performed better than UV. These results suffer however from high uncertainties due to the assessment models of the toxicity of pharmaceuticals in LCA. Our results should therefore be interpreted with caution. LCA is a holistic approach and does not cover effects or issues on a local level, which may be highly relevant. We should therefore apply the precautionary ALARA principle (As Low As Reasonably Achievable) and not conclude that the effect of pharmaceuticals is negligible in the environment.

  8. Formal Specification and Validation of a Hybrid Connectivity Restoration Algorithm for Wireless Sensor and Actor Networks †

    PubMed Central

    Imran, Muhammad; Zafar, Nazir Ahmad

    2012-01-01

    Maintaining inter-actor connectivity is extremely crucial in mission-critical applications of Wireless Sensor and Actor Networks (WSANs), as actors have to quickly plan optimal coordinated responses to detected events. Failure of a critical actor partitions the inter-actor network into disjoint segments besides leaving a coverage hole, and thus hinders the network operation. This paper presents a Partitioning detection and Connectivity Restoration (PCR) algorithm to tolerate critical actor failure. As part of pre-failure planning, PCR determines critical/non-critical actors based on localized information and designates each critical node with an appropriate backup (preferably non-critical). The pre-designated backup detects the failure of its primary actor and initiates a post-failure recovery process that may involve coordinated multi-actor relocation. To prove the correctness, we construct a formal specification of PCR using Z notation. We model WSAN topology as a dynamic graph and transform PCR to corresponding formal specification using Z notation. Formal specification is analyzed and validated using the Z Eves tool. Moreover, we simulate the specification to quantitatively analyze the efficiency of PCR. Simulation results confirm the effectiveness of PCR and the results shown that it outperforms contemporary schemes found in the literature.

  9. Federalist flirtations: the politics and execution of health services decentralization for the uninsured population in Mexico, 1985-1995.

    PubMed

    Birn, A E

    1999-01-01

    Around the world health services delivery systems are undergoing decentralization, responding to pressure to increase equity, efficiency, participation, intersectoral collaboration and accountability. This study examines the Mexican health decentralization efforts of the past decade to discern the motivations for the reform, the context for its implementation, the politics of its downfall, and the reform's impact at subnational levels of government. Sparked by economic crisis and pressure from international creditors for fiscal reform; demands for greater democracy, equity, and quality; and technocratic impulses to rationalize health services delivery, the decentralization reform could not overcome the authoritarian centralism of the federal government and its corporatist clients. In the end, even in the most technically capable states, the reform was unable to overcome political obstacles to decentralizing fiscal power, redistributing resources in an equitable fashion, and eliminating the inefficiencies of separate but unequal health systems for social security recipients and the uninsured population. PMID:10874399

  10. Optimal Rescheduling of Generators for Congestion Management and Benefit Maximization in a Decentralized Bilateral Multi-transactions Power Network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singh, Brijesh; Mahanty, Ranjit; Singh, S. P.

    2013-05-01

    This paper presents a framework to achieve an optimal power flow solution in a decentralized bilateral multitransaction-based market. An independent optimal dispatch solution has been used for each market. The interior point (IP)-based optimization technique has been used for finding a global economic optimal solution of the whole system. In this method, all the participants try to maximize their own profits with the help of system information announced by the operator. In the present work, a parallel algorithm has been used to find out a global optimum solution in decentralized market model. The study has been carried out on a modified IEEE-30 bus system. The results show that the suggested decentralized approach can provide a better optimal solution. The obtained results show the effectiveness of IP optimization-based optimal generator schedule and congestion management in the decentralized market.

  11. REVERSE AUCTION RESULTS FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF DECENTRALIZED RETROFIT BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES IN A SMALL URBAN WATERSHED (CINCINNATI OH)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Although urban stormwater is typically conveyed to centralized infrastructure, there is great potential for reducing stormwater runoff quantity through decentralization. In this case we hypothesize that smaller-scale retrofit best management practices (BMPs) such as rain gardens ...

  12. Impact of heterogeneity and socioeconomic factors on individual behavior in decentralized sharing ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Gavaldà-Miralles, Arnau; Choffnes, David R; Otto, John S; Sánchez, Mario A; Bustamante, Fabián E; Amaral, Luís A N; Duch, Jordi; Guimerà, Roger

    2014-10-28

    Tens of millions of individuals around the world use decentralized content distribution systems, a fact of growing social, economic, and technological importance. These sharing systems are poorly understood because, unlike in other technosocial systems, it is difficult to gather large-scale data about user behavior. Here, we investigate user activity patterns and the socioeconomic factors that could explain the behavior. Our analysis reveals that (i) the ecosystem is heterogeneous at several levels: content types are heterogeneous, users specialize in a few content types, and countries are heterogeneous in user profiles; and (ii) there is a strong correlation between socioeconomic indicators of a country and users behavior. Our findings open a research area on the dynamics of decentralized sharing ecosystems and the socioeconomic factors affecting them, and may have implications for the design of algorithms and for policymaking.

  13. Bioflocculation of grey water for improved energy recovery within decentralized sanitation concepts.

    PubMed

    Hernández Leal, L; Temmink, H; Zeeman, G; Buisman, C J N

    2010-12-01

    Bioflocculation of grey water was tested with a lab-scale membrane bioreactor in order to concentrate the COD. Three concentration factors were tested based on the ratio of sludge retention time (SRT) and hydraulic retention time (HRT): 3, 8 and 12. COD concentration factor was up to 7.1, achieving a final concentration of 7.2 g COD L(-1). Large fractions of suspended COD were recovered in the concentrate (57%, 81% and 82% at SRT/HRT ratios of 3, 8 and 12, respectively) indicating a strong bioflocculation of grey water. A maximum of 11% of COD mineralization of grey water was measured at the longest SRT tested (1 d). The integration of bioflocculation of grey water in decentralized sanitation concepts may increase the overall production of methane by 73%, based on the biogas produced by black water only. Therefore, bioflocculation is a promising grey water pre-treatment step for energy recovery within decentralized sanitation concepts.

  14. Public health expenditure and spatial interactions in a decentralized national health system.

    PubMed

    Costa-Font, Joan; Pons-Novell, Jordi

    2007-03-01

    One of the limitations of cross-country health expenditure analysis refers to the fact that the financing, the internal organization and political restraints of health care decision-making are country-specific and heterogeneous. Yet, a way through is to examine the influence of such effects in those countries that have undertaken decentralization processes. In such a setting, it is possible to examine potential expenditure spillovers across the geography of a country as well as the influence of the political ideology of regional incumbents and institutional factors on public health expenditure. This paper examines the determinants of public health expenditure within Spanish region-states (Autonomous Communities, ACs), most of them subject to similar financing structures although exhibiting significant heterogeneity as a result of the increasing decentralization, region-specific political factors along with different use of health care inputs, economic dimension and spatial interactions.

  15. Malaria control through municipalities in the Philippines: struggling with the mandate of decentralized health programme management.

    PubMed

    Espino, Fe; Beltran, Maylene; Carisma, Brian

    2004-01-01

    This is a study on the management of the decentralized malaria control programme in Maharlika, Lipunan, a municipality in rural Philippines. The theoretical assumption is that the malaria control programme must be viewed as a system and that success of reform in malaria control depends upon the understanding of management issues by municipal officials. Through interviews, and documents and archival reviews, a framework for describing the dynamics of municipal management of the malaria control programme was developed. The overall finding was that the administrative management system was not functioning optimally: (a) planning and budgeting systems are not helpful; (b) malaria data do not inform planning; and (c) local financial resources are not utilized for malaria control. The underlying causes were: the absence of a clear statement from national offices regarding decentralization of health services, and the management processes, as stipulated in the Local Government Code, were not responsive to the needs of the municipality.

  16. Decentralized Orchestration of Composite Ogc Web Processing Services in the Cloud

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xiao, F.; Shea, G. Y. K.; Cao, J.

    2016-09-01

    Current web-based GIS or RS applications generally rely on centralized structure, which has inherent drawbacks such as single points of failure, network congestion, and data inconsistency, etc. The inherent disadvantages of traditional GISs need to be solved for new applications on Internet or Web. Decentralized orchestration offers performance improvements in terms of increased throughput and scalability and lower response time. This paper investigates build time and runtime issues related to decentralized orchestration of composite geospatial processing services based on OGC WPS standard specification. A case study of dust storm detection was demonstrated to evaluate the proposed method and the experimental results indicate that the method proposed in this study is effective for its ability to produce the high quality solution at a low cost of communications for geospatial processing service composition problem.

  17. Application of Transfer Matrix Approach to Modeling and Decentralized Control of Lattice-Based Structures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cramer, Nick; Swei, Sean Shan-Min; Cheung, Kenny; Teodorescu, Mircea

    2015-01-01

    This paper presents a modeling and control of aerostructure developed by lattice-based cellular materials/components. The proposed aerostructure concept leverages a building block strategy for lattice-based components which provide great adaptability to varying ight scenarios, the needs of which are essential for in- ight wing shaping control. A decentralized structural control design is proposed that utilizes discrete-time lumped mass transfer matrix method (DT-LM-TMM). The objective is to develop an e ective reduced order model through DT-LM-TMM that can be used to design a decentralized controller for the structural control of a wing. The proposed approach developed in this paper shows that, as far as the performance of overall structural system is concerned, the reduced order model can be as e ective as the full order model in designing an optimal stabilizing controller.

  18. A Decentralized VPN Service over Generalized Mobile Ad-Hoc Networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fujita, Sho; Shima, Keiichi; Uo, Yojiro; Esaki, Hiroshi

    We present a decentralized VPN service that can be built over generalized mobile ad-hoc networks (Generalized MANETs), in which topologies can be represented as a time-varying directed multigraph. We address wireless ad-hoc networks and overlay ad-hoc networks as instances of Generalized MANETs. We first propose an architecture to operate on various kinds of networks through a single set of operations. Then, we design and implement a decentralized VPN service on the proposed architecture. Through the development and operation of a prototype system we implemented, we found that the proposed architecture makes the VPN service applicable to each instance of Generalized MANETs, and that the VPN service makes it possible for unmodified applications to operate on the networks.

  19. [Decentralization and regionalization: dynamics and conditioning factors for the implementation of the Health Pact in Brazil].

    PubMed

    de Lima, Luciana Dias; de Queiroz, Lúcia F N; Machado, Cristiani Vieira; Viana, Ana Luiza d'Ávila

    2012-07-01

    Decentralization and regionalization represent constitutional guidelines for the organization of the Unified Health System, which in the last 20 years has required the adoption of mechanisms to coordinate and accommodate federative tensions in Brazil's healthcare sector. This paper analyzes the national implementation of the Health Pact between 2006 and 2010 involving a strategy that reconfigures intergovernmental relations in the sector. The study involved the analysis of documents, official data and interviews with federal, state and municipal managers in the Brazilian states. The content of the national proposal is initially discussed, including its implications for health policy. The different rhythms and degrees of implementation of the Health Pact are then reviewed, with respect to adherence by states and municipalities and the formation of Regional Management Boards. Lastly, the conditioning factors for the multiplicity of experiences observed in the country are identified and the challenges facing progress toward a decentralized and regionalized health system in Brazil are discussed.

  20. Impact of heterogeneity and socioeconomic factors on individual behavior in decentralized sharing ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Gavaldà-Miralles, Arnau; Choffnes, David R.; Otto, John S.; Sánchez, Mario A.; Bustamante, Fabián E.; Amaral, Luís A. N.; Duch, Jordi; Guimerà, Roger

    2014-01-01

    Tens of millions of individuals around the world use decentralized content distribution systems, a fact of growing social, economic, and technological importance. These sharing systems are poorly understood because, unlike in other technosocial systems, it is difficult to gather large-scale data about user behavior. Here, we investigate user activity patterns and the socioeconomic factors that could explain the behavior. Our analysis reveals that (i) the ecosystem is heterogeneous at several levels: content types are heterogeneous, users specialize in a few content types, and countries are heterogeneous in user profiles; and (ii) there is a strong correlation between socioeconomic indicators of a country and users behavior. Our findings open a research area on the dynamics of decentralized sharing ecosystems and the socioeconomic factors affecting them, and may have implications for the design of algorithms and for policymaking. PMID:25288755

  1. Decentralized system identification using stochastic subspace identification for wireless sensor networks.

    PubMed

    Cho, Soojin; Park, Jong-Woong; Sim, Sung-Han

    2015-04-08

    Wireless sensor networks (WSNs) facilitate a new paradigm to structural identification and monitoring for civil infrastructure. Conventional structural monitoring systems based on wired sensors and centralized data acquisition systems are costly for installation as well as maintenance. WSNs have emerged as a technology that can overcome such difficulties, making deployment of a dense array of sensors on large civil structures both feasible and economical. However, as opposed to wired sensor networks in which centralized data acquisition and processing is common practice, WSNs require decentralized computing algorithms to reduce data transmission due to the limitation associated with wireless communication. In this paper, the stochastic subspace identification (SSI) technique is selected for system identification, and SSI-based decentralized system identification (SDSI) is proposed to be implemented in a WSN composed of Imote2 wireless sensors that measure acceleration. The SDSI is tightly scheduled in the hierarchical WSN, and its performance is experimentally verified in a laboratory test using a 5-story shear building model.

  2. Controllability analysis and decentralized control of a wet limestone flue gas desulfurization plant

    SciTech Connect

    Perales, A.L.V.; Ortiz, F.J.G.; Ollero, P.; Gil, F.M.

    2008-12-15

    Presently, decentralized feedback control is the only control strategy used in wet limestone flue gas desulfurization (WLFGD) plants. Proper tuning of this control strategy is becoming an important issue in WLFGD plants because more stringent SO{sub 2} regulations have come into force recently. Controllability analysis is a highly valuable tool for proper design of control systems, but it has not been applied to WLFGD plants so far. In this paper a decentralized control strategy is designed and applied to a WLFGD pilot plant taking into account the conclusions of a controllability analysis. The results reveal that good SO{sub 2} control in WLFGD plants can be achieved mainly because the main disturbance of the process is well-aligned with the plant and interactions between control loops are beneficial to SO{sub 2} control.

  3. Robust control of multi-jointed arm with a decentralized autonomous control mechanism

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kimura, Shinichi; Miyazaki, Ken; Suzuki, Yoshiaki

    1994-01-01

    A decentralized autonomous control mechanism applied to the control of three dimensional manipulators and its robustness to partial damage was assessed by computer simulation. Decentralized control structures are believed to be quite robust to time delay between the operator and the target system. A 10-jointed manipulator based on our control mechanism was able to continue its positioning task in three-dimensional space without revision of the control program, even after some of its joints were damaged. These results suggest that this control mechanism can be effectively applied to space telerobots, which are associated with serious time delay between the operator and the target system, and which cannot be easily repaired after being partially damaged.

  4. A Two-Time Scale Decentralized Model Predictive Controller Based on Input and Output Model

    PubMed Central

    Niu, Jian; Zhao, Jun; Xu, Zuhua; Qian, Jixin

    2009-01-01

    A decentralized model predictive controller applicable for some systems which exhibit different dynamic characteristics in different channels was presented in this paper. These systems can be regarded as combinations of a fast model and a slow model, the response speeds of which are in two-time scale. Because most practical models used for control are obtained in the form of transfer function matrix by plant tests, a singular perturbation method was firstly used to separate the original transfer function matrix into two models in two-time scale. Then a decentralized model predictive controller was designed based on the two models derived from the original system. And the stability of the control method was proved. Simulations showed that the method was effective. PMID:19834542

  5. Decentralized vibration control of a multi-link flexible robotic manipulator using smart piezoelectric transducers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Halim, Dunant; Luo, Xi; Trivailo, Pavel M.

    2014-11-01

    The work in this paper is aimed to investigate the use of a decentralized control system for suppressing vibration of a multi-link flexible robotic manipulator using embedded smart piezoelectric transducers. To achieve this, a non-linear dynamic model of a flexible robotic manipulator with smart piezoelectric actuators/sensors, is developed based on the co-rotational finite element method. The method incorporates multiple co-ordinate (co-rotational) systems which rotate and translate with each element, so that the geometric non-linearity present in rotating manipulator system can be dealt with efficiently. The placement of piezoelectric actuators and sensors over the flexible links are considered for the application of decentralized control system. A numerical study shows that the developed co-rotational finite element method can be utilized to investigate the piezoelectric actuator/sensor placement and vibration control performances for a multi-link flexible manipulator undertaking complicated motion.

  6. Decentralizing Maternity Services to Increase Skilled Attendance at Birth and Antenatal Care Utilization in Rural Rwanda: A Prospective Cohort Study.

    PubMed

    Nathan, Lisa M; Shi, Quihu; Plewniak, Kari; Zhang, Charles; Nsabimana, Damien; Sklar, Marc; Mutimura, Eugene; Merkatz, Irwin R; Einstein, Mark H; Anastos, Kathryn

    2015-09-01

    To evaluate the effectiveness of decentralizing ambulatory reproductive and intrapartum services to increase rates of antenatal care (ANC) utilization and skilled attendance at birth (SAB) in Rwanda. A prospective cohort study was implemented with one control and two intervention sites: decentralized ambulatory reproductive healthcare and decentralized intrapartum care. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed with primary outcome of lack of SAB and secondary outcome of ≥3 ANC visits. 536 women were entered in the study. Distance lived from delivery site significantly predicted SAB (p = 0.007), however distance lived to ANC site did not predict ≥3 ANC visits (p = 0.81). Neither decentralization of ambulatory reproductive healthcare (p = 0.10) nor intrapartum care (p = 0.40) was significantly associated with SAB. The control site had the greatest percentage of women receive ≥3 ANC visits (p < 0.001). Receiving <3 ANC visits was associated with a 3.98 times greater odds of not having SAB (p = 0.001). No increase in adverse outcomes was found with decentralization of ambulatory reproductive health care or intrapartum care. The factors that predict utilization of physically accessible services in rural Africa are complex. Decentralization of services may be one strategy to increase rates of SAB and ANC utilization, but selection biases may have precluded accurate analysis. Efforts to increase ANC utilization may be a worthwhile investment to increase SAB. PMID:25652061

  7. Decentralizing Maternity Services to Increase Skilled Attendance at Birth and Antenatal Care Utilization in Rural Rwanda: A Prospective Cohort Study.

    PubMed

    Nathan, Lisa M; Shi, Quihu; Plewniak, Kari; Zhang, Charles; Nsabimana, Damien; Sklar, Marc; Mutimura, Eugene; Merkatz, Irwin R; Einstein, Mark H; Anastos, Kathryn

    2015-09-01

    To evaluate the effectiveness of decentralizing ambulatory reproductive and intrapartum services to increase rates of antenatal care (ANC) utilization and skilled attendance at birth (SAB) in Rwanda. A prospective cohort study was implemented with one control and two intervention sites: decentralized ambulatory reproductive healthcare and decentralized intrapartum care. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed with primary outcome of lack of SAB and secondary outcome of ≥3 ANC visits. 536 women were entered in the study. Distance lived from delivery site significantly predicted SAB (p = 0.007), however distance lived to ANC site did not predict ≥3 ANC visits (p = 0.81). Neither decentralization of ambulatory reproductive healthcare (p = 0.10) nor intrapartum care (p = 0.40) was significantly associated with SAB. The control site had the greatest percentage of women receive ≥3 ANC visits (p < 0.001). Receiving <3 ANC visits was associated with a 3.98 times greater odds of not having SAB (p = 0.001). No increase in adverse outcomes was found with decentralization of ambulatory reproductive health care or intrapartum care. The factors that predict utilization of physically accessible services in rural Africa are complex. Decentralization of services may be one strategy to increase rates of SAB and ANC utilization, but selection biases may have precluded accurate analysis. Efforts to increase ANC utilization may be a worthwhile investment to increase SAB.

  8. Decentralizing Maternity Services to Increase Skilled Attendance at Birth and Antenatal Care Utilization in Rural Rwanda: A Prospective Cohort Study

    PubMed Central

    Nathan, Lisa M.; Shi, Quihu; Plewniak, Kari; Zhang, Charles; Nsabimana, Damien; Sklar, Marc; Mutimura, Eugene; Merkatz, Irwin R.; Einstein, Mark H.; Anastos, Kathryn

    2015-01-01

    To evaluate the effectiveness of decentralizing ambulatory reproductive and intrapartum services to increase rates of antenatal care (ANC) utilization and skilled attendance at birth (SAB) in Rwanda. A prospective cohort study was implemented with one control and two intervention sites: decentralized ambulatory reproductive healthcare and decentralized intrapartum care. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed with primary outcome of lack of SAB and secondary outcome of ≥3 ANC visits. 536 women were entered in the study. Distance lived from delivery site significantly predicted SAB (p = 0.007), however distance lived to ANC site did not predict ≥3 ANC visits (p = 0.81). Neither decentralization of ambulatory reproductive healthcare (p = 0.10) nor intrapartum care (p = 0.40) was significantly associated with SAB. The control site had the greatest percentage of women receive ≥3 ANC visits (p < 0.001). Receiving <3 ANC visits was associated with a 3.98 times greater odds of not having SAB (p = 0.001). No increase in adverse outcomes was found with decentralization of ambulatory reproductive health care or intrapartum care. The factors that predict utilization of physically accessible services in rural Africa are complex. Decentralization of services may be one strategy to increase rates of SAB and ANC utilization, but selection biases may have precluded accurate analysis. Efforts to increase ANC utilization may be a worthwhile investment to increase SAB. PMID:25652061

  9. [Territory and decentralization in the agenda for productive transformation with equity].

    PubMed

    Sojo, A

    1991-08-01

    The regional perspective and the decentralization in Latin American and Caribbean countries was examined in light of technological changes and transformation of economic production to boost productivity. National population policies were not the major cause of redistribution of the population, rather such transformation significantly changed the comparative regional and urban advantages in the use of territory affecting the spatial distribution of the population. Hypotheses were advanced using the transformation of production, regional development, and decentralization on the retention, attraction, and migration of population in different areas with varying economic conditions. Spurious competitiveness means global strategies of enterprises that establish foreign operations by means of factor sourcing. Flexible specialization is a company strategy of permanent innovation based on flexible equipment and a qualified work force. The increasing transnationalization of capital is the source of skills and technology that sustain competitive advantages. Decentralization can resolve local demand, facilitate access to information, mobilize resources, and exercise control over local operations. In Japan, Germany, and Italy vs. the US and France there is a social contract among companies, trade unions, universities, and regional administrations in the interest of capital and the work force. There is no direct relationship between technology and region, the industrial cluster exhibits systemic competitiveness in developed countries (the Emilian model in Italy affirms the ability of small enterprises to develop new products), the regional impact is diverse relative to new technologies (some deprived rural economic areas have potential as in central and northern Italy), and population and region are linked (regional and rural-urban differences in the growth of population and migratory flows account for spatial distribution of the population). Decentralization and systemic

  10. The Riccati equation, imprimitive actions and symplectic forms. [with application to decentralized optimal control problem

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Garzia, M. R.; Loparo, K. A.; Martin, C. F.

    1982-01-01

    This paper looks at the structure of the solution of a matrix Riccati differential equation under a predefined group of transformations. The group of transformations used is an expanded form of the feedback group. It is shown that this group of transformations is a subgroup of the symplectic group. The orbits of the Riccati differential equation under the action of this group are studied and it is seen how these techniques apply to a decentralized optimal control problem.

  11. Artificial neural network based hourly load forecasting for decentralized load management

    SciTech Connect

    Mandal, J.K.; Sinha, A.K.

    1995-12-31

    Decentralized load management is an essential part of the power system operation. Forecasting load demand at the substation level is generally more difficult and less accurate compared to forecasting total system load demand. In this paper, Multi-Layered Feed Forward (MLFF) neural network is used to predict the bus-load demand at the substation level. The MLFF network is trained using Back-Propagation (BP) algorithm with adaptive learning technique. The algorithm is tested for two systems having different load patterns.

  12. [Territory and decentralization in the agenda for productive transformation with equity].

    PubMed

    Sojo, A

    1991-08-01

    The regional perspective and the decentralization in Latin American and Caribbean countries was examined in light of technological changes and transformation of economic production to boost productivity. National population policies were not the major cause of redistribution of the population, rather such transformation significantly changed the comparative regional and urban advantages in the use of territory affecting the spatial distribution of the population. Hypotheses were advanced using the transformation of production, regional development, and decentralization on the retention, attraction, and migration of population in different areas with varying economic conditions. Spurious competitiveness means global strategies of enterprises that establish foreign operations by means of factor sourcing. Flexible specialization is a company strategy of permanent innovation based on flexible equipment and a qualified work force. The increasing transnationalization of capital is the source of skills and technology that sustain competitive advantages. Decentralization can resolve local demand, facilitate access to information, mobilize resources, and exercise control over local operations. In Japan, Germany, and Italy vs. the US and France there is a social contract among companies, trade unions, universities, and regional administrations in the interest of capital and the work force. There is no direct relationship between technology and region, the industrial cluster exhibits systemic competitiveness in developed countries (the Emilian model in Italy affirms the ability of small enterprises to develop new products), the regional impact is diverse relative to new technologies (some deprived rural economic areas have potential as in central and northern Italy), and population and region are linked (regional and rural-urban differences in the growth of population and migratory flows account for spatial distribution of the population). Decentralization and systemic

  13. A New Kind of Symmetry: Actor-Network Theories and the New Literacy Studies.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clarke, Julia

    2002-01-01

    Discusses concepts and assumptions underlying actor-network theories and the new literacy studies. Identifies lessons for adult education research derived from sociological approaches to scientific knowledge, which examine power circulating in networks of human and nonhuman entities. (Contains 36 references.) (SK)

  14. Extended mind and after: socially extended mind and actor-network.

    PubMed

    Kono, Tetsuya

    2014-03-01

    The concept of extended mind has been impressively developed over the last 10 years by many philosophers and cognitive scientists. The extended mind thesis (EM) affirms that the mind is not simply ensconced inside the head, but extends to the whole system of brain-body-environment. Recently, some philosophers and psychologists try to adapt the idea of EM to the domain of social cognition research. Mind is socially extended (SEM). However, EM/SEM theory has problems to analyze the interactions among a subject and its surroundings with opposition, antagonism, or conflict; it also tends to think that the environment surrounding the subject is passive or static, and to neglect the power of non-human actants to direct and regulate the human subject. In these points, actor-network theory (ANT) proposed by Latour and Callon is more persuasive, while sharing some important ideas with EM/SEM theory. Actor-network is a hybrid community which is composed of a series of heterogeneous elements, animate and inanimate for a certain period of time. I shall conclude that EM/SEM could be best analyzed as a special case of actor-network. EM/SEM is a system which can be controlled by a human agent alone. In order to understand collective behavior, philosophy and psychology have to study the actor-network in which human individuals are situated.

  15. Learning Science in a Virtual Reality Application: The Impacts of Animated-Virtual Actors' Visual Complexity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kartiko, Iwan; Kavakli, Manolya; Cheng, Ken

    2010-01-01

    As the technology in computer graphics advances, Animated-Virtual Actors (AVAs) in Virtual Reality (VR) applications become increasingly rich and complex. Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning (CTML) suggests that complex visual materials could hinder novice learners from attending to the lesson properly. On the other hand, previous studies have…

  16. Temporal Effects of Performance on Causal Attributions in Actors and Observers.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bryant, Fred B.

    Although understanding how causal attributions for performance develop is important to attribution theory, little research has been done on this topic. To explore changes in attributions during task performance for both actors and observers, 90 female undergraduates participated in a procedure in which they received either 80 percent or 20 percent…

  17. ("un")Doing the Next Generation Science Standards: Climate Change Education Actor-Networks in Oklahoma

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Colston, Nicole M.; Ivey, Toni A.

    2015-01-01

    This exploratory research investigated how science education communities of practice in Oklahoma engage in translations of climate change education (CCE). Applications of actor-network theory to educational policymaking facilitate this analysis of the spaces of prescription and spaces of negotiation that characterize CCE in Oklahoma. Informed by…

  18. Learning to Act/Acting to Learn: Children as Actors, Critics, and Characters in Classroom Theatre.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wolf, Shelby Anne

    1994-01-01

    Investigates the experiences of 17 "remedial" readers as they interpreted and performed texts through classroom theater. Discusses results of a study aimed at analyzing patterns of children's text interpretation. Details the students' evolving conception of themselves as actors and interpreters of texts. (HB)

  19. Scientific Journals of Universities of Chile, Colombia, and Venezuela: Actors and Roles

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Delgado, Jorge Enrique

    2014-01-01

    A qualitative study was carried out to identify the roles of actors associated with the publication of scientific journals in Chilean, Colombian, and Venezuelan universities. Twenty-four semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with journal editors, university authorities, and other experts. The categories of analysis included university…

  20. Social health insurance without corporate actors: changes in self-regulation in Germany, Poland and Turkey.

    PubMed

    Wendt, Claus; Agartan, Tuba I; Kaminska, Monika Ewa

    2013-06-01

    Social health insurance in Western Europe has for many years been characterized by self-regulation in which specific conditions of healthcare financing and provision have been regulated by social-insurance institutions through mutual self-governance. However, the principle of self-regulation has recently been weakened by increased state regulation and market competition, which were introduced in response to economic and social changes. Even in Germany, which has been regarded as an "ideal-type" health insurance system and in which self-regulation remains at the core of healthcare governance, more direct state intervention has gained in importance. On the other hand, in countries such as Poland and Turkey, where this tradition of self-regulation is missing, social health insurance is deemed a financing instrument but not an instrument of governance and corporate actors are not accorded a significant role in regulation. This article investigates how social health insurance systems are regulated in contexts in which corporate actors' role is either diminishing or absent by focusing on three crucial areas of regulation: financing, the remuneration of medical doctors, and the definition of the healthcare benefit package. In Germany, state regulation has increased in healthcare financing and remuneration while the role of corporate actors has grown in the definition of the benefits package. In Poland and Turkey, on the other hand, reforms have maintained the status quo in terms of the strong regulatory, budgetary, and managerial powers of the state and very limited involvement of corporate actors. PMID:23608097

  1. An Actor-Network Critique of Community in Higher Education: Implications for Networked Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fox, Steve

    2005-01-01

    The article provides an actor-network critique of ideas on community that are influential in higher education and draws implications for networked learning theory and practice. Networked learning is examined as an educational movement which contains alternative models of learning but which offers to create a sense of virtual community within the…

  2. The Role of Key Actors in School Governance: An Italian Evidence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Salvioni, Daniela; Gandini, Giuseppina; Franzoni, Simona; Gennari, Francesca

    2012-01-01

    The greater awareness of the role of key actors in the school governance processes and the need to expect a "new leader" in the increasing school complexity are essential conditions to reform the schools from within, so as to provide them with skills related to globalisation, improvement to the educational quality, strengthening of positive…

  3. Invisible Actors: The Oromo and the Creation of Modern Ethiopia (1855-1913)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yates, Brian James

    2009-01-01

    This is a comprehensive study of key Oromo actors in the central Ethiopia traditional provinces of Wallo and Shawa, specifically the Mammadoch of Wallo and the Tulama of Shawa during the reigns of Emperors Tewodros II (r.1855-68), Yohannes IV (1872-1888) and Menilek II (1889-1913). The Oromo entered the political arena in the highlands of Ethiopia…

  4. Managing the Dynamics of the Bologna Reforms: How Institutional Actors Re-Construct the Policy Framework

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Veiga, Amélia; Neave, Guy

    2015-01-01

    How do the constituencies in higher education re-interpret Bologna's function with regard to the European Higher Education Area? This research examines how institutional actors re-construct the policy framework in the light of their own institutional agendas. Drawing on empirical data from a survey of academics, students and administrative and…

  5. Why Do Policy Frames Change? Actor-Idea Coevolution in Debates over Welfare Reform

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Steensland, Brian

    2008-01-01

    One shortcoming in the literature on policy framing has been the absence of analytic models through which to explicate change. This paper advances research in this area in three related ways. First, it links policy frames to the actors who employ them. Second, based upon this linkage it proposes two complementary approaches for examining…

  6. Recent Trends in Intergovernmental Relations: The Resurgence of Local Actors in Education Policy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marsh, Julie A.; Wohlstetter, Priscilla

    2013-01-01

    In this essay, the authors explore trends in intergovernmental relations (IGR) by analyzing recent education policies--No Child Left Behind Act, Common Core State Standards, and local empowerment policies. Identifying a resurgent role for local actors in education policy, the authors argue that recent federal efforts to exert more control have in…

  7. ("Un")Doing Standards in Education with Actor-Network Theory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fenwick, Tara J.

    2010-01-01

    Recent critiques have drawn important attention to the depoliticized consensus and empty promises embedded in network discourses of educational policy. While acceding this critique, this discussion argues that some forms of network analysis--specifically those adopting actor-network theory (ANT) approaches--actually offer useful theoretical…

  8. Movement Actors in the Education Bureaucracy: The Figured World of Activity Based Learning in Tamil Nadu

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Niesz, Tricia; Krishnamurthy, Ramchandar

    2014-01-01

    Tamil Nadu has gained international recognition for reforming its government school classrooms into active, child-centered learning environments. Our exploration of the history of the Activity Based Learning movement suggests that this reform was achieved by social movement actors serving in and through the state's administration.…

  9. What the Words Mean: Teaching Young Actors the Value of Language.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller, Bruce

    1999-01-01

    Confronts the challenges of getting young actors to embrace the use of language. Presents a series of exercises designed to expose students to the potential power of the spoken word by using three different kinds of texts: advertising copy, children's storybooks, and the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag. Discusses how the author engages his…

  10. Reading Theatre, Parents as Actors: Movie Production in a Family Literacy Workshop

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Huang, Grace; Dolejs, Barbara

    2007-01-01

    The goal of the family literacy workshop "Reading Theatre, Parents as Actors: Movie production in a Family Literacy Workshop" is to empower and motivate parents to learn various storytelling strategies through theatrical production experiences and apply them at home. This is a theory-based family literacy practice supported by McClelland's…

  11. Beyond Dyadic Interdependence: Actor-Oriented Models for Co-Evolving Social Networks and Individual Behaviors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burk, William J.; Steglich, Christian E. G.; Snijders, Tom A. B.

    2007-01-01

    Actor-oriented models are described as a longitudinal strategy for examining the co-evolution of social networks and individual behaviors. We argue that these models provide advantages over conventional approaches due to their ability to account for inherent dependencies between individuals embedded in a social network (i.e., reciprocity,…

  12. Ordering Subjects: Actor-Networks and Intellectual Technologies in Lifelong Learning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Edwards, Richard

    2003-01-01

    Argues that discourses of lifelong learning act as intellectual technologies that construct individuals as subjects in a learning society. Discuses three discourses using actor-network theory: (1) economics/human capital (individuals as accumulators of skills for competitiveness); (2) humanistic psychology (individuals seeking fulfilment through…

  13. Toddlers as Both More and Less Competent Social Actors in Finnish Day Care Centres

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kalliala, Marjatta

    2014-01-01

    In recent decades, the notion of the competent child has, in the field of Early Childhood Education, become a powerful discourse. In this paradigm, inspired by the sociology of childhood, the child is seen as a competent social actor having agency in his or her life. However, critical comments have been made at both the micro-and macro-level about…

  14. Actor Vocal Training for the Habilitation of Speech in Adolescent Users of Cochlear Implants

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Holt, Colleen M.; Dowell, Richard C.

    2011-01-01

    This study examined changes to speech production in adolescents with hearing impairment following a period of actor vocal training. In addition to vocal parameters, the study also investigated changes to psychosocial factors such as confidence, self-esteem, and anxiety. The group were adolescent users of cochlear implants (mean age at commencement…

  15. Tolerance of Practices by Muslim Actors: An Integrative Social-Developmental Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gieling, Maike; Thijs, Jochem; Verkuyten, Maykel

    2010-01-01

    Using social-cognitive domain theory and social identity theory, tolerance judgments of practices by Muslim actors among Dutch adolescents (12-17) were investigated. The findings for Study 1 (N = 180) demonstrated that participants evaluated 4 practices using different types of reasons: personal, social-conventional, and moral. In Study 2 (N =…

  16. Social health insurance without corporate actors: changes in self-regulation in Germany, Poland and Turkey.

    PubMed

    Wendt, Claus; Agartan, Tuba I; Kaminska, Monika Ewa

    2013-06-01

    Social health insurance in Western Europe has for many years been characterized by self-regulation in which specific conditions of healthcare financing and provision have been regulated by social-insurance institutions through mutual self-governance. However, the principle of self-regulation has recently been weakened by increased state regulation and market competition, which were introduced in response to economic and social changes. Even in Germany, which has been regarded as an "ideal-type" health insurance system and in which self-regulation remains at the core of healthcare governance, more direct state intervention has gained in importance. On the other hand, in countries such as Poland and Turkey, where this tradition of self-regulation is missing, social health insurance is deemed a financing instrument but not an instrument of governance and corporate actors are not accorded a significant role in regulation. This article investigates how social health insurance systems are regulated in contexts in which corporate actors' role is either diminishing or absent by focusing on three crucial areas of regulation: financing, the remuneration of medical doctors, and the definition of the healthcare benefit package. In Germany, state regulation has increased in healthcare financing and remuneration while the role of corporate actors has grown in the definition of the benefits package. In Poland and Turkey, on the other hand, reforms have maintained the status quo in terms of the strong regulatory, budgetary, and managerial powers of the state and very limited involvement of corporate actors.

  17. Attachment Anxiety and Avoidance and Perceptions of Group Climate: An Actor-Partner Interdependence Analysis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kivlighan, Dennis M.; Lo Coco, Gianluca; Gullo, Salvatore

    2012-01-01

    There is a lack of research examining group members' attachment styles and group climate perceptions in the context of the attachment styles and group climate perceptions of the other group members. In the current study, the actor-partner interdependence model (APIM) was used to examine the relationships among (a) a group member's attachment…

  18. Implications for Students Role Character Development When the Teacher Becomes an Actor in the Production.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Buckner, Debi

    A case study explored the implications for secondary school acting students in developing character in a role when the theater teacher assumes the role of actor in a student production. Two of Albuquerque, New Mexico's 11 public high schools co-produced "Romeo and Juliet." Pre- and posttests of student perceptions of acting and character…

  19. New Plays from A.C.T.'s Young Conservatory. Volume II. Young Actors Series.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Slaight, Craig, Ed.

    This collection of new plays for young actors comes from the repertoire of the Young Conservatory, a professional theater training program for young people ages 8 to 18 at the American Conservatory Theater. Each of the five plays in the collection was developed in this way: an outstanding professional playwright is invited to create a new play…

  20. Developing Integrated Rural Tourism: Actor Practices in the English/Welsh Border

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Saxena, Gunjan; Ilbery, Brian

    2010-01-01

    This paper examines community attitudes and distinctive practices that shape local responses to integrated rural tourism (IRT) development in the lagging rural region of the English/Welsh border area. The focus is on how actors acquire attributes as a result of their relations with others and how these assumed identities are performed in, by and…

  1. Assessing Mediation in Dyadic Data Using the Actor-Partner Interdependence Model

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ledermann, Thomas; Macho, Siegfried; Kenny, David A.

    2011-01-01

    The assessment of mediation in dyadic data is an important issue if researchers are to test process models. Using an extended version of the actor-partner interdependence model the estimation and testing of mediation is complex, especially when dyad members are distinguishable (e.g., heterosexual couples). We show how the complexity of the model…

  2. Learning through Civic Participation: Policy Actors' Perspectives on Curriculum Reform Involvement in Ontario

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pinto, Laura Elizabeth

    2014-01-01

    When citizens participate in policy production, the advantages go beyond policy outcomes--though the presumption is that participation leads to better public policy. Robust democracy characterized by agonistic exchanges among policy actors ought to encourage learning, dialogue, empow­erment, equity, and a shared spirit of inquiry. This article…

  3. Coordination between Governance Actors in Universities: The Role of Policy Documents

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Macheridis, Nikos

    2015-01-01

    This article focuses on coordination between governance actors in a public university. The purpose of this paper is to illustrate and analyze policy documents as governance tools that allow departmental management to coordinate with the authorities, the board, and the management at different university levels. A central finding is that the…

  4. Seven Consciousness-Expanding Techniques and Their Relevance to Actor Training.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Feldshuh, David Mark

    This dissertation explores techniques that assist actors in getting their minds and bodies out of the way through consciousness-expanding. The techniques examined here attempt to promote a permeability, a childlike quality of presence, and are largely drawn from Eastern philosophies. Part one of this dissertation discusses structural integration,…

  5. Early Social Fear in Relation to Play with an Unfamiliar Peer: Actor and Partner Effects

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Walker, Olga L.; Degnan, Kathryn A.; Fox, Nathan A.; Henderson, Heather A.

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine the associations between maternal reports of social fear at 24 months and social behaviors with an unfamiliar peer during play at 36 months, using the Actor-Partner Interdependence Model (APIM; Kashy & Kenny, 1999). The APIM model was used to not only replicate previous findings of direct effects of…

  6. Natural Resource Dependency and Decentralized Conservation Within Kanchenjunga Conservation Area Project, Nepal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parker, Pete; Thapa, Brijesh

    2012-02-01

    Kanchenjunga Conservation Area Project (KCAP) in Nepal is among the first protected areas in the world to institute a completely decentralized system of conservation and development. Proponents of decentralized conservation claim that it increases management efficiency, enhances the responsiveness to local needs, and promotes greater equity among local residents. This study assessed local equity by evaluating the levels of dependencies on natural resources among households and the factors affecting that dependency. Data were collected via detailed surveys among 205 randomly selected households within the KCAP. Natural resource dependency was evaluated by comparing the ratio of total household income to income derived from access to natural resources. Economic, social, and access-related variables were employed to determine potential significant predictors of dependency. Overall, households were heavily dependent on natural resources for their income, especially households at higher elevations and those with more adult members. The households that received remittances were most able to supplement their income and, therefore, drastically reduced their reliance on the access to natural resources. Socio-economic variables, such as land holdings, education, caste, and ethnicity, failed to predict dependency. Household participation in KCAP-sponsored training programs also failed to affect household dependency; however, fewer than 20% of the households had any form of direct contact with KCAP personnel within the past year. The success of the KCAP as a decentralized conservation program is contingent on project capacity-building via social mobilization, training programs, and participatory inclusion in decision making to help alleviate the dependency on natural resources.

  7. Decentralized Control of Sound Radiation from an Aircraft-Style Panel Using Iterative Loop Recovery

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schiller, Noah H.; Cabell, Randolph H.; Fuller, Chris R.

    2008-01-01

    A decentralized LQG-based control strategy is designed to reduce low-frequency sound transmission through periodically stiffened panels. While modern control strategies have been used to reduce sound radiation from relatively simple structural acoustic systems, significant implementation issues have to be addressed before these control strategies can be extended to large systems such as the fuselage of an aircraft. For instance, centralized approaches typically require a high level of connectivity and are computationally intensive, while decentralized strategies face stability problems caused by the unmodeled interaction between neighboring control units. Since accurate uncertainty bounds are not known a priori, it is difficult to ensure the decentralized control system will be robust without making the controller overly conservative. Therefore an iterative approach is suggested, which utilizes frequency-shaped loop recovery. The approach accounts for modeling error introduced by neighboring control loops, requires no communication between subsystems, and is relatively simple. The control strategy is validated using real-time control experiments performed on a built-up aluminum test structure representative of the fuselage of an aircraft. Experiments demonstrate that the iterative approach is capable of achieving 12 dB peak reductions and a 3.6 dB integrated reduction in radiated sound power from the stiffened panel.

  8. Decentralized Opportunistic Spectrum Resources Access Model and Algorithm toward Cooperative Ad-Hoc Networks.

    PubMed

    Liu, Ming; Xu, Yang; Mohammed, Abdul-Wahid

    2016-01-01

    Limited communication resources have gradually become a critical factor toward efficiency of decentralized large scale multi-agent coordination when both system scales up and tasks become more complex. In current researches, due to the agent's limited communication and observational capability, an agent in a decentralized setting can only choose a part of channels to access, but cannot perceive or share global information. Each agent's cooperative decision is based on the partial observation of the system state, and as such, uncertainty in the communication network is unavoidable. In this situation, it is a major challenge working out cooperative decision-making under uncertainty with only a partial observation of the environment. In this paper, we propose a decentralized approach that allows agents cooperatively search and independently choose channels. The key to our design is to build an up-to-date observation for each agent's view so that a local decision model is achievable in a large scale team coordination. We simplify the Dec-POMDP model problem, and each agent can jointly work out its communication policy in order to improve its local decision utilities for the choice of communication resources. Finally, we discuss an implicate resource competition game, and show that, there exists an approximate resources access tradeoff balance between agents. Based on this discovery, the tradeoff between real-time decision-making and the efficiency of cooperation using these channels can be well improved. PMID:26727504

  9. Decentralized Opportunistic Spectrum Resources Access Model and Algorithm toward Cooperative Ad-Hoc Networks

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Ming; Xu, Yang; Mohammed, Abdul-Wahid

    2016-01-01

    Limited communication resources have gradually become a critical factor toward efficiency of decentralized large scale multi-agent coordination when both system scales up and tasks become more complex. In current researches, due to the agent’s limited communication and observational capability, an agent in a decentralized setting can only choose a part of channels to access, but cannot perceive or share global information. Each agent’s cooperative decision is based on the partial observation of the system state, and as such, uncertainty in the communication network is unavoidable. In this situation, it is a major challenge working out cooperative decision-making under uncertainty with only a partial observation of the environment. In this paper, we propose a decentralized approach that allows agents cooperatively search and independently choose channels. The key to our design is to build an up-to-date observation for each agent’s view so that a local decision model is achievable in a large scale team coordination. We simplify the Dec-POMDP model problem, and each agent can jointly work out its communication policy in order to improve its local decision utilities for the choice of communication resources. Finally, we discuss an implicate resource competition game, and show that, there exists an approximate resources access tradeoff balance between agents. Based on this discovery, the tradeoff between real-time decision-making and the efficiency of cooperation using these channels can be well improved. PMID:26727504

  10. Decentralized closed-loop collaborative surveillance and tracking performance sensitivity to communications connectivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DeSena, Jonathan T.; Martin, Sean R.; Clarke, Jesse C.; Dutrow, Daniel A.; Kohan, Brian C.; Newman, Andrew J.

    2013-05-01

    As the number and diversity of sensing assets available for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) operations continues to expand, the limited ability of human operators to effectively manage, control and exploit the ISR ensemble is exceeded, leading to reduced operational effectiveness. Our approach is to apply the principles of feedback control to ISR operations, "closing the loop" from the sensor collections through automated processing to ISR asset control. Previous work by the authors demonstrated closed-loop control, involving both platform routing and sensor pointing, of a multi-sensor, multi-platform ISR ensemble tasked with providing situational awareness and performing search, track and classification of multiple targets. The multi-asset control used a joint optimization of routes and schedules in a centralized architecture, requiring a fully-connected communications network. This paper presents an extension of the previous work to a decentralized architecture that relaxes the communications requirements. The decentralized approach achieves a solution equivalent to the centralized system when the network allows full communications and gracefully degrades ISR performance as communications links degrade. The decentralized closedloop ISR system has been exercised via a simulation test bed against a scenario in the Afghanistan theater under a variety of network conditions, from full to poor connectivity. Simulation experiment results are presented.

  11. Fiscal decentralization in the Italian NHS: what happens to interregional redistribution?

    PubMed

    Ferrario, Caterina; Zanardi, Alberto

    2011-04-01

    This paper explores how pressures for an increased decentralization of taxing powers to sub-national governments may affect the degree of income redistribution across regional territories accomplished by the Italian NHS. In Italy, political responsibilities for health care are decentralized to regional governments, but the central government retains a critical role in ensuring all citizens uniform access to health services. To this end the central government runs an expenditure needs equalizing system to top up regional governments own resources. However, this system is currently put under question by strong political pressures calling for a weakening of central government involvement. Applying a well developed econometric approach we find that the NHS currently reduces interregional differences in per-capita income by about 7% of GDP. A reform of the NHS in terms of a reduction of expenditure standards produces a weakening of redistribution across jurisdictions, the size of which crucially depends on the financing arrangements of health care that will be actually adopted. We conclude that the decentralization of the NHS would give rise to relevant policy issues concerning in particular the different health care spending possibilities across regions and the impact on the interregional mobility of patients. PMID:20864204

  12. Consequences of a decentralized healthcare governance model: measuring regional authority support for patient choice in Sweden.

    PubMed

    Fredriksson, Mio; Winblad, Ulrika

    2008-07-01

    What are the implications of a decentralized model of healthcare governance? This case study on patient choice in Sweden is an attempt to shed light on this issue. Due to decentralization and constitutional rights of self-determination, the regional authorities in Sweden, called County Councils (CCs), have far-reaching rights to manage the healthcare sector. The fact that patient choice is considered to be a soft law or a soft governance regulation, opens it up to regional variation. To examine the CCs level of support of patient choice, an index is presented. The Patient Choice Index (PCI) shows that there is extensive variation among the CCs. To explain the causes of these variations, a number of hypotheses are tested. The analyses imply that ideology and economy, and more specifically the CCs' governing majorities and running net profits, are major explanations for the level of support. A number of conclusions can be drawn from the results of this study. In short, the CCs appear to act according to a local point of view, which means that there is no functioning national patient choice standard, and thus patients do not have equal access to healthcare and patients' rights are unevenly distributed. Furthermore, the CCs' financial conditions and governing majorities seem to undermine equivalent reform realization in a national context. In summary, the results of this study emphasize the conflict between regional self-governance and national equality, which is particularly visible in the decentralized Swedish healthcare model.

  13. Natural resource dependency and decentralized conservation within Kanchenjunga Conservation Area Project, Nepal.

    PubMed

    Parker, Pete; Thapa, Brijesh

    2012-02-01

    Kanchenjunga Conservation Area Project (KCAP) in Nepal is among the first protected areas in the world to institute a completely decentralized system of conservation and development. Proponents of decentralized conservation claim that it increases management efficiency, enhances the responsiveness to local needs, and promotes greater equity among local residents. This study assessed local equity by evaluating the levels of dependencies on natural resources among households and the factors affecting that dependency. Data were collected via detailed surveys among 205 randomly selected households within the KCAP. Natural resource dependency was evaluated by comparing the ratio of total household income to income derived from access to natural resources. Economic, social, and access-related variables were employed to determine potential significant predictors of dependency. Overall, households were heavily dependent on natural resources for their income, especially households at higher elevations and those with more adult members. The households that received remittances were most able to supplement their income and, therefore, drastically reduced their reliance on the access to natural resources. Socio-economic variables, such as land holdings, education, caste, and ethnicity, failed to predict dependency. Household participation in KCAP-sponsored training programs also failed to affect household dependency; however, fewer than 20% of the households had any form of direct contact with KCAP personnel within the past year. The success of the KCAP as a decentralized conservation program is contingent on project capacity-building via social mobilization, training programs, and participatory inclusion in decision making to help alleviate the dependency on natural resources.

  14. On the decentralized control of large-scale systems. Ph.D. Thesis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chong, C.

    1973-01-01

    The decentralized control of stochastic large scale systems was considered. Particular emphasis was given to control strategies which utilize decentralized information and can be computed in a decentralized manner. The deterministic constrained optimization problem is generalized to the stochastic case when each decision variable depends on different information and the constraint is only required to be satisfied on the average. For problems with a particular structure, a hierarchical decomposition is obtained. For the stochastic control of dynamic systems with different information sets, a new kind of optimality is proposed which exploits the coupled nature of the dynamic system. The subsystems are assumed to be uncoupled and then certain constraints are required to be satisfied, either in a off-line or on-line fashion. For off-line coordination, a hierarchical approach of solving the problem is obtained. The lower level problems are all uncoupled. For on-line coordination, distinction is made between open loop feedback optimal coordination and closed loop optimal coordination.

  15. Geographic benefit from decentralized medical education: student and preceptor practice patterns.

    PubMed

    Fryer, G E; Stine, C; Krugman, R D; Miyoshi, T J

    1994-01-01

    The performance of area health education center (AHEC)-stimulated programs and decentralized education for medicine is not well understood. The Statewide Education Activities for Rural Colorado's Health (SEARCH)/AHEC project at the University of Colorado School of Medicine was examined to determine if the program had an effect on the practice location of its graduates. Practice location and specialty of graduates of the University of Colorado School of Medicine (UCSOM) classes 1980-1985 were compared for students who had participated in decentralized SEARCH/AHEC experiences versus students who had not. The majority of the graduates were practicing out of state in 1990. Non-Colorado doctors were more often practicing in rural (non-metropolitan statistical area [MSA]) counties and in towns of fewer than 2,500, 5,000 and 10,000 residents, respectively. In addition, of the 251 active patient care physicians practicing in Colorado communities of fewer than 10,000 in non-MSA counties in 1986, those who precepted UCSOM students on SEARCH rotations were more likely to have remained in their same practice location in 1992 (77.8% versus 62.1% for those who had not precepted students). This analysis of both student and preceptor practice patterns documents the value of decentralized medical education in addressing the geographic and specialty maldistribution of physicians. These results have important policy implications for funding medical education programs. PMID:10138035

  16. Combination of decentralized waste drying and SSF techniques for household biowaste minimization and ethanol production.

    PubMed

    Sotiropoulos, A; Vourka, I; Erotokritou, A; Novakovic, J; Panaretou, V; Vakalis, S; Thanos, T; Moustakas, K; Malamis, D

    2016-06-01

    The results of the demonstration of an innovative household biowaste management and treatment scheme established in two Greek Municipalities for the production of lignocellulosic ethanol using dehydrated household biowaste as a substrate, are presented within this research. This is the first time that biowaste drying was tested at a decentralized level for the production of ethanol using the Simultaneous Saccharification and Fermentation (SSF) process, at a pilot scale in Greece. The decentralized biowaste drying method proved that the household biowaste mass and volume reduction may reach 80% through the dehydration process used. The chemical characteristics related to lignocellulosic ethanol production have proved to differ substantially between seasons thus; special attention should be given to the process applied for ethanol production mainly regarding the enzyme quality and quantity used during the pretreatment stage. The maximum ethanol production achieved was 29.12g/L, approximately 60% of the maximum theoretical yield based on the substrate's sugar content. The use of the decentralized waste drying as an alternative approach for household biowaste minimization and the production of second generation ethanol is considered to be a promising approach for efficient biowaste management and treatment in the future. PMID:27084105

  17. The role of satellite and decentralized strategies in water resources management.

    PubMed

    Gikas, Petros; Tchobanoglous, George

    2009-01-01

    Existing and projected water shortages and related factors have helped focus attention on the need for water reuse. With recent technological advances in wastewater treatment, it is now possible to produce reclaimed water of any quality. Thus, the use of reclaimed water will depend on the reuse opportunities and the cost of the required infrastructure. Historically, centralized wastewater treatment facilities have served the needs of organized societies since the mid 1800s. However, as there are limited options for expansion of most existing centralized facilities, the use of satellite and decentralized wastewater management systems offers significant advantages including being close both to the source of wastewater generation and to potential water reuse applications. The comparative advantages of satellite and decentralized wastewater management systems for a number of water reuse applications are presented and discussed in this paper. Selected case studies are presented to demonstrate the utility of satellite and decentralized wastewater management. Specific issues associated with the application of such systems in existing and in new developments are examined and discussed.

  18. A decentralized mechanism for improving the functional robustness of distribution networks.

    PubMed

    Shi, Benyun; Liu, Jiming

    2012-10-01

    Most real-world distribution systems can be modeled as distribution networks, where a commodity can flow from source nodes to sink nodes through junction nodes. One of the fundamental characteristics of distribution networks is the functional robustness, which reflects the ability of maintaining its function in the face of internal or external disruptions. In view of the fact that most distribution networks do not have any centralized control mechanisms, we consider the problem of how to improve the functional robustness in a decentralized way. To achieve this goal, we study two important problems: 1) how to formally measure the functional robustness, and 2) how to improve the functional robustness of a network based on the local interaction of its nodes. First, we derive a utility function in terms of network entropy to characterize the functional robustness of a distribution network. Second, we propose a decentralized network pricing mechanism, where each node need only communicate with its distribution neighbors by sending a "price" signal to its upstream neighbors and receiving "price" signals from its downstream neighbors. By doing so, each node can determine its outflows by maximizing its own payoff function. Our mathematical analysis shows that the decentralized pricing mechanism can produce results equivalent to those of an ideal centralized maximization with complete information. Finally, to demonstrate the properties of our mechanism, we carry out a case study on the U.S. natural gas distribution network. The results validate the convergence and effectiveness of our mechanism when comparing it with an existing algorithm. PMID:22547458

  19. Decentralized Opportunistic Spectrum Resources Access Model and Algorithm toward Cooperative Ad-Hoc Networks.

    PubMed

    Liu, Ming; Xu, Yang; Mohammed, Abdul-Wahid

    2016-01-01

    Limited communication resources have gradually become a critical factor toward efficiency of decentralized large scale multi-agent coordination when both system scales up and tasks become more complex. In current researches, due to the agent's limited communication and observational capability, an agent in a decentralized setting can only choose a part of channels to access, but cannot perceive or share global information. Each agent's cooperative decision is based on the partial observation of the system state, and as such, uncertainty in the communication network is unavoidable. In this situation, it is a major challenge working out cooperative decision-making under uncertainty with only a partial observation of the environment. In this paper, we propose a decentralized approach that allows agents cooperatively search and independently choose channels. The key to our design is to build an up-to-date observation for each agent's view so that a local decision model is achievable in a large scale team coordination. We simplify the Dec-POMDP model problem, and each agent can jointly work out its communication policy in order to improve its local decision utilities for the choice of communication resources. Finally, we discuss an implicate resource competition game, and show that, there exists an approximate resources access tradeoff balance between agents. Based on this discovery, the tradeoff between real-time decision-making and the efficiency of cooperation using these channels can be well improved.

  20. Decentralized Solar Energy Technology Assessment Program: review of activities (April 1978-December 1979)

    SciTech Connect

    Bronfman, B.H.; Carnes, S.A.; Schweitzer, M.; Peelle, E.; Enk, G.

    1980-05-01

    The Decentralized Solar Energy Technology Assessment Program (TAP), sponsored by the Office of Solar Energy, Department of Energy, is a technology assessment and planning activity directed at local communities. Specifically, the objectives of the TAP are: (1) to assess the socioeconomic and institutional impacts of the widespread use of renewable energy technologies; (2) to involve communities in planning for their energy futures; and (3) to plan for local energy development. This report discusses two major efforts of the TAP during the period April 1978 to December 1979: the community TA's and several support studies. Four communities have been contracted to undertake an assessment-planning exercise to examine the role of solar renewable energy technologies in their future. The communities selected are the Southern Tier Central Region of New York State, (STC); Richmond, Kentucky, Kent, Ohio; and Franklin County, Massachusetts. Descriptions and progress to date of the community TA's are presented in detail. Two major support study efforts are also presented. A review of existing literature on the legal and institutional issues relative to the adoption of decentralized solar technologies is summarized. A preliminary analysis of potential socioeconomic impacts and other social considerations relative to decentralized solar technologies is also described.

  1. Actor-critic models of the basal ganglia: new anatomical and computational perspectives.

    PubMed

    Joel, Daphna; Niv, Yael; Ruppin, Eytan

    2002-01-01

    A large number of computational models of information processing in the basal ganglia have been developed in recent years. Prominent in these are actor-critic models of basal ganglia functioning, which build on the strong resemblance between dopamine neuron activity and the temporal difference prediction error signal in the critic, and between dopamine-dependent long-term synaptic plasticity in the striatum and learning guided by a prediction error signal in the actor. We selectively review several actor-critic models of the basal ganglia with an emphasis on two important aspects: the way in which models of the critic reproduce the temporal dynamics of dopamine firing, and the extent to which models of the actor take into account known basal ganglia anatomy and physiology. To complement the efforts to relate basal ganglia mechanisms to reinforcement learning (RL), we introduce an alternative approach to modeling a critic network, which uses Evolutionary Computation techniques to 'evolve' an optimal RL mechanism, and relate the evolved mechanism to the basic model of the critic. We conclude our discussion of models of the critic by a critical discussion of the anatomical plausibility of implementations of a critic in basal ganglia circuitry, and conclude that such implementations build on assumptions that are inconsistent with the known anatomy of the basal ganglia. We return to the actor component of the actor-critic model, which is usually modeled at the striatal level with very little detail. We describe an alternative model of the basal ganglia which takes into account several important, and previously neglected, anatomical and physiological characteristics of basal ganglia-thalamocortical connectivity and suggests that the basal ganglia performs reinforcement-biased dimensionality reduction of cortical inputs. We further suggest that since such selective encoding may bias the representation at the level of the frontal cortex towards the selection of rewarded

  2. Actor-specific contributions to the deforestation slowdown in the Brazilian Amazon.

    PubMed

    Godar, Javier; Gardner, Toby A; Tizado, E Jorge; Pacheco, Pablo

    2014-10-28

    Annual deforestation rates in the Brazilian Amazon fell by 77% between 2004 and 2011, yet have stabilized since 2009 at 5,000-7,000 km(2). We provide the first submunicipality assessment, to our knowledge, of actor-specific contributions to the deforestation slowdown by linking agricultural census and remote-sensing data on deforestation and forest degradation. Almost half (36,158 km(2)) of the deforestation between 2004 and 2011 occurred in areas dominated by larger properties (>500 ha), whereas only 12% (9,720 km(2)) occurred in areas dominated by smallholder properties (<100 ha). In addition, forests in areas dominated by smallholders tend to be less fragmented and less degraded. However, although annual deforestation rates fell during this period by 68-85% for all actors, the contribution of the largest landholders (>2,500 ha) to annual deforestation decreased over time (63% decrease between 2005 and 2011), whereas that of smallholders went up by a similar amount (69%) during the same period. In addition, the deforestation share attributable to remote areas increased by 88% between 2009 and 2011. These observations are consistent across the Brazilian Amazon, regardless of geographical differences in actor dominance or socioenvironmental context. Our findings suggest that deforestation policies to date, which have been particularly focused on command and control measures on larger properties in deforestation hotspots, may be increasingly limited in their effectiveness and fail to address all actors equally. Further reductions in deforestation are likely to be increasingly costly and require actor-tailored approaches, including better monitoring to detect small-scale deforestation and a shift toward more incentive-based conservation policies.

  3. Actor-specific contributions to the deforestation slowdown in the Brazilian Amazon

    PubMed Central

    Godar, Javier; Gardner, Toby A.; Tizado, E. Jorge

    2014-01-01

    Annual deforestation rates in the Brazilian Amazon fell by 77% between 2004 and 2011, yet have stabilized since 2009 at 5,000–7,000 km2. We provide the first submunicipality assessment, to our knowledge, of actor-specific contributions to the deforestation slowdown by linking agricultural census and remote-sensing data on deforestation and forest degradation. Almost half (36,158 km2) of the deforestation between 2004 and 2011 occurred in areas dominated by larger properties (>500 ha), whereas only 12% (9,720 km2) occurred in areas dominated by smallholder properties (<100 ha). In addition, forests in areas dominated by smallholders tend to be less fragmented and less degraded. However, although annual deforestation rates fell during this period by 68–85% for all actors, the contribution of the largest landholders (>2,500 ha) to annual deforestation decreased over time (63% decrease between 2005 and 2011), whereas that of smallholders went up by a similar amount (69%) during the same period. In addition, the deforestation share attributable to remote areas increased by 88% between 2009 and 2011. These observations are consistent across the Brazilian Amazon, regardless of geographical differences in actor dominance or socioenvironmental context. Our findings suggest that deforestation policies to date, which have been particularly focused on command and control measures on larger properties in deforestation hotspots, may be increasingly limited in their effectiveness and fail to address all actors equally. Further reductions in deforestation are likely to be increasingly costly and require actor-tailored approaches, including better monitoring to detect small-scale deforestation and a shift toward more incentive-based conservation policies. PMID:25313087

  4. Teachers as Language-Policy Actors: Contending with the Erasure of Lesser-Used Languages in Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brown, Kara

    2010-01-01

    On the basis of an ethnographic study of the Voro-language revitalization in Estonia, this article explores the way teachers function as policy actors in the broader context of the school. As policy actors, the language teachers' appropriation of regional-language policy helps simultaneously to reproduce and challenge existing ideologies in the…

  5. Marital Relationship Quality and Couples' Cognitive Stimulation Practices toward Their Infants: Actor and Partner Effects of White and Hispanic Parents

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sotomayor-Peterson, Marcela; Wilhelm, Mari S.; Card, Noel A.

    2011-01-01

    The present study explores actor and partner effects on mothers' and fathers' cognitive stimulation within an Actor-Partner Interdependence Model (APIM). This model allows us to evaluate whether mothers' and fathers' practices are impacted not only by their own experiences but also by their partners' experiences. The APIM treats the couple as the…

  6. Side Effects: An Analysis of Mind the Gap's "Boo" and the Reception of Theatre Involving Learning Disabled Actors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hargrave, Matt

    2010-01-01

    This article analyses Mind the Gap's Boo, a re-imagining of Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird", which features a cast of learning disabled actors. It is concerned with the public reception of the work, particularly the "effect" of an all-disabled cast. What are the consequences, both ethical and aesthetic, for these actors to tell this story on…

  7. From Capitol Hill to Dupont Circle and Beyond: The Influence of Policy Actors in the Federal Higher Education Rulemaking Process

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Natow, Rebecca S.

    2015-01-01

    The federal higher education rulemaking process develops policies that can profoundly affect college students, higher education institutions, and other actors in the higher education policy community. But little has been researched about the influence that different types of actors have on higher education rulemaking. By analyzing interviews with…

  8. Decentralized systems for potable water and the potential of membrane technology.

    PubMed

    Peter-Varbanets, Maryna; Zurbrügg, Chris; Swartz, Chris; Pronk, Wouter

    2009-02-01

    Decentralized drinking-water systems are an important element in the process of reaching the Millennium Development Goals, as centralized systems are often deficient or non-existent in developing and transition countries (DC and TC). Most water-quality problems are due to hygiene factors and pathogens. A range of decentralized systems is available to counter these problems, including thermal and/or UV methods, physical removal and chemical treatment. This review focuses on decentralized systems that treat the potable water (drinking and cooking) of a single household (point-of-use systems) or a community (small-scale systems). For application in DC and TC, important boundary conditions for decentralized systems include low costs, ease of use, sustainability, low maintenance and independence of utilities (energy sources). Although some low-cost systems are available, their application is limited by time-consuming daily operation and maintenance. Other systems are too expensive for the poor populations of DC and TC and in most cases do not fulfill the system requirements described above. Point-of-use systems based on membranes are commercially available and are designed to operate on tap pressure or gravity. Membrane systems are attractive since they provide an absolute barrier for pathogens and remove turbidity, thus increasing the palatability of the water. The costs of membrane have decreased rapidly during the last decades and therefore membrane systems have also become within reach for application in low-cost applications in DC and TC. Some membrane systems rely on gravity as a driving force, thereby avoiding the use of pumps and electricity. On the basis of the present literature data, no small-scale systems could be identified which meet all the requirements for successful implementation. Furthermore, in the available literature the performance of highly fouling water types has not been reported. For such cases, more extensive studies are required and a need

  9. Human resources for health and decentralization policy in the Brazilian health system

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background The Brazilian health reform process, following the establishment of the Unified Health System (SUS), has had a strong emphasis on decentralization, with a special focus on financing, management and inter-managerial agreements. Brazil is a federal country and the Ministry of Health (MoH), through the Secretary of Labour Management and Health Education, is responsible for establishing national policy guidelines for health labour management, and also for implementing strategies for the decentralization of management of labour and education in the federal states. This paper assesses whether the process of decentralizing human resources for health (HRH) management and organization to the level of the state and municipal health departments has involved investments in technical, political and financial resources at the national level. Methods The research methods used comprise a survey of HRH managers of states and major municipalities (including capitals) and focus groups with these HRH managers - all by geographic region. The results were obtained by combining survey and focus group data, and also through triangulation with the results of previous research. Results The results of this evaluation showed the evolution policy, previously restricted to the field of 'personnel administration', now expanded to a conceptual model for health labour management and education-- identifying progress, setbacks, critical issues and challenges for the consolidation of the decentralized model for HRH management. The results showed that 76.3% of the health departments have an HRH unit. It was observed that 63.2% have an HRH information system. However, in most health departments, the HRH unit uses only the payroll and administrative records as data sources. Concerning education in health, 67.6% of the HRH managers mentioned existing cooperation with educational and teaching institutions for training and/or specialization of health workers. Among them, specialization courses

  10. Decentralized tracking of humans using a camera network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gruenwedel, Sebastian; Jelaca, Vedran; Niño-Castañeda, Jorge Oswaldo; Van Hese, Peter; Van Cauwelaert, Dimitri; Veelaert, Peter; Philips, Wilfried

    2012-01-01

    Real-time tracking of people has many applications in computer vision and typically requires multiple cameras; for instance for surveillance, domotics, elderly-care and video conferencing. However, this problem is very challenging because of the need to deal with frequent occlusions and environmental changes. Another challenge is to develop solutions which scale well with the size of the camera network. Such solutions need to carefully restrict overall communication in the network and often involve distributed processing. In this paper we present a distributed person tracker, addressing the aforementioned issues. Real-time processing is achieved by distributing tasks between the cameras and a fusion node. The latter fuses only high level data based on low-bandwidth input streams from the cameras. This is achieved by performing tracking first on the image plane of each camera followed by sending only metadata to a local fusion node. We designed the proposed system with respect to a low communication load and towards robustness of the system. We evaluate the performance of the tracker in meeting scenarios where persons are often occluded by other persons and/or furniture. We present experimental results which show that our tracking approach is accurate even in cases of severe occlusions in some of the views.

  11. Vocal projection in actors: the long-term average spectral features that distinguish comfortable acting voice from voicing with maximal projection in male actors.

    PubMed

    Pinczower, Rachel; Oates, Jennifer

    2005-09-01

    This study explored whether acoustic and perceptual features could distinguish comfortable from maximally projected acting voice. Thirteen professional male actors performed a passage from William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar twice. The first delivery used their comfortably projected voices, whereas the second used maximal projection. Acoustic measures, expert ratings, and self-ratings of projection and voice quality were investigated. Long-term average spectra (LTAS) and sound pressure level (SPL) analyses were conducted. Perceptual variables included projection, breathiness, roughness, and strain. When comparing the intensity difference between the higher (2-4 kHz) and lower (0-2 kHz) regions of the spectrum in voice samples from the maximal projected condition, LTAS analyses demonstrated increased acoustic energy in the higher part of the spectrum. This LTAS pattern was not as evident in the comfortable projected condition. These findings offered some preliminary support for the existence of an actor's formant (prominent peak in the upper part of the spectrum) during maximal projection. PMID:16102670

  12. A Poor Man's Nuclear Deterrent: Assessing the Value of Radiological Weapons for State Actors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Donohue, Nathan

    The threat of weapons of mass destruction is an issue which remains at the forefront on national security. Nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons are all considered very dangerous by both state and non-state actors. Radiological weapons exist in that same category yet are not held in the same regard; the reason that is given is that these types of weapons are not the weapons of mass destruction that the other three are. Instead, radiological weapons are better considered weapons of mass disruption. Accordingly, in the academic and policy literature there has been very little perceived value associated with such weapons for use by state actors. However the historical focus on the military efficacy of radiological weapons has obscured the obvious truth that they may pose significant value for state actors. What this research shows is that the explosion of a radiological weapon could disrupt a target area in ways which could cripple the economy of an adversary state and promote widespread fear concerning exposure to radiation. Any such attack would not only necessitate large scale evacuation, but cleanup, decontamination, demolition, territory exclusion, and relocation. Moreover, the effects of such an attack would be unlikely to remain an isolated event as evacuated and displaced citizens spread across the nation carrying both fear and residual radiation. All of these factors would only be compounded by a state actor's ability to not only develop such weapons, but to manufacture them in such a composition that contemporary examples of such weapons grossly underestimate their impact. Accordingly, radiological weapons could hold great value for any state actor wishing to pursue their development and to threaten their use. Moreover, "while RDDs may not be well suited as "military weapons" in the classic sense, the use of RDDs could be powerfully coercive."1 In that sense, state actors could even acquire radiological weapons for their deterrent value. 1James L. Ford

  13. A climate game based on a Multi-Actor Dynamic Integrated Assessment Model (MADIAM)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weber, M.; Hasselmann, K.

    2003-04-01

    In November 2002 a special exhibition on climate issues opened in the German Museum for Science and Techniques ('Deutsches Museum') in Munich. Within this exposition we present an interactive game in which visitors control future climate policy by adopting the role of either the government, a CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of a global company or a typical private household of an industrialized country. The players endeavor to maintain a sustainable climate in the future (global goal) while pursuing their own individual welfare goals. Task of the exhibition visitor is to combine the personal interests of the actor he is adopting with the global goal. The individual goal of government is maintain economic growth while avoiding conflicts due to inter-regional or societal inequalities. The CEO seeks to maximize total profits (business earnings). The goal of households is to maximize wages and interest earnings. The evolution of the economic system and climate is governed by the decisions of the actors. Government sets economic side conditions in terms of carbon taxes, subsidies for R&D or market infusion support for climate-friendly technologies, and transfers development aid to less advanced regions. The CEOs decide how much to invest in a number of alternative investment options and in which region. Households influences the economy by their purchasing and savings decisions. The model considers four regions, three real actors (mentioned above) and two different goods (climate-adverse and a climate-friendly). We introduce four different kinds of energy (coal, oil/gas, nuclear, renewable). A World Bank handles money flows. At different points in time the actors can cooperate with other actors in order to reach the global goal Stochastic elements regarding future technology and future climate are included. A touch-screen monitor with user friendly interface is used to present animations and videos. An animated climate scientist uses a climate simulator to compute future

  14. Environmental Influences on Minority Degree Attainment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Crosson, Patricia H.

    1992-01-01

    Reports findings to date from a study under the auspices of the National Center for Postsecondary Governance and Finance concerning environmental actors relating to minority degree achievement in predominantly white four-year colleges and universities. Examines whether research results can really be linked to specific suggestions to improve campus…

  15. The postindustrial decentralization of the hospital and the urban analogy.

    PubMed

    Hurley, R E

    1987-01-01

    The hospital in the United States as an institution, a community, an organizational form, and a social phenomenon shares many striking commonalities with the city. It has highly important technical functions which are accompanied, and at times overshadowed, by broader social purposes and roles. The hospital also has undergone a number of transformations over time and has experienced a distinct, if idealized, golden age fostered by key technological advances. It has been the site of significant political and social tensions and conflicts. And in recent years, it has begun to evidence a decline in social significance and standing, and a general deconcentration which further underscores the usefulness of the urban analogy. The application of an ecological perspective aids in framing this intriguing parallelism between these two great social institutions. This perspective emphasizes the interdependence and mutual causality which key contributory trends--such as technological and organizational developments, environmental change, and shifting population characteristics--have had on the forms and functions of both hospitals and cities. The urban ecologist Hicks has written: "The city is being redefined ... [t]he transforming city is a predictable response to changing demographic, economic and technological realities. While the image of the city's form is etched into our consciousness, it is the city's function that will always be its sine qua non; in time its form will adjust to the new roles that cities will come to society." In a like fashion, a similar ecological interpretation of the transformation of the hospital can and will be made. This article will propose that examining the modern hospital through the urbanization-deurbanization parallel can be an instructive way to explore and interpret its changing character and role in American society. It will suggest that the hospital evolved into a dominant central position--more in a functional than a territorial sense

  16. The postindustrial decentralization of the hospital and the urban analogy.

    PubMed

    Hurley, R E

    1987-01-01

    The hospital in the United States as an institution, a community, an organizational form, and a social phenomenon shares many striking commonalities with the city. It has highly important technical functions which are accompanied, and at times overshadowed, by broader social purposes and roles. The hospital also has undergone a number of transformations over time and has experienced a distinct, if idealized, golden age fostered by key technological advances. It has been the site of significant political and social tensions and conflicts. And in recent years, it has begun to evidence a decline in social significance and standing, and a general deconcentration which further underscores the usefulness of the urban analogy. The application of an ecological perspective aids in framing this intriguing parallelism between these two great social institutions. This perspective emphasizes the interdependence and mutual causality which key contributory trends--such as technological and organizational developments, environmental change, and shifting population characteristics--have had on the forms and functions of both hospitals and cities. The urban ecologist Hicks has written: "The city is being redefined ... [t]he transforming city is a predictable response to changing demographic, economic and technological realities. While the image of the city's form is etched into our consciousness, it is the city's function that will always be its sine qua non; in time its form will adjust to the new roles that cities will come to society." In a like fashion, a similar ecological interpretation of the transformation of the hospital can and will be made. This article will propose that examining the modern hospital through the urbanization-deurbanization parallel can be an instructive way to explore and interpret its changing character and role in American society. It will suggest that the hospital evolved into a dominant central position--more in a functional than a territorial sense

  17. [The emergence and institutionalization of sexology in Portugal: processes, actors, and specificities].

    PubMed

    Alarcão, Violeta; Machado, Fernando Luís; Giami, Alain

    2016-01-01

    Based on Bourdieu's field theory, this article analyzes the emergence and institutionalization of sexology as a science and profession in Portugal, identifying relevant institutions, actors, and professional practices and discussing its relations and specificities. The analysis begins by contextualizing the emergence of modern Western sexology in order to comprehend the Portuguese case in the international sexology context. The second section describes the social, cultural, and institutional factors that have driven the professionalization of sexology. The third section describes the emergence of Portuguese sexology and its principal historical milestones, institutions, and actors. Finally, the article discusses some implications of this process for the role of sexology as a science and profession. The study reveals the dynamics of national and international processes in the field, in the transition from a holistic perspective of sexology to the hegemony of sexual medicine, and sheds light on its mechanisms of legitimation as a transdisciplinary science of sexuality, suggesting future perspectives. PMID:27598015

  18. Actor-network theory: a tool to support ethical analysis of commercial genetic testing.

    PubMed

    Williams-Jones, Bryn; Graham, Janice E

    2003-12-01

    Social, ethical and policy analysis of the issues arising from gene patenting and commercial genetic testing is enhanced by the application of science and technology studies, and Actor-Network Theory (ANT) in particular. We suggest the potential for transferring ANT's flexible nature to an applied heuristic methodology for gathering empirical information and for analysing the complex networks involved in the development of genetic technologies. Three concepts are explored in this paper--actor-networks, translation, and drift--and applied to the case of Myriad Genetics and their commercial BRACAnalysis genetic susceptibility test for hereditary breast cancer. Treating this test as an active participant in socio-technical networks clarifies the extent to which it interacts with, shapes and is shaped by people, other technologies, and institutions. Such an understanding enables more sophisticated and nuanced technology assessment, academic analysis, as well as public debate about the social, ethical and policy implications of the commercialization of new genetic technologies. PMID:15115034

  19. The international right to health: state obligations and private actors in the health care system.

    PubMed

    O'Brien, Paula

    2013-09-01

    Most health systems have historically used a mix of public and private actors for financing and delivering care. But the last 30 years have seen many rich and middle-income countries moving to privatise parts of their health care systems. This phenomenon has generated concerns, especially about equitable access to health care. This article examines what the international right to the highest attainable standard of health in Art 12 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights says about the obligations of states which use private actors in health care. The article involves a close study of the primary documents of the key institutions responsible for interpreting and promoting Art 12. From this study, the article concludes that in mixed public-private health care systems, states not only retain primary responsibility for fulfilling the right to health but are subject to a range of additional specific responsibilities.

  20. [The emergence and institutionalization of sexology in Portugal: processes, actors, and specificities].

    PubMed

    Alarcão, Violeta; Machado, Fernando Luís; Giami, Alain

    2016-09-05

    Based on Bourdieu's field theory, this article analyzes the emergence and institutionalization of sexology as a science and profession in Portugal, identifying relevant institutions, actors, and professional practices and discussing its relations and specificities. The analysis begins by contextualizing the emergence of modern Western sexology in order to comprehend the Portuguese case in the international sexology context. The second section describes the social, cultural, and institutional factors that have driven the professionalization of sexology. The third section describes the emergence of Portuguese sexology and its principal historical milestones, institutions, and actors. Finally, the article discusses some implications of this process for the role of sexology as a science and profession. The study reveals the dynamics of national and international processes in the field, in the transition from a holistic perspective of sexology to the hegemony of sexual medicine, and sheds light on its mechanisms of legitimation as a transdisciplinary science of sexuality, suggesting future perspectives.

  1. The international right to health: state obligations and private actors in the health care system.

    PubMed

    O'Brien, Paula

    2013-09-01

    Most health systems have historically used a mix of public and private actors for financing and delivering care. But the last 30 years have seen many rich and middle-income countries moving to privatise parts of their health care systems. This phenomenon has generated concerns, especially about equitable access to health care. This article examines what the international right to the highest attainable standard of health in Art 12 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights says about the obligations of states which use private actors in health care. The article involves a close study of the primary documents of the key institutions responsible for interpreting and promoting Art 12. From this study, the article concludes that in mixed public-private health care systems, states not only retain primary responsibility for fulfilling the right to health but are subject to a range of additional specific responsibilities. PMID:24218792

  2. Decentralization of health systems in Ghana, Zambia, Uganda and the Philippines: a comparative analysis of decision space.

    PubMed

    Bossert, Thomas J; Beauvais, Joel C

    2002-03-01

    This study reviews the experience of decentralization in four developing countries: Ghana, Uganda, Zambia and the Philippines. It uses two analytical frameworks to describe and compare the types and degrees of decentralization in each country. The first framework specifies three types of decentralization: deconcentration, delegation and devolution. The second framework uses a principal agent approach and innovative maps of 'decision space' to define the range of choice for different functions that is transferred from the centre to the periphery of the system. The analysis finds a variety of different types and degrees of decentralization, with the Philippines demonstrating the widest range of choice over many functions that were devolved to local government units. The least choice was transferred through delegation to an autonomous health service in Ghana. Uganda and Zambia display variations between these extremes. There was insufficient evidence of the impact of decentralization to assess how these differences in 'decision space' influenced the performance of each health system. The authors suggest that this is a major area for future research.

  3. Decentralized nursing education in Northern Norway: a basis for continuing education to meet competence needs in rural Arctic healthcare services

    PubMed Central

    Skaalvik, Mari Wolff; Gaski, Margrete; Norbye, Bente

    2014-01-01

    Background Ensuring a sufficient nursing workforce, with respect to both number and relevant professional competencies, is crucial in rural Arctic regions in Norway. This study examines the continuing education (CE) of nurses who graduated from a decentralized nursing programme between 1994 and 2011. Objective This study aims to measure the extent to which the decentralized nursing education (DNE) in question has served as a basis for CE that is adapted to current and future community health care service needs in rural Arctic regions in northern Norway. More specifically, the study aims to investigate the frequency and scope of CE courses among the graduates of a DNE, the choice of study model and the degree of employment with respect to the relevant CE. Design This study is a quantitative survey providing descriptive statistics. Results The primary finding in this study is that 56% of the participants had engaged in CE and that they were employed in positions related to their education. The majority of students with decentralized bachelor's degrees engaged in CE that was part time and/or decentralized. Conclusions More than half of the population in this study had completed CE despite no mandatory obligation in order to maintain licensure. Furthermore, 31% of the participants had completed more than one CE programme. The findings show that the participants preferred CE organized as part time and or decentralized studies. PMID:25279355

  4. [Status quo and potential of health services research: the perspective of Bavarian actors].

    PubMed

    Hollederer, A; Voigtländer, S; Wildner, M; Zapf, A; Zellner, A

    2015-03-01

    In 2011, the Bavarian Parliament decided to advance health services research (HSR) in Bavaria by bundling scientific competencies in a State Working Group and integrating other actors in it. The establishment of such a State Working Group "Health Services Research" -(LAGeV) together with members from science, health care and politics followed in 2012. The objective of this study is to identify the status quo of HSR in Bavaria including its determinants and potential for development based on the actors' perspective.After the inaugural meeting a semi-structured questionnaire was sent to all 36 members from 28 organisations. Items comprise information on the respondent's background as well as status quo, future topics and potential for development of HSR in Bavaria.27 members took part in the survey, resulting in a response rate of 75.0%. Satisfaction of actors with the status quo of HSR is rather low, especially regarding the effectiveness of policy advice. Researchers and health care providers are also not much satisfied with the HSR environment. For the future of HSR, respondents prioritise the topics interface and networking research, followed by innovative care concepts, care for patients with multiple or chronic conditions as well as evaluation of innovations, processes and technologies. Potential for development and thus improvement of care is primarily seen in the abolishment of existing constraints by an overall HSR concept (including selective research promotion), networking and cooperation, research funding as well as improving the interface between politics and science. Respondents assess the benefit of an increased networking within the LAGeV as high.Status quo of HSR in Bavaria is not very satisfactory. The survey reveals important constraints as well as promoting factors based on the viewpoints of different groups of actors. It also prioritises future HSR topics and identifies potential for development, which are important for the LAGeV. The findings

  5. Virtual actors and avatars in a flexible user-determined-scenario environment

    SciTech Connect

    Shawver, D.M.

    1997-02-01

    VRaptor, a VR system for situational training that uses trainer-defined scenarios is described. The trainee is represented by an avatar; the rest of the virtual world is populated by virtual actors, which are under the control of trainer-defined scripts. The scripts allow reactive behaviors, but the trainer can control the overall scenario. This type of training system may be very useful in supplementing physical training.

  6. The Empathy Enigma: Does It Still Exist? Comparison of Empathy Using Students and Standardized Actors.

    PubMed

    Ward, Julia

    2016-01-01

    Empathy is at the heart of all nurse-patient interactions. Yet empathy often declines during students' nursing education. Nurse educators are challenged to find ways to offset this decline. A mixed-methods research design was used to assess whether an educational intervention using standardized actors influenced nursing student empathy. The results suggest that the educational intervention holds potential for improving empathy in nursing students.

  7. Daily Associations Among Self-control, Heavy Episodic Drinking, and Relationship Functioning: An Examination of Actor and Partner Effects

    PubMed Central

    Crane, Cory A.; Testa, Maria; Derrick, Jaye L.; Leonard, Kenneth E.

    2014-01-01

    An emerging literature suggests that temporary deficits in the ability to inhibit impulsive urges may be proximally associated with intimate partner aggression. The current study examined the experience of alcohol use and the depletion of self-control in the prediction of relationship functioning. Daily diary data collected from 118 heterosexual couples were analyzed using parallel multi-level Actor Partner Interdependence Models to assess the effects of heavy episodic drinking and depletion of self-control across partners on outcomes of participant-reported daily arguing with and anger toward an intimate partner. Heavy episodic drinking among actors predicted greater arguing but failed to interact with either actor or partner depletion. We also found that greater arguing was reported on days of high congruent actor and partner depletion. Both actor and partner depletion, as well as their interaction, predicted greater partner-specific anger. Greater partner-specific anger was generally reported on days of congruent actor and partner depletion, particularly on days of high partner depletion. The current results highlight the importance of independently assessing partner effects (i.e., depletion of self-control), which interact dynamically with disinhibiting actor effects, in the prediction of daily adverse relationship functioning. Results offer further support for the development of prospective individualized and couples-based interventions for partner conflict. PMID:24700558

  8. The key actor: a qualitative study of patient participation in the handover process in Europe

    PubMed Central

    Flink, Maria; Hesselink, Gijs; Pijnenborg, Loes; Wollersheim, Hub; Vernooij-Dassen, Myrra; Dudzik-Urbaniak, Ewa; Orrego, Carola; Toccafondi, Giulio; Schoonhoven, Lisette; Gademan, Petra J; Johnson, Julie K; Öhlén, Gunnar; Hansagi, Helen; Olsson, Mariann; Barach, Paul

    2012-01-01

    Background Patient safety experts have postulated that increasing patient participation in communications during patient handovers will improve the quality of patient transitions, and that this may reduce hospital readmissions. Choosing strategies that enhance patient safety through improved handovers requires better understanding of patient experiences and preferences for participation. Objective The aim of this paper is to explore the patients’ experiences and perspectives related to the handovers between their primary care providers and the inpatient hospital. Methods A qualitative secondary analysis was performed, based on individual and focus group patient interviews with 90 patients in five European countries. Results The analysis revealed three themes: patient positioning in the handover process; prerequisites for patient participation and patient preferences for the handover process. Patients’ participation ranged from being the key actor, to sharing the responsibility with healthcare professional(s), to being passive participants. For active participation patients required both personal and social resources as well as prerequisites such as information and respect. Some patients preferred to be the key actor in charge; others preferred their healthcare professionals to be the key actors in the handover. Conclusions Patients’ participation is related to the healthcare system, the activity of healthcare professionals’ and patients’ capacity for participation. Patients prefer a handover process where the responsibility is clear and unambiguous. Healthcare organisations need a clear and well-considered system of responsibility for handover processes, that takes into account the individual patient's need of clarity, and support in relation to his/hers own recourses. PMID:23112290

  9. Creating Inquiry Between Technology Developers and Civil Society Actors: Learning from Experiences Around Nanotechnology.

    PubMed

    Krabbenborg, Lotte

    2016-06-01

    Engaging civil society actors as knowledgeable dialogue partners in the development and governance of emerging technologies is a new challenge. The starting point of this paper is the observation that the design and orchestration of current organized interaction events shows limitations, particularly in the articulation of issues and in learning how to address the indeterminacies that go with emerging technologies. This paper uses Dewey's notion of 'publics' and 'reflective inquiry' to outline ways of doing better and to develop requirements for a more productive involvement of civil society actors. By studying four novel spaces for interaction in the domain of nanotechnology, this paper examines whether and how elements of Dewey's thought are visible and under what conditions. One of the main findings is that, in our society, special efforts are needed in order for technology developers and civil society actors to engage in a joint inquiry on emerging nanotechnology. Third persons, like social scientists and philosophers, play a role in this respect in addition to external input such as empirically informed scenarios and somewhat protected spaces.

  10. A qualitative study of patient experiences of decentralized acute healthcare services

    PubMed Central

    Linqvist Leonardsen, Ann-Chatrin; Del Busso, Lilliana; Abrahamsen Grøndahl, Vigdis; Ghanima, Waleed; Barach, Paul; Jelsness-Jørgensen, Lars-Petter

    2016-01-01

    Objective Municipality acute wards (MAWs) have recently been launched in Norway as an alternative to hospitalizations, and are aimed at providing treatment for patients who otherwise would have been hospitalized. The objective of this study was to explore how patients normally admitted to hospitals perceived the quality and safety of treatment in MAWs. Design The study had a qualitative design. Thematic analysis was used to analyze the data. Setting The study was conducted in a county in south-eastern Norway and included five different MAWs. Patients Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 27 participants who had required acute health care and who had been discharged from the five MAWs. Results Three subthemes were identified that related to the overarching theme of hospital-like standards (“almost a hospital, but…”), namely (a) treatment and competence, (b) location and physical environment, and (c) adequate time for care. Participants reported the treatment to be comparable to hospital care, but they also experienced limitations. Participants spoke positively about MAW personnel and the advantages of having a single patient room, a calm environment, and proximity to home. Conclusions Participants felt safe when treated at MAWs, even though they realized that the diagnostic services were not similar to that in hospitals. Geographical proximity, treatment facilities and time for care positively distinguished MAWs from hospitals, while the lack of diagnostic resources was stressed as a limitation. Key Points Municipality acute wards (MAWs) have been implemented across Norway. Research on patient perspectives on the decentralization of acute healthcare in MAWs is lacking.  • Patients perceive decentralized acute healthcare and treatment as being comparable to the quality they would have expected in hospitals.  • Geographical proximity, a home-like atmosphere and time for care were aspects stressed as positive features of the decentralized

  11. The Danish health care system: evolution--not revolution--in a decentralized system.

    PubMed

    Pedersen, Kjeld Møller; Christiansen, Terkel; Bech, Mickael

    2005-09-01

    The Danish health care system has undergone gradual changes, but not radical reforms, from 1970 until 2004. Theoretically, the development can be viewed from the perspective of fiscal federalism, decentralization, and incentives embodied in reimbursement systems. Furthermore, path dependence and incrementalism have characterized the system. The Danish health care system is decentralized politically, financially, and operationally. The counties are responsible for health care, and finance it out of county income and property taxes along with block grants from the state. Hospitals are publicly owned while general practitioners are private entrepreneurs working on contract with the counties. Hospital services and GP and specialist services are free, while there are co-payments for drugs, adult dental care, physiotherapy and the like. Co-payments make up close to 19% of total health expenditures. The system has been characterized by expenditure control, reasonable positive development in productivity, and a high degree of patient and citizen satisfaction despite waiting lists. Free choice of hospital was introduced more than 10 years ago. It has recently been expanded so that after waiting 2 months for treatments like elective surgery at public hospitals, citizens can choose either private hospitals or go abroad with full payment from public funds. The thinking behind decentralization gradually has been eroded for a number of reasons. This has led to a reform that will be effective as of January 2007. The number of counties will be reduced, but the new regions retain responsibility for health care. A national earmarked health tax will be introduced so that the regions will receive revenues from state block grants and municipal co-payment, for instance an amount per hospitalization.

  12. Application of food waste disposers and alternate cycles process in small-decentralized towns: a case study.

    PubMed

    Battistoni, Paolo; Fatone, Francesco; Passacantando, Daniele; Bolzonella, David

    2007-02-01

    The use of food waste disposers (FWDs) can be an interesting option to integrate the management of municipal wastewaters and household organic waste in small towns and decentralized areas. This strategy can be even more environmentally friendly if a suitable treatment process of the resulting sewage is performed in order to control nutrients emission. However, still nowadays, part of the scientific and technical community considers the application of this technology a possible source of problems. In this study, the FWDs were applied, with a market penetration factor of 67%, in a mountain village of 250 inhabitants. Further, the existing wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) was upgraded by applying an automatically controlled alternate cycles process for the management of nutrients removal. With specific reference to the observed results, the impact of the ground food waste on the sewerage system did not show particular solids sedimentation or significant hydraulic overflows. Further, the WWTP was able to face the overloads of 11, 55 and 2g per capita per day of TSS, COD and TN, respectively. Then, the increase of the readily biodegradable COD (rbCOD/COD from 0.20 to 0.25) and the favourable COD/TN ratio (from 9.9 to 12) led to a specific denitrification rate of some 0.06kgNO(3)-N/(kg MLVSS day). Therefore, not only COD removal, but also the total nitrogen removal increased: the denitrification efficiency reached 85%. That led to a better exploitation of the nitrogen-bound oxygen and a consequent reduction of energy requirements of 39%. The final economic evaluation showed the benefits of the application of this technology with a pay back time of 4-5 years.

  13. Application of actor level social characteristic indicator selection for the precursory detection of bullies in online social networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    White, Holly M.; Fields, Jeremy; Hall, Robert T.; White, Joshua S.

    2016-05-01

    Bullying is a national problem for families, courts, schools, and the economy. Social, educational, and professional lives of victims are affected. Early detection of bullies mitigates destructive effects of bullying. Our previous research found, given specific characteristics of an actor, actor logics can be developed utilizing input from natural language processing and graph analysis. Given similar characteristics of cyberbullies, in this paper, we create specific actor logics and apply these to a select social media dataset for the purpose of rapid identification of cyberbullying.

  14. The Central Dogma Decentralized: New Perspectives on RNA Function and Local Translation in Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Holt, Christine E.; Schuman, Erin M.

    2013-01-01

    The elaborate morphology of neurons together with the information processing that occurs in remote dendritic and axonal compartments makes the use of decentralized cell biological machines necessary. Recent years have witnessed a revolution in our understanding of signaling in neuronal compartments and the manifold functions of a variety of RNA molecules that regulate protein translation and other cellular functions. Here we discuss the view that mRNA localization and RNA-regulated and localized translation underlie many fundamental neuronal processes and highlight key issues for future experiments. PMID:24183017

  15. The Study of Maglev Train Control and Diagnosis Networks Based on Role Automation Decentralization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Zhigang; Wang, Qi; Tan, Yongdong

    The control and diagnosis networks in Maglev Train are the most important parts. In the paper, the control and diagnosis network structures are discussed, and the disadvantages of them are described and analyzed. In virtue of role automation decentralized system (RoADS), some basic ideas of RoADS are applied in new network. The structure, component parts and application of new network are proposed, designed and discussed in detail. The comparison results show that new network not only embodies some RoADS' ideas but also better meets the demands of control and diagnosis networks in Maglev Train.

  16. Simulating the decentralized processes of the human immune system in a virtual anatomy model

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Many physiological processes within the human body can be perceived and modeled as large systems of interacting particles or swarming agents. The complex processes of the human immune system prove to be challenging to capture and illustrate without proper reference to the spacial distribution of immune-related organs and systems. Our work focuses on physical aspects of immune system processes, which we implement through swarms of agents. This is our first prototype for integrating different immune processes into one comprehensive virtual physiology simulation. Results Using agent-based methodology and a 3-dimensional modeling and visualization environment (LINDSAY Composer), we present an agent-based simulation of the decentralized processes in the human immune system. The agents in our model - such as immune cells, viruses and cytokines - interact through simulated physics in two different, compartmentalized and decentralized 3-dimensional environments namely, (1) within the tissue and (2) inside a lymph node. While the two environments are separated and perform their computations asynchronously, an abstract form of communication is allowed in order to replicate the exchange, transportation and interaction of immune system agents between these sites. The distribution of simulated processes, that can communicate across multiple, local CPUs or through a network of machines, provides a starting point to build decentralized systems that replicate larger-scale processes within the human body, thus creating integrated simulations with other physiological systems, such as the circulatory, endocrine, or nervous system. Ultimately, this system integration across scales is our goal for the LINDSAY Virtual Human project. Conclusions Our current immune system simulations extend our previous work on agent-based simulations by introducing advanced visualizations within the context of a virtual human anatomy model. We also demonstrate how to distribute a collection of

  17. [Interventional decentralized telemonitoring: possible indications and perspectives of a new method in telemedicine].

    PubMed

    Neumann, Claas Lennart; Schulz, Egbert Godehard

    2014-04-23

    Telemedicine comprises different concepts aiming to close a spatial distance between practitioner, medical staff and patient. Its functionality can include mere data transmission but extend as well to triggering alarms or enable consultation and therapy suggestions. A special form of telemedicinal application is interventional decentralized telemonitoring. Here practitioner-patient communication is characterized by telemedicinal data collection driven therapy-control and -optimization. To identify feasible indications for the employment of telemonitoring a detailed definition of communicated parameters, alarm rules and algorithms of intervention are required as well as a benefit-cost analysis. The quality of the telemedical application is determined by the medical quality of the resulting actions.

  18. Dynamics of dc bus networks and their stabilization by decentralized delayed feedback.

    PubMed

    Konishi, Keiji; Sugitani, Yoshiki; Hara, Naoyuki

    2015-01-01

    The present paper deals with the dynamics of bus networks, which consist of several identical dc bus systems connected by resistors. It is analytically guaranteed that the stability of a stand-alone dc bus system is equivalent to that of the networks, independent of the number of bus systems and the network topology. In addition, we show that a decentralized delayed-feedback control can stabilize an unstable operating point embedded within the networks. Moreover, this stabilization does not depend on the number of bus systems or the network topology. A systematic procedure for designing the controller is presented. Finally, the validity of the analytical results is confirmed through numerical examples.

  19. Dynamics of dc bus networks and their stabilization by decentralized delayed feedback

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Konishi, Keiji; Sugitani, Yoshiki; Hara, Naoyuki

    2015-01-01

    The present paper deals with the dynamics of bus networks, which consist of several identical dc bus systems connected by resistors. It is analytically guaranteed that the stability of a stand-alone dc bus system is equivalent to that of the networks, independent of the number of bus systems and the network topology. In addition, we show that a decentralized delayed-feedback control can stabilize an unstable operating point embedded within the networks. Moreover, this stabilization does not depend on the number of bus systems or the network topology. A systematic procedure for designing the controller is presented. Finally, the validity of the analytical results is confirmed through numerical examples.

  20. Partitioning of centralized integrated flight/propulsion control design for decentralized implementation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Garg, Sanjay

    1993-01-01

    The notion of partitioning a centralized controller into a decentralized, hierarchical structure suitable for integrated flight/propulsion control (IFPC) implementation is discussed. A systematic procedure is developed for determining partitioned airframe and engine subsystem controllers (subcontrollers), with the desired interconnection structure, that approximate the closed-loop performance and robustness characteristics of a given centralized controller. The procedure is demonstrated by application to IFPC design for a short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) aircraft in the landing-approach-to-hover-transition flight phase.