Science.gov

Sample records for actors decentralizing environmental

  1. Environmental Systems and Local Actors: Decentralizing Environmental Policy in Uganda

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oosterveer, Peter; van Vliet, Bas

    2010-02-01

    In Uganda, environmental and natural resource management is decentralized and has been the responsibility of local districts since 1996. This environmental management arrangement was part of a broader decentralization process and was intended to increase local ownership and improve environmental policy; however, its implementation has encountered several major challenges over the last decade. This article reviews some of the key structural problems facing decentralized environmental policy in this central African country and examines these issues within the wider framework of political decentralization. Tensions have arisen between technical staff and politicians, between various levels of governance, and between environmental and other policy domains. This review offers a critical reflection on the perspectives and limitations of decentralized environmental governance in Uganda. Our conclusions focus on the need to balance administrative staff and local politicians, the mainstreaming of local environmental policy, and the role of international donors.

  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. PMID:19403964

  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. Actors and arenas in hybrid networks: implications for environmental policymaking in the Baltic Sea region.

    PubMed

    Joas, Marko; Kern, Kristine; Sandberg, Siv

    2007-04-01

    Policymaking within and among states is under pressure for change. One feature of this change is empirically observed as an activation of different network structures in the Baltic Sea Region, especially since the collapse of the Iron Curtain, the initiation of the Rio process, and the enlargement of the European Union. The contemporary theoretical debates about governance highlight the changing conditions for policymaking and implementation on all societal levels. This process of change, especially evident concerning environmental policies, includes new types of networks crossing state borders both at the supranational and the subnational levels. This article illuminates this process of change with empirical data from the project "Governing a Common Sea" (GOVCOM) within the Baltic Sea Research Program (BIREME). PMID:17520939

  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. PMID:22408426

  12. Amoebae as Potential Environmental Hosts for Mycobacterium ulcerans and Other Mycobacteria, but Doubtful Actors in Buruli Ulcer Epidemiology

    PubMed Central

    Gryseels, Sophie; Amissah, Diana; Durnez, Lies; Vandelannoote, Koen; Leirs, Herwig; De Jonckheere, Johan; Portaels, Françoise; Ablordey, Anthony; Eddyani, Miriam

    2012-01-01

    Background The reservoir and mode of transmission of Mycobacterium ulcerans, the causative agent of Buruli ulcer, remain unknown. Ecological, genetic and epidemiological information nonetheless suggests that M. ulcerans may reside in aquatic protozoa. Methodology/Principal Findings We experimentally infected Acanthamoeba polyphaga with M. ulcerans and found that the bacilli were phagocytised, not digested and remained viable for the duration of the experiment. Furthermore, we collected 13 water, 90 biofilm and 45 detritus samples in both Buruli ulcer endemic and non-endemic communities in Ghana, from which we cultivated amoeboid protozoa and mycobacteria. M. ulcerans was not isolated, but other mycobacteria were as frequently isolated from intracellular as from extracellular sources, suggesting that they commonly infect amoebae in nature. We screened the samples as well as the amoeba cultures for the M. ulcerans markers IS2404, IS2606 and KR-B. IS2404 was detected in 2% of the environmental samples and in 4% of the amoeba cultures. The IS2404 positive amoeba cultures included up to 5 different protozoan species, and originated both from Buruli ulcer endemic and non-endemic communities. Conclusions/Significance This is the first report of experimental infection of amoebae with M. ulcerans and of the detection of the marker IS2404 in amoeba cultures isolated from the environment. We conclude that amoeba are potential natural hosts for M. ulcerans, yet remain sceptical about their implication in the transmission of M. ulcerans to humans and their importance in the epidemiology of Buruli ulcer. PMID:22880141

  13. Decentralized Online Social Networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Datta, Anwitaman; Buchegger, Sonja; Vu, Le-Hung; Strufe, Thorsten; Rzadca, Krzysztof

    Current Online social networks (OSN) are web services run on logically centralized infrastructure. Large OSN sites use content distribution networks and thus distribute some of the load by caching for performance reasons, nevertheless there is a central repository for user and application data. This centralized nature of OSNs has several drawbacks including scalability, privacy, dependence on a provider, need for being online for every transaction, and a lack of locality. There have thus been several efforts toward decentralizing OSNs while retaining the functionalities offered by centralized OSNs. A decentralized online social network (DOSN) is a distributed system for social networking with no or limited dependency on any dedicated central infrastructure. In this chapter we explore the various motivations of a decentralized approach to online social networking, discuss several concrete proposals and types of DOSN as well as challenges and opportunities associated with decentralization.

  14. 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.

  15. Energy and air emission implications of a decentralized wastewater system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shehabi, Arman; Stokes, Jennifer R.; Horvath, Arpad

    2012-06-01

    Both centralized and decentralized wastewater systems have distinct engineering, financial and societal benefits. This paper presents a framework for analyzing the environmental effects of decentralized wastewater systems and an evaluation of the environmental impacts associated with two currently operating systems in California, one centralized and one decentralized. A comparison of energy use, greenhouse gas emissions and criteria air pollutants from the systems shows that the scale economies of the centralized plant help lower the environmental burden to less than a fifth of that of the decentralized utility for the same volume treated. The energy and emission burdens of the decentralized plant are reduced when accounting for high-yield wastewater reuse if it supplants an energy-intensive water supply like a desalination one. The centralized facility also reduces greenhouse gases by flaring methane generated during the treatment process, while methane is directly emitted from the decentralized system. The results are compelling enough to indicate that the life-cycle environmental impacts of decentralized designs should be carefully evaluated as part of the design process.

  16. 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.

  17. Decentralizing Agricultural Extension: Alternative Strategies.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rivera, William M.

    1997-01-01

    Examines government strategies for decentralizing agricultural extension, concluding that such changes are largely determined by the country's constitutional status. Reviews decentralization guidelines for structural and fiscal reforms and participatory management systems. (SK)

  18. 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…

  19. 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}.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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…

  4. Characteristics of decentralized electricity generation

    SciTech Connect

    Hyman, B.; Bereano, P.L.; King, S.

    1984-01-01

    The characteristics of decentralized electricity generation are examined at several different levels with the aid of twenty-three independent variables. This approach provides a systematic framework for assessing and comparing the decentralized nature of power generation facilities and systems. While the analysis reveals that decentralization is not an explicit measure of performance, the taxonomy provides a useful tool for improving the quality of the debate on this issue. 30 references, 2 figures.

  5. Characteristics of decentralized electricity generation

    SciTech Connect

    Hyman, B.; Bereano, P.L.; King, S.

    1984-01-01

    The characteristics of decentralized electricity generation are examined at several different levels with the aid of twenty-three independent variables. This approach provides a systematic framework for assessing and comparing the decentralized nature of power generation facilities and systems. While the analysis reveals that decentralization is not an explicit measure of performance, the taxonomy provides a useful tool for improving the quality of the debate on this issue.

  6. 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.

  7. 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…

  8. 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)

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. You're a What? Voice Actor

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liming, Drew

    2009-01-01

    This article talks about voice actors and features Tony Oliver, a professional voice actor. Voice actors help to bring one's favorite cartoon and video game characters to life. They also do voice-overs for radio and television commercials and movie trailers. These actors use the sound of their voice to sell a character's emotions--or an advertised…

  12. Decentralized Management and School Finance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Odden, Allan

    1994-01-01

    Student achievement needs to rise much faster than resources to attain high levels of cognitive achievement for all. The article discusses the nature of funding changes, changes in achievement, productivity problems, central notions of systemic reform (decentralized management), and the new type of school finance policy structure. (SM)

  13. Implementation of Decentralized School Budgeting.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Caldwell, Brian J.

    Decentralized school budgeting or school-based budgeting is relatively new to Canada. It means that school boards or central office administrators delegate to principals authority to make some budget decisions. High expectations for effects of the practice include greater efficiency in the allocation of resources, increased flexibility in the…

  14. 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. PMID:15686065

  15. Multicultural Monologues for Young Actors. The Young Actors Series.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Slaight, Craig, Ed.; Sharrar, Jack, Ed.

    This book presents 62 monologue selections from diverse cultures for young actors to perform. The book's selections offer "quality literature by significant writers." Some of the writers represented in the book are George C. Wolfe, Miguel Pinero, Lorraine Hansberry, Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones), John M. Synge, Yukio Mishima, Reynolds Price, and John…

  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. 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…

  18. 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.

  19. Decentralization, democratization, and health: the Philippine experiment.

    PubMed

    Langran, Irene V

    2011-01-01

    In 1991, the Philippines joined a growing list of countries that reformed health planning through decentralization. Reformers viewed decentralization as a tool that would solve multiple problems, leading to more meaningful democracy and more effective health planning. Today, nearly two decades after the passage of decentralization legislation, questions about the effectiveness of the reforms persist. Inadequate financing, inequity, and a lack of meaningful participation remain challenges, in many ways mirroring broader weaknesses of Philippine democracy. These concerns pose questions regarding the nature of contemporary decentralization, democratization, and health planning and whether these three strategies are indeed mutually enforcing. PMID:22073430

  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. Privileged Emotion Managers: The Case of Actors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Orzechowicz, David

    2008-01-01

    Theatre provides a unique set of conditions for the management of emotions. Drawing on participant observation from one repertory theater, three university productions, and interviews with stage actors, directors, and acting instructors, I conceptualize actors as privileged emotion managers. Actors access structural resources that enable their…

  2. Consensus algorithms in decentralized networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coduti, Leonardo Phillip

    We consider a decentralized network with the following goal: the state at each node of the network iteratively converges to the same value. Ensuring that this goal is achieved requires certain properties of the topology of the network and the function describing the evolution of the network. We will present these properties for deterministic systems, extending current results in the literature. As an additional contribution, we will show how the convergence results for stochastic systems are direct consequences of the corresponding deterministic systems, drastically simplifying many other current results. In general, these consensus systems can be both time invariant and time varying, and we will extend all our deterministic and stochastic results to include time varying systems as well. We will then consider a more complex consensus problem, the resource allocation problem. In this situation each node of the network has both a state and a capacity. The capacity is a monotone increasing function of the state, and the goal is for the nodes to exchange capacity in a decentralized manner in order to drive all of the states to the same value. Conditions ensuring consensus in the deterministic setting will be presented, and we will show how convergence in this system also comes from the fundamental deterministic result for consensus algorithms. The main results will again be extended to stochastic and time varying systems. The linear consensus system requires the construction of a matrix of weighting parameters with specific properties. We present an iterative algorithm for determining the weighting parameters in a decentralized fashion; the weighting parameters are specified by the nodes and each node only specifies the weighting parameters as sociated with that node. The results assume that the communication graph of the network is directed, and we consider both synchronous communication, and stochastic asynchronous networks.

  3. 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

  4. 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. PMID:18632387

  5. Supporting Decentralized Education with Personal Technologies.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hedestig, Ulf; Kaptelinin, Victor; Orre, Carl Johan

    This paper deals with the use of personal technologies in decentralized university education. Decentralized education, delivered to off-campus students located in the same geographical area, is a hybrid genre combining features of both on-campus and distance education. The paper reports two studies. The first study focused on communication…

  6. Effects of Decentralization on School Resources

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ahlin, Asa; Mork, Eva

    2008-01-01

    Sweden has undertaken major national reforms of its school sector, which, consequently, has been classified as one of the most decentralized ones in the OECD. This paper investigates whether local tax base, grants, and preferences affected local school resources differently as decentralization took place. We find that municipal tax base affects…

  7. 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…

  8. Optimal decentralized control for multimachine power systems--

    SciTech Connect

    Quali, A. ); Fantin, J. )

    1989-01-01

    This paper provides a method for determining an optimal decentralized control for multimachine power systems with quadratic performance measure. An iterative algorithm is developed whereby a local minimum is attained. The constraint of decentralization is tackled with in minimization algorithm by using the method of feasible directions. An example of three synchronous machines is given to illustrate the proposed algorithm.

  9. Educational Decentralization: Weak State or Strong State?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McGinn, Noel; Street, Susan

    1986-01-01

    A government is a complex system of competing factions that adopts a decentralization policy when the dominant group sees current government structures or procedures as an obstacle to the realization of group interests. Case studies of educational decentralization in Peru, Chile, and Mexico demonstrate that the "state" tends to share power only…

  10. Nonprofit environmental organizations in world politics: Domestic structure and transnational relations

    SciTech Connect

    Payne, R.A.

    1995-12-31

    Nonprofit environmental organizations often have global policy goals. Consequently, they pursue transnational objectives by pressuring influential governments and international institutions. The effectiveness of this strategy as applied to nation-states varies by domestic political structure. First, transnational actors are more likely to achieve their goals in society-dominated rather than they are in state-dominated countries because the former are more open to external inputs to the policy process and provide a greater number of access points. Second, ironically, transnational actors are more likely to achieve success in relatively centralized states if political access is attained. Decentralization invites a cacophony of voices in what may turn into a maelstrom of domestic politics. Relatively centralized corporatist states may prove accessible without the disadvantage of domestic turbulence.

  11. Partially decentralized control for ALSTOM gasifier.

    PubMed

    Tan, Wen; Lou, Guannan; Liang, Luping

    2011-07-01

    The gasifier plays a key role in the operation of the whole IGCC power plant. It is a typical multivariable control system with strict constraints on the inputs and outputs which makes it very difficult to control. This paper presents a partially decentralized controller design method based on the stabilizer idea. The method only requires identifying some closed-loop transfer functions and solving an H(∞) optimization problem. The final partially decentralized controller is easy to implement and test in practice. Two partially decentralized controllers are designed for the ALSTOM gasifier benchmark problem, and simulation results show that they both meet the design specifications. PMID:21356534

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. A Design of Decentralized Control System in Unstructured Environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ito, Daiki; Kageyama, Takashi; Suzuki, Jun; Tsuji, Toshiaki; Morisawa, Mitsuharu; Ohnishi, Kouhei

    Motion control is developed in control of industrial machines. However, some kind of machines working in an open environment are required in our future society. Then it is necessary to design general methodology for motion controller in open environment. In this paper, decentralized control system is applied as a motion controller for this purpose. This paper is constructed from two parts roughly: the first is a method to abstract environmental mode from environmental information, and the second is a method to design the motion controller with the environmental information. This paper applied this method to biped robot as a model case. The effectiveness of proposed method is confirmed by several simulation and experimental results.

  16. 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…

  17. Disturbance decoupling, decentralized control and the Riccati equation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Garzia, M. R.; Loparo, K. A.; Martin, C. F.

    1981-01-01

    The disturbance decoupling and optimal decentralized control problems are looked at using identical mathematical techniques. A statement of the problems and the development of their solution approach is presented. Preliminary results are given for the optimal decentralized control problem.

  18. Decentralized and Tactical Air Traffic Flow Management

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bertsimas, Dimitris; Odoni, Amedeo R.

    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.

  19. 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.

  20. Robust Decentralized Controller Design: Subsystem Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosinová, Danica; Thuan, Nguyen Quang; Veselý, Vojtech; Marko, L'ubomír

    2012-01-01

    The paper addresses the problem of the robust output feedback PI controller design for complex large-scale stable systems with a state decentralized control structure. A decentralized control design procedure is proposed for static output feedback control which is based on solving robust control design problems of subsystems' size. The presented approach is based on the Generalized Gershgorin Theorem and uses the so-called equivalent subsystems approach to consider the interactions in the local robust controller design. The resulting decentralized control scheme has been successfully tested on two examples: a linearized model of three interconnected boiler-turbine subsystems and a linear model of four cooperating DC motors where the problem is to design four local PI controllers for a large scale system which will guarantee robust stability and performance of the closed-loop uncertain system.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. (Rural electrification: Grid extension, decentralization, and financing)

    SciTech Connect

    Perlack, R.D.

    1990-02-22

    H.G. (Mike) Jones and I had numerous meetings with EEGSA staff. We discussed rural electrification plans, reviewed documents, and collaborated on collecting information on decentralized energy alternatives. Meetings were also held with USAID/Guatemala, USAID/ROCAP, NRECA, MEM, PVOs, and equipment vendors. A preliminary draft report and spreadsheet for comparing decentralized power alternatives was completed. The report and findings were presented to EEGSA and the methodology transferred to EEGSA staff. A set of recommended followup activities was also presented to EEGSA.

  4. Decentralization of Government Agencies: What Does It Accomplish?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yin, Robert K.

    1979-01-01

    Focuses on the decentralization of governmental agencies from the perspective of both municipal and federal experiences. The article first discusses the main lessons from municipal decentralization, then outlines the characteristics of recent federal initiatives, and concludes with comments on the likely effects of decentralization. (Author)

  5. 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…

  6. Strategic Planning in a Decentralized Environment: The Death of Linearity.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Levin, Bernard H.; And Others

    Although private industry has been decentralizing for the past decade, community colleges have been slow to follow. For those colleges that have decentralized, traditional structured planning methodologies do not apply. The focus of strategic planning efforts at decentralized institutions is on the development of strategic themes to which…

  7. Bad Actors Criticality Assessment for Pipeline system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nasir, Meseret; Chong, Kit wee; Osman, Sabtuni; Siaw Khur, Wee

    2015-04-01

    Failure of a pipeline system could bring huge economic loss. In order to mitigate such catastrophic loss, it is required to evaluate and rank the impact of each bad actor of the pipeline system. In this study, bad actors are known as the root causes or any potential factor leading to the system downtime. Fault Tree Analysis (FTA) is used to analyze the probability of occurrence for each bad actor. Bimbaum's Importance and criticality measure (BICM) is also employed to rank the impact of each bad actor on the pipeline system failure. The results demonstrate that internal corrosion; external corrosion and construction damage are critical and highly contribute to the pipeline system failure with 48.0%, 12.4% and 6.0% respectively. Thus, a minor improvement in internal corrosion; external corrosion and construction damage would bring significant changes in the pipeline system performance and reliability. These results could also be useful to develop efficient maintenance strategy by identifying the critical bad actors.

  8. 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

  9. Decentralized Modular Systems Versus Centralized Systems.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Crossey, R. E.

    Building design, planning, and construction programing for modular decentralized mechanical building systems are outlined in terms of costs, performance, expansion and flexibility. Design strategy, approach, and guidelines for implementing such systems for buildings are suggested, with emphasis on mechanical equipment and building element…

  10. Decentralization and Policy Design. CPRE Policy Briefs.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Consortium for Policy Research in Education, New Brunswick, NJ.

    This policy brief focuses on design issues surrounding decentralization policies, drawing from the following three reports: "Working Models of Choice in Public Education," by Richard F. Elmore; "Diversity Amidst Standardization: State Differential Treatment of Districts," by Susan H. Fuhrman; and "School District Restructuring in Santa Fe, New…

  11. 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…

  12. Decentralization of Management in Colleges and Universities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Quinn, George M.

    1979-01-01

    Alfred University has developed a Management Information System intended to support decentralized management, with more decision-making responsibilities delegated to academic managers. Information systems, curriculum interaction modeling, program costs, budget preparation and planning, and a training program for academic managers are discussed.…

  13. Reclassification in a small decentralized medical library.

    PubMed

    Tong, J G; Brennen, P W; Byrd, G D

    1977-07-01

    This study describes procedures and indentifies problems in the reclassification of a small medical school library collection that is decentralized into five locations in three different communities. A total of 9,915 monographic titles (14,911 volumes) were reclassified in a nine-month period. The reclassification staff consisted of one professional, two nonprofessionals, and one partime student assistant. PMID:884347

  14. Decentralization and Educational Reform in Florida.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pierce, Lawrence C.

    In 1973 Florida embarked on an ambitious adventure to improve the quality of public education by decentralizing many aspects of educational decision-making to the school site. The strategy incorporated a comprehensive reform of the state's school finance system, the development of a management information and accounting system, requirements for…

  15. Small Is Beautiful: Decentralizing Food Preparation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Spero, Sally

    1995-01-01

    A director of food services in an Indiana district analyzed costs of centralized versus decentralized food service. She discovered that preparing food at satellite schools, despite problems with inadequate equipment and outdated facilities, was more cost-effective. It is important for each district to analyze its own data and decide which system…

  16. Decentralization in Education in an International Perspective.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Amelsvoort, H. W. C. H. van; And Others

    Education in European countries has been characterized by a tendency toward decentralization and deregulation. The Dutch Ministry of Education commissioned the University of Twente to perform a comparative study of actual and future shifts in tasks, responsibilities, and authority in education in several European countries. This book presents…

  17. Towards a Decentralized Magnetic Indoor Positioning System.

    PubMed

    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

  18. Manual--Territorial Decentration Test (Revised Edition).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stoltman, Joseph P.

    A test for assessing the child's ability to identify territories and their relationship to each other--the Territorial Decentration Test--is discussed. In addition to a description of the test, the administration and scoring of the test and the assignment of score ranges and criterion levels (Territorial Stages) are described. A directions Form…

  19. Local Responses to Decentralization Policy in Indonesia.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bjork, Christopher

    2003-01-01

    Ethnographic fieldwork in six junior high schools in East Java, Indonesia, focused on local responses to a national policy devolving authority over the curriculum to the schools. Interviews and observations in the schools revealed little change in teacher actions. The objectives of decentralization clashed with deeply rooted ideas about authority,…

  20. Decentralized nuclear materials management system at SNLA

    SciTech Connect

    James, R.M.

    1981-01-01

    This paper discusses the approach that Sandia took in deciding to implement a nuclear material control and accountability system on a stand-alone minicomputer despite the existence of a Univac 1108 and Univac 1100/82 centralized facility. The benefits which have been obtained by the decentralization and future applications are discussed.

  1. 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…

  2. Actor-Network Theory of Cosmopolitan Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Saito, Hiro

    2010-01-01

    In the past, philosophers discussed cosmopolitanism as a normative ideal of allegiance to humanity as a whole. A debate among social theorists, however, has examined cosmopolitanism as an incipient empirical phenomenon: an orientation of openness to foreign others and cultures. This paper introduces actor-network theory to elaborate the…

  3. 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…

  4. 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.…

  5. 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…

  6. Centralization vs. decentralization in medical school libraries.

    PubMed

    Crawford, H

    1966-07-01

    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

  7. 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.

  8. Centralized and Decentralized Control for Demand Response

    SciTech Connect

    Lu, Shuai; Samaan, Nader A.; Diao, Ruisheng; Elizondo, Marcelo A.; Jin, Chunlian; Mayhorn, Ebony T.; Zhang, Yu; Kirkham, Harold

    2011-04-29

    Demand response has been recognized as an essential element of the smart grid. Frequency response, regulation and contingency reserve functions performed traditionally by generation resources are now starting to involve demand side resources. Additional benefits from demand response include peak reduction and load shifting, which will defer new infrastructure investment and improve generator operation efficiency. Technical approaches designed to realize these functionalities can be categorized into centralized control and decentralized control, depending on where the response decision is made. This paper discusses these two control philosophies and compares their relative advantages and disadvantages in terms of delay time, predictability, complexity, and reliability. A distribution system model with detailed household loads and controls is built to demonstrate the characteristics of the two approaches. The conclusion is that the promptness and reliability of decentralized control should be combined with the predictability and simplicity of centralized control to achieve the best performance of the smart grid.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Impact of School Decentralization in New York City on Municipal Decentralization.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    New York State Charter Revision Commission for New York City.

    In 1969, after much controversy and the submission of many bills, the New York State Legislature passed--and the Governor signed--a school decentralization law. The law went into effect on February 16, 1970, with the major transfers of power operative on July 1, 1970. This report examines those aspects of the three-year school decentralization…

  13. Multisource Data Inversion Using Decentralized Fusion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alzraiee, A. H.; Bau, D. A.

    2013-12-01

    Field data pertaining hydrological systems typically come from multiple sources and are related to different hydraulic properties. The spatial and temporal coverage of these datasets is also variable. Data fusion techniques allow for the integration of multiple datasets with different quality in order to produce a more informative dataset than any of the original inputs. That is to say, the accuracy and the spatial coverage of the fused data are expected to be superior to any of the original datasets. In this work, we present a 'decentralized' data fusion method stemming from Millman's theory, which has been introduced in the field of signal processing to fuse multiple correlated estimates. Millman's equations are applied to integrate separate estimates of aquifer hydraulic properties, such as the spatial distributions of the hydraulic conductivity K and the specific elastic storage Ss, estimated through the inversion of drawdown data collected over multiple independent pumping tests. For each pumping test, 'local' estimates of K and Ss are obtained by applying an Ensemble Kalman Filter (EnKF) algorithm to assimilate the first and second moments of aquifer drawdown into the response of a corresponding groundwater flow model. Since the application of Millman's theory may be computationally very intensive, we propose a more efficient Millman's fusion algorithm for merging local estimates into a global estimate of the hydraulic properties. Increased computational efficiency is achieved by distributing local estimation processes among multicore computers. Multiple numerical experiments are conducted to investigate the potential of this inversion method. In these experiments, a synthetic aquifer is explored by conducting multiple hypothetical pumping tests at different locations in the aquifer. Finally, the decentralized fusion method is compared to a centralized fusion method where all drawdown data corresponding to multiple pumping tests are fused simultaneously using

  14. 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.

  15. 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…

  16. Decentralized Budgeting: Getting the Most Out of Disbursements of Funds.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jefferson, Anne L.

    1995-01-01

    Decentralizing educational budgets allows the disbursement of funds aimed at maximizing student development. Three strategies for decentralizing budgets are program budgeting, which eliminates line-item budgeting and allows administrators to address questions regarding the relative value of educational programs; zero-based budgeting, which allows…

  17. 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…

  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: The Administrator's Guidebook to School District Change.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brown, Daniel J.

    The school district decentralization process is described in this guidebook, which focuses on the administrator's role in implementation. Three chapters are organized around the three phases of decentralization--exploration, trial, and commitment. Each phase is examined in terms of the real-life experiences of administrators and other…

  20. 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…

  1. On Deciding How to Decide: To Centralize or Decentralize.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chaffee, Ellen Earle

    Issues concerning whether to centralize or decentralize decision-making are addressed, with applications for colleges. Centralization/decentralization (C/D) must be analyzed with reference to a particular decision. Three components of C/D are locus of authority, breadth of participation, and relative contribution by the decision-maker's staff. C/D…

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Purchasing a decentralized medication management system.

    PubMed

    2006-03-01

    Decentralized medication management systems (DMMSs) are used in hospitals, long-term care facilities, prisons, outpatient clinics, surgery centers, and other places to manage the distribution of drugs. DMMSs consist of storage compartments for medications, with an internal computer that controls and records the administration of drugs. Some DMMSs are stationary cabinets and others are mobile carts. There have been important advances in DMMS technology since we evaluated these products in 1996, including enhanced computer memory and processing power, wider adoption of wireless networking, better user interfaces, and greater integration with other hospital information systems. To get the most out of a DMMS purchase or upgrade, facilities will need careful planning that involves assessing their own needs, selecting hardware and software configurations that meet those needs, and then choosing the right vendor and model. A properly selected DMMS can help to enforce medication distribution policies, prevent errors, and streamline processes. PMID:16610453

  8. Decentralized Grid Scheduling with Evolutionary Fuzzy Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fölling, Alexander; Grimme, Christian; Lepping, Joachim; Papaspyrou, Alexander

    In this paper, we address the problem of finding workload exchange policies for decentralized Computational Grids using an Evolutionary Fuzzy System. To this end, we establish a non-invasive collaboration model on the Grid layer which requires minimal information about the participating High Performance and High Throughput Computing (HPC/HTC) centers and which leaves the local resource managers completely untouched. In this environment of fully autonomous sites, independent users are assumed to submit their jobs to the Grid middleware layer of their local site, which in turn decides on the delegation and execution either on the local system or on remote sites in a situation-dependent, adaptive way. We find for different scenarios that the exchange policies show good performance characteristics not only with respect to traditional metrics such as average weighted response time and utilization, but also in terms of robustness and stability in changing environments.

  9. Decentralized, continuous-flow gas anchor

    SciTech Connect

    Podio, A.L.; McCoy, J.N.; Woods, M.D.

    1995-12-31

    A novel gas separator design has been developed and successfully tested in several beam pumped wells which were subject to severe gas interference. This paper presents a detailed description of various designs to cover various ranges of fluid production for the most common sizes of completions (4-1/2 to 7 inch casing) and rates from 120 to 825 barrels of liquid per day. The new design is based on two innovations: decentralization of the gas separator in the casing, insures that a minimum amount of gas enters the separator; and the presence of two ports located on the narrow side of the annulus and placed a significant distance apart allow continuous flow of fluids into and out of the separator during both the upstroke and downstroke of the pump. These innovations have resulted in a gas separator efficiency much greater than that of conventional designs.

  10. Self-Organized Synchronization in Decentralized Power Grids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rohden, Martin; Sorge, Andreas; Timme, Marc; Witthaut, Dirk

    2012-08-01

    Robust synchronization (phase locking) of power plants and consumers centrally underlies the stable operation of electric power grids. Despite current attempts to control large-scale networks, even their uncontrolled collective dynamics is not fully understood. Here we analyze conditions enabling self-organized synchronization in oscillator networks that serve as coarse-scale models for power grids, focusing on decentralizing power sources. Intriguingly, we find that whereas more decentralized grids become more sensitive to dynamical perturbations, they simultaneously become more robust to topological failures. Decentralizing power sources may thus facilitate the onset of synchronization in modern power grids.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Influence of Cardiac Decentralization on Cardioprotection

    PubMed Central

    Kingma, John G.; Simard, Denys; Voisine, Pierre; Rouleau, Jacques R.

    2013-01-01

    The role of cardiac nerves on development of myocardial tissue injury after acute coronary occlusion remains controversial. We investigated whether acute cardiac decentralization (surgical) modulates coronary flow reserve and myocardial protection in preconditioned dogs subject to ischemia-reperfusion. Experiments were conducted on four groups of anesthetised, open-chest dogs (n = 32): 1- controls (CTR, intact cardiac nerves), 2- ischemic preconditioning (PC; 4 cycles of 5-min IR), 3- cardiac decentralization (CD) and 4- CD+PC; all dogs underwent 60-min coronary occlusion and 180-min reperfusion. Coronary blood flow and reactive hyperemic responses were assessed using a blood volume flow probe. Infarct size (tetrazolium staining) was related to anatomic area at risk and coronary collateral blood flow (microspheres) in the anatomic area at risk. Post-ischemic reactive hyperemia and repayment-to-debt ratio responses were significantly reduced for all experimental groups; however, arterial perfusion pressure was not affected. Infarct size was reduced in CD dogs (18.6±4.3; p = 0.001, data are mean±1SD) compared to 25.2±5.5% in CTR dogs and was less in PC dogs as expected (13.5±3.2 vs. 25.2±5.5%; p = 0.001); after acute CD, PC protection was conserved (11.6±3.4 vs. 18.6±4.3%; p = 0.02). In conclusion, our findings provide strong evidence that myocardial protection against ischemic injury can be preserved independent of extrinsic cardiac nerve inputs. PMID:24236106

  15. 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. PMID:24096918

  16. 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 ...

  17. 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.

  18. 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...

  19. Campus' central boiler plant decentralized in share deal

    SciTech Connect

    Springer, N.

    1986-01-13

    The University of Rhode Island has already saved $160,000 in heating and hot water costs after only three months of a 12-year shared-savings arrangement to decentralize campus heating. The decentralization consisted of installing smaller capacity boilers and water heaters for use during the summer months and shutting down the central boiler plant from August through October. The article outlines a number of additional measures the college will take to reduce energy costs during the 12 years.

  20. 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. PMID:25417082

  1. 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…

  2. 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 ...

  3. 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…

  4. Drivers of Environmental Institutional Dynamics in Decentralized African Countries.

    PubMed

    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. PMID:26188407

  5. 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.

  6. The enigmatic signifier and the decentred subject.

    PubMed

    Hinton, Ladson

    2009-11-01

    War, genocide, economic upheaval and terrorism have crushed belief in endlessly 'enlightened' progress. We more and more doubt the teleological nature of psychological events, including the activity of a Self or centre that guides the development of the subject. There is a growing view of a 'decentred' subject that develops in the face of an enigmatic Otherness. Jean Laplanche has created an extensive metapsychology describing this situation, emphasizing the original helplessness of an infant who is bathed in enigmatic messages from its very beginnings. These messages from the adult other are often sexualized, and are partly or largely unconscious to the sender. Laplanche calls this situation 'primal seduction'. The immature human cannot fully metabolize such adult messages, and through 'primal repression' they remain as the unconscious core of subjectivity. They disrupt psychological life, conveying a sense of signifying something to the subject. What they signify is an enigma, like finding a hieroglyph in the desert. The story of relationships and culture is the story of our repeated attempts to translate them, to respond to them. An analytic case illustrates these concepts as they appear in the transference, first as gaps and monsters, and then in the crucial and surprising appearance of transformative laughter. The vicissitudes of the clinical situation illustrate the vital importance of the enigmatic signifier in the development of the subject. PMID:19840157

  7. 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.

  8. Security for decentralized health information systems.

    PubMed

    Bleumer, G

    1994-02-01

    Health care information systems must reflect at least two basic characteristics of the health care community: the increasing mobility of patients and the personal liability of everyone giving medical treatment. Open distributed information systems bear the potential to reflect these requirements. But the market for open information systems and operating systems hardly provides secure products today. This 'missing link' is approached by the prototype SECURE Talk that provides secure transmission and archiving of files on top of an existing operating system. Its services may be utilized by existing medical applications. SECURE Talk demonstrates secure communication utilizing only standard hardware. Its message is that cryptography (and in particular asymmetric cryptography) is practical for many medical applications even if implemented in software. All mechanisms are software implemented in order to be executable on standard-hardware. One can investigate more or less decentralized forms of public key management and the performance of many different cryptographic mechanisms. That of, e.g. hybrid encryption and decryption (RSA+DES-PCBC) is about 300 kbit/s. That of signing and verifying is approximately the same using RSA with a DES hash function. The internal speed, without disk accesses etc., is about 1.1 Mbit/s. (Apple Quadra 950 (MC 68040, 33 MHz, RAM: 20 MB, 80 ns. Length of RSA modulus is 512 bit). PMID:8188407

  9. 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

  10. 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+.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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. PMID:25133916

  14. 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...

  15. 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

  16. Decentralized diagnosis in a spacecraft attitude determination and control system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pérez, C. G.; Travé-Massuyès, L.; Chanthery, E.; Sotomayor, J.

    2015-11-01

    In model-based diagnosis (MBD), structural models can provide useful information for fault diagnosis and fault-tolerant control design. In particular, they are known for supporting the design of analytical redundancy relations (ARRs) which are widely used to generate residuals for diagnosis. On the other hand, systems are increasingly complex whereby it is necessary to develop decentralized architectures to perform the diagnosis task. Decentralized diagnosis is of interest for on-board systems as a way to reduce computational costs or for large geographically distributed systems that require to minimizing data transfer. Decentralized solutions allow proper separation of industrial knowledge, provided that inputs and outputs are clearly defined. This paper builds on the results of [1] and proposes an optimized approach for decentralized fault-focused residual generation. It also introduce the concept of Fault-Driven Minimal Structurally-Overdetermined set (FMSO) ensuring minimal redundancy. The method decreases communication cost involved in decentralization with respect to the algorithm proposed in [1] while still maintaining the same isolation properties as the centralized approach as well as the isolation on request capability.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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…

  20. 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)

  1. 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

  2. ACToR A Aggregated Computational Toxicology Resource

    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.

  3. 29 CFR 570.125 - Actors and performers.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... an actor or performer in motion pictures or theatrical productions, or in radio or television... definition will be helpful in determining whether a child qualifies as a “* * * performer in motion...

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Estimating design impact on waste reduction: examining decentralized nursing.

    PubMed

    Pati, Debajyoti; Harvey, Thomas E; Thurston, Terry

    2012-11-01

    The objective of this study was to understand the impact that decentralization of nursing support spaces may have on the total distances nurses walk and hence the magnitude of time that can be diverted to productive use. Reducing nurse walking has attracted attention from multiple perspectives-human factor, system performance, lean process, care quality, and safety. A simulation-based experimental study was designed that incorporated task frequency data from a nationwide sample of 700 RNs. The simulation runs were conducted on a 30-bed medical-surgical unit, over 12-hour day shifts, in which physical locations of 8 nursing support spaces were systematically manipulated. Findings suggest that total walking time can be reduced by as much as 67.9%, depending on the level of decentralization. Care quality and efficiency issues can be significantly addressed through appropriate levels of decentralization. PMID:23100002

  7. Decentralized Service Allocation in a Broker Overlay Based Grid

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Azab, Abdulrahman; Meling, Hein

    Grid computing is based on coordinated resource sharing in a dynamic environment of multi-institutional virtual organizations. Data exchanges, and service allocation, are challenging problems in the field of Grid computing. This is due to the decentralization of Grid systems. Building decentralized Grid systems with efficient resource management and software component mechanisms is a need for achieving the required efficiency and usability of Grid systems. In this work, a decentralized Grid system model is presented in which, the system is divided into virtual organizations each controlled by a broker. An overlay network of brokers is responsible for global resource management and managing allocation of services. Experimental results show that, the system achieves dependable performance with various loads of services, and broker failures.

  8. Modeling and stability of segmented reflector telescopes - A decentralized approach

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ryaciotaki-Boussalis, Helen A.; Ih, Che-Hang Charles

    1990-01-01

    The decentralization of a segmented reflector telescope based on a finite-element model of its structure is considered. The decentralization of the system at the panel level is considered. Each panel is originally treated as an isolated subsystem so that the controller design is performed independently at the local level, and then applied to the composite system for stability analysis. The panel-level control laws were designed by means of pole placement using local output feedback. Simulation results show a better 1000:1 vibration attenuation in panel position when compared to the open-loop system. It is shown that the overall closed-loop system is exponentially stable provided that certain conditions are met. The advantage to the decentralized approach is that the design is performed in terms of the low-dimensionality subsystems, thus drastically reducing the design computational complexities.

  9. [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. PMID:25945994

  10. 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

  11. The health effects of decentralizing primary care in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Guanais, Frederico C; Macinko, James

    2009-01-01

    A renewed focus on primary health care could lead to improved health outcomes in developing countries. Moving more control to local authorities, or decentralization, is one approach to expanding primary care's reach. Proponents argue that it increases responsiveness to local needs and helps local resources reach those in need. Critics argue that it might increase fragmentation and disparities and provide opportunities for local economic and political gains that do not improve population health. We explore questions surrounding decentralization using the example of infant mortality in Brazil. Our study of two programs identified positive effects on health outcomes in the context of infant mortality. PMID:19597212

  12. 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.

  13. Designing a Decentralized Traffic Information System — AutoNomos

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wegener, Axel; Hellbrück, Horst; Fischer, Stefan; Hendriks, Björn; Schmidt, Christiane; Fekete, Sándor P.

    We propose a decentralized traffic information system—Auto-Nomos—that is based on a thorough investigation of the properties of traffic and recommends a hierarchical data aggregation and forwarding for providing individualized information and support to road users. Our approach differs from work in the field by consequently applying local rules and local decentralized data processing, which turns out to be a key property of robust and scalable computing systems. We present a flexible VANET middleware that assists the application development by providing generic functionality for traffic applications. We discuss the architectural design of the overall system and provide solutions of important design concepts demonstrating the innovation of the approach.

  14. 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…

  15. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  17. Integrated management of natural resources: dealing with ambiguous issues, multiple actors and diverging frames.

    PubMed

    Dewulf, A; Craps, M; Bouwen, R; Taillieu, T; Pahl-Wostl, C

    2005-01-01

    Uncertainty is an increasingly important concern when trying to manage complex systems of interrelated natural resources. Scientific knowledge or necessary information may be lacking or incomplete. Additionally, the multiple and interdependent users of those resources may diverge in defining what really is at stake. When they frame issues in very different ways, ambiguity results, i.e., the existence of two or more equally plausible interpretation possibilities. Environmental management in these conditions implies a shift in attention from solving clearly delineated problems to continuous negotiating and tuning between different actors and expertise domains. This requires dealing with the frame differences in a reciprocal way by mutually acknowledging frames and connecting them. Some or all parties will have to revise, enlarge or reframe the way they relate to the issues and to each other, in order to support mutual understanding and common action. The contribution of experts does not consist then in providing total predictability nor in predefining issues and solutions, but in supporting a joint learning and negotiation process among different actors and in feeding this process with relevant information. Behavioural simulations may play an important function to stimulate multi-actor learning and negotiation processes. PMID:16304943

  18. 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…

  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. 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 ...

  1. 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...

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. Decentralized Management in Prison: A Comparative Case Study.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Farmer, J. Forbes

    1994-01-01

    Conducted comparative case study of organizational climates in two prisons Findings from 149 staff members and 442 inmates revealed that flattening organizational structure without decentralizing authority seemed to have negative effects on staff supervisory relations and job satisfaction. Inmates reported better quality of life and more effective…

  5. Decentralization 1973: A Second-Year Progress Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Los Angeles City Schools, CA. Office of Education and Management Assessment.

    The Los Angeles City Schools, following a plan of educational renewal, are experiencing major changes through an ongoing, orderly process called "decentralization." To assess the progress being made, a task force study was undertaken to determine what mid-course corrections might be necessary and what additional information might be needed by…

  6. 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.

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. Decentralization, stabilization, and estimation of large-scale linear systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Siljak, D. D.; Vukcevic, M. B.

    1976-01-01

    In this short paper we consider three closely related aspects of large-scale systems: decentralization, stabilization, and estimation. A method is proposed to decompose a large linear system into a number of interconnected subsystems with decentralized (scalar) inputs or outputs. The procedure is preliminary to the hierarchic stabilization and estimation of linear systems and is performed on the subsystem level. A multilevel control scheme based upon the decomposition-aggregation method is developed for stabilization of input-decentralized linear systems Local linear feedback controllers are used to stabilize each decoupled subsystem, while global linear feedback controllers are utilized to minimize the coupling effect among the subsystems. Systems stabilized by the method have a tolerance to a wide class of nonlinearities in subsystem coupling and high reliability with respect to structural perturbations. The proposed output-decentralization and stabilization schemes can be used directly to construct asymptotic state estimators for large linear systems on the subsystem level. The problem of dimensionality is resolved by constructing a number of low-order estimators, thus avoiding a design of a single estimator for the overall system.

  11. Decentralization of operating reactor licensing reviews: NRR Pilot Program

    SciTech Connect

    Hannon, J.N.

    1984-07-01

    This report, which has incorporated comments received from the Commission and ACRS, describes the program for decentralization of selected operating reactor licensing technical review activities. The 2-year pilot program will be reviewed to verify that safety is enhanced as anticipated by the incorporation of prescribed management techniques and application of resources. If the program fails to operate as designed, it will be terminated.

  12. 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…

  13. Towards Decentralized Management in United Arab Emirate (UAE) Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Al-Taneiji, Shaikah; McLeod, Lorraine

    2008-01-01

    The Ministry of Education in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has announced that changes will be made in the ways in which its schools are managed. At present, most decisions are made centrally by the Ministry of Education, but moves have begun to decentralize some responsibilities and decisions to schools. The success of such reform is likely to be…

  14. Understanding Educational Decentralization in Post-Apartheid South Africa.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sayed, Yusef

    1997-01-01

    Examines administrative, political. and ideological aspects of decentralization in the South African educational system. Discusses current policy development with special focus on the South African Schools Act of 1996. Highlights the tension between national and provincial educational competencies and decision making. Contains 30 references. (MMU)

  15. 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…

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Decentralization in Zambia: resource allocation and district performance.

    PubMed

    Bossert, Thomas; Chitah, Mukosha Bona; Bowser, Diana

    2003-12-01

    Zambia implemented an ambitious process of health sector decentralization in the mid 1990s. This article presents an assessment of the degree of decentralization, called 'decision space', that was allowed to districts in Zambia, and an analysis of data on districts available at the national level to assess allocation choices made by local authorities and some indicators of the performance of the health systems under decentralization. The Zambian officials in health districts had a moderate range of choice over expenditures, user fees, contracting, targeting and governance. Their choices were quite limited over salaries and allowances and they did not have control over additional major sources of revenue, like local taxes. The study found that the formula for allocation of government funding which was based on population size and hospital beds resulted in relatively equal per capita expenditures among districts. Decentralization allowed the districts to make decisions on internal allocation of resources and on user fee levels and expenditures. General guidelines for the allocation of resources established a maximum and minimum percentage to be allocated to district offices, hospitals, health centres and communities. Districts tended to exceed the maximum for district offices, but the large urban districts and those without public district hospitals were not even reaching the minimum for hospital allocations. Wealthier and urban districts were more successful in raising revenue through user fees, although the proportion of total expenditures that came from user fees was low. An analysis of available indicators of performance, such as the utilization of health services, immunization coverage and family planning activities, found little variation during the period 1995-98 except for a decline in immunization coverage, which may have also been affected by changes in donor funding. These findings suggest that decentralization may not have had either a positive or

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Two-actor conflict with time delay: A dynamical model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qubbaj, Murad R.; Muneepeerakul, Rachata

    2012-11-01

    Recent mathematical dynamical models of the conflict between two different actors, be they nations, groups, or individuals, have been developed that are capable of predicting various outcomes depending on the chosen feedback strategies, initial conditions, and the previous states of the actors. In addition to these factors, this paper examines the effect of time delayed feedback on the conflict dynamics. Our analysis shows that under certain initial and feedback conditions, a stable neutral equilibrium of conflict may destabilize for some critical values of time delay, and the two actors may evolve to new emotional states. We investigate the results by constructing critical delay surfaces for different sets of parameters and analyzing results from numerical simulations. These results provide new insights regarding conflict and conflict resolution and may help planners in adjusting and assessing their strategic decisions.

  4. Efficient, Decentralized Detection of Qualitative Spatial Events in a Dynamic Scalar Field.

    PubMed

    Jeong, Myeong-Hun; Duckham, Matt

    2015-01-01

    This paper describes an efficient, decentralized algorithm to monitor qualitative spatial events in a dynamic scalar field. The events of interest involve changes to the critical points (i.e., peak, pits and passes) and edges of the surface network derived from the field. Four fundamental types of event (appearance, disappearance, movement and switch) are defined. Our algorithm is designed to rely purely on qualitative information about the neighborhoods of nodes in the sensor network and does not require information about nodes' coordinate positions. Experimental investigations confirm that our algorithm is efficient, with O(n) overall communication complexity (where n is the number of nodes in the sensor network), an even load balance and low operational latency. The accuracy of event detection is comparable to established centralized algorithms for the identification of critical points of a surface network. Our algorithm is relevant to a broad range of environmental monitoring applications of sensor networks. PMID:26343672

  5. Efficient, Decentralized Detection of Qualitative Spatial Events in a Dynamic Scalar Field

    PubMed Central

    Jeong, Myeong-Hun; Duckham, Matt

    2015-01-01

    This paper describes an efficient, decentralized algorithm to monitor qualitative spatial events in a dynamic scalar field. The events of interest involve changes to the critical points (i.e., peak, pits and passes) and edges of the surface network derived from the field. Four fundamental types of event (appearance, disappearance, movement and switch) are defined. Our algorithm is designed to rely purely on qualitative information about the neighborhoods of nodes in the sensor network and does not require information about nodes’ coordinate positions. Experimental investigations confirm that our algorithm is efficient, with O(n) overall communication complexity (where n is the number of nodes in the sensor network), an even load balance and low operational latency. The accuracy of event detection is comparable to established centralized algorithms for the identification of critical points of a surface network. Our algorithm is relevant to a broad range of environmental monitoring applications of sensor networks. PMID:26343672

  6. Educational Judgment: Linking the Actor and the Spectator.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Coulter, David; Wiens, John R.

    2002-01-01

    Recommends moving from debates between spectators and actors about knowledge and practice to discussions about how all educators can foster good judgment, outlining Aristotle's and Kant's accounts of judgment, which ultimately privilege spectators, and introducing Arendt's work. Arendt linked thinking and acting without privileging either in her…

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  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. Children's Recognition of Plans in the Behavior of Other Actors.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Walton, Marsha D.; Sedlak, Andrea J.

    An investigation of children's tendencies to infer planfulness from the behavior of other actors revealed systematic differences in the responses of kindergarten and second-grade children to questions about the motives, goals, and knowledge of story characters. Participating in the study were 13 boys and 13 girls attending public school (15…

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Decentralized control experiments on the JPL flexible spacecraft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ozguner, U.; Ossman, K.; Donne, J.; Boesch, M.; Ahmed, A.

    1990-01-01

    Decentralized control experiments were successfully demonstrated for the JPL/AFAL Flexible Structure. A simulation package using MATRIXx showed strong correlation between the simulations and experimental result, while providing a means for test and debug of the various control strategies. Implementation was simplified by a modular software design that was easily transported from the simulation environment to the experimental environment. Control designs worked well for suppression of the dominant modes of the structure. Static decentralized output feedback dampened the excited modes of the structure, but sometimes excited higher order modes upon startup of the controller. A second-order frequency shaping controller helped to eliminate excitation of the higher order modes by attenuating high frequencies in the control effort. However, it also resulted in slightly longer settling times.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Decentralized energy development: the Hawaii experience, 1970-1980

    SciTech Connect

    Marlow, M.P.

    1983-01-01

    A multifaced debate over centralized versus decentralized renewable systems will certainly be the major element in any national renewable energy policy-making. With diverse renewable energy resources occurring in different forms and quantities in different parts of the country, the vulnerability of centralized energy policy control seems apparent. Typically, Federal organizations and agencies have developed policy research and analyses that do not emphasize particular climatic, socio-economic, and natural resource characteristics of specific regions. A decentralized energy policy implies a heightened planning and programming capacity for local communities, states and regions. However, if communities, states, and regions are to become increasingly responsible for energy policy, they will need not only to develop the necessary technical expertise but also efficient structures to initiate and implement these policies. There are few legal precedents and almost no organizational precedents in preparing such systems, plus a number of obstructions. The method used here was to analyze Hawaii's alternative energy program and compare it to several other developing programs to isolate workable methods and organizational structures. Results should be useful to planners and programmers of future local, state, or regional units. It was found that a successful program of decentralization most likely would contain the following components: (a) education of the public concerning potential alternatives and the possible means to develop them; (b) organization of committees to involve the community in problem solving and development of the resource; and (c) procuring of funds to finance research and development of the alternatives.

  1. Decentred comparative research: Context sensitive analysis of maternal health care.

    PubMed

    Wrede, Sirpa; Benoit, Cecilia; Bourgeault, Ivy Lynn; van Teijlingen, Edwin R; Sandall, Jane; De Vries, Raymond G

    2006-12-01

    Cross-national comparison is an important tool for health care research, but too often those who use this method fail to consider important inter-national differences in the social organisation of health care and in the relationship between health care practices and social experience. In this article we make the case for a context-sensitive and reflexive analysis of health care that allows researchers to understand the important ways that health care systems and practices are situated in time and place. Our approach--decentred comparative research--addresses the often unacknowledged ethnocentrism of traditional comparative research. Decentred cross-national research is a method that draws on the socially situated and distributed expertise of an international research team to develop key concepts and research questions. We used the decentred method to fashion a multilevel framework that used the meso level of organisation (i.e., health care organisations, professional groups and other concrete organisations) as an analytical starting point in our international study of maternity care in eight countries. Our method departs from traditional comparative health systems research that is most often conducted at the macro level. Our approach will help researchers develop new and socially robust knowledge about health care. PMID:16962695

  2. 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).

  3. The impact of fiscal decentralization on infant mortality rates: evidence from OECD countries.

    PubMed

    Jiménez-Rubio, Dolores

    2011-11-01

    This study re-examines the hypothesis that shifts towards more decentralization would be accompanied by improvements in population health on a panel of 20 OECD countries over a thirty year period (1970-2001). Decentralization is proxied using a conventional indicator of revenue decentralization and a new measure of fiscal decentralization that reflects better than previous measures the existence of autonomy in the decision-making authority of lower tiers of government, a crucial issue in the decentralization process. The results show a considerable and positive effect of fiscal decentralization on infant mortality only if a substantial degree of autonomy in the sources of revenue is devolved to local governments. The proportion of health care expenditure on GDP and, in particular, education, were found to have a larger contribution to the reduction of infant mortality in the sample of OECD countries analysed over the period of study. PMID:21920653

  4. Decentralized, cooperative control of multivehicle systems: Design and stability analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weitz, Lesley Anne

    2009-12-01

    This dissertation addresses the design and stability analysis of decentralized, cooperative control laws for multivehicle systems. Advances in communication, navigation, and surveillance systems have enabled greater autonomy in multivehicle systems, and there is a shift toward decentralized, cooperative systems for computational efficiency and robustness. In a decentralized control scheme, control inputs are determined onboard each vehicle; therefore, decentralized controllers are more efficient for large numbers of vehicles, and the system is more robust to communication failures and reconfiguration. The design of decentralized, cooperative control laws is explored for a nonlinear vehicle model that can be represented in a double-integrator form. Cooperative controllers are functions of spacing errors with respect to other vehicles in the system, where the communication structure defines the information that is available to each vehicle. Control inputs are selected to achieve internal stability, or zero steady-state spacing errors, between vehicles in the system. Closed-loop equations of motion for the cooperative system can be written in a structural form, where damping and stiffness matrices contain control gains acting on the velocity and positions of the vehicles, respectively. The form of the stiffness matrix is determined by the communication structure, where different communication structures yield different control forms. Communication structures are compared using two structural analysis tools: modal cost and frequency-response functions, which evaluate the response of the multivehicle systems to disturbances. The frequency-response information is shown to reveal the string stability of different cooperative control forms. The effects of time delays in the feedback states of the cooperative control laws on system stability are also investigated. Closed-loop equations of motion are modeled as delay differential equations, and two stability notions are

  5. Decentralized receding horizon control of large scale dynamically decoupled systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keviczky, Tamas

    Decentralized control techniques today can be found in a broad spectrum of applications ranging from robotics and formation flight to civil engineering. Their importance for dynamically decoupled systems arises from the abundance of networks of independently actuated systems and the necessity of avoiding centralized design when this becomes computationally prohibitive or would require unrealistic expectations regarding information exchange. A decentralized optimal control framework using distributed Receding Horizon Control (RHC) schemes is proposed to address this problem, which helps overcome drawbacks of currently available methods. Stability of the proposed scheme is analyzed in detail and a number of methodologies are enlisted to address the problem of feasibility. In particular, a feasible decentralized RHC scheme based on hierarchical decomposition and feasible set projection is developed. Another approach for guaranteed constraint fulfillment is described as well using invariant sets of emergency controllers and switching. A hybrid decentralized RHC framework is also introduced based on coordinating functions and logic rules. The proposed framework makes use of algorithms that rely on results from computational geometry, mathematical programming solvers, constrained optimal control, invariant set computation and hybrid systems. These techniques allow the formulation of constrained optimal control problems and the computation of their equivalent look-up tables which are easily implementable in real-time. A summary of relevant background material related to these underlying techniques is provided in this thesis as well. Applicability of the proposed framework is explored using the formation control problem of multiple Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs) as a motivating example. This particular application problem has a wide range of envisioned applications including distributed sensing and monitoring, which appear to be the most promising ones. The challenge in UAV

  6. 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

  7. Essays on remote monitoring as an emerging tool for centralized management of decentralized wastewater systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Solomon, Clement

    According to the United States Environmental Protections Agency (USEPA), nearly one in four households in the United States depends on an individual septic system (commonly referred as an onsite system or a decentralized wastewater system) to treat and disperse wastewater. More than half of these systems are over 30 years old, and surveys indicate at least 10 to 20% might not be functioning properly. The USEPA concluded in its 1997 report to Congress that adequately managed decentralized wastewater systems (DWS) are a cost-effective and long-term option for meeting public health and water quality goals, particularly in less densely populated areas. The major challenge however is the absence of a guiding national regulatory framework based on consistent performance-based standards and lack of proper management of DWS. These inconsistencies pose a significant threat to our water resources, local economies, and public health. This dissertation addresses key policy and regulatory strategies needed in response to the new realities confronting decentralized wastewater management. The two core objectives of this research are to demonstrate the centralized management of DWS paradigm and to present a scientific methodology to develop performance-based standards (a regulatory shift from prescriptive methods) using remote monitoring. The underlying remote monitoring architecture for centralized DWS management and the value of science-based policy making are presented. Traditionally, prescriptive standards using conventional grab sampling data are the norm by which most standards are set. Three case studies that support the potential of remote monitoring as a tool for standards development and system management are presented. The results revealed a vital role for remote monitoring in the development of standardized protocols, policies and procedures that are greatly lacking in this field. This centralized management and remote monitoring paradigm fits well and complements

  8. 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.

  9. 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 )

  10. Extended Generalized Blockmodeling for Compound Communities and External Actors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brendel, Radoslaw; Krawczyk, Henryk

    Some social communities evident their own unique internal structure. In this chapter, we consider social communities composed of several cohesive subgroups which we call compound communities. For such communities, an extended generalized blockmodeling is proposed, taking into account the structure of compound communities and their relations with external actors. Using the extension, the community protection approach is proposed and used in detection of spam directed toward an e-mail local society.

  11. Autonomous Decentralized Control of Supply and Demand by Inverter Based Distributed Generations in Isolated Microgrid

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shiki, Akira; Yokoyama, Akihiko; Baba, Jyunpei; Takano, Tomihiro; Gouda, Takahiro; Izui, Yoshio

    Recently, because of the environmental burden mitigation, energy conservations, energy security, and cost reductions, distributed generations are attracting our strong attention. These distributed generations (DGs) have been already installed to the distribution system, and much more DGs will be expected to be connected in the future. On the other hand, a new concept called “Microgrid” which is a small power supply network consisting of only DGs was proposed and some prototype projects are ongoing in Japan. The purpose of this paper is to develop the three-phase instantaneous valued digital simulator of microgrid consisting of a lot of inverter based DGs and to develop a supply and demand control method in isolated microgrid. First, microgrid is modeled using MATLAB/SIMULINK. We develop models of three-phase instantaneous valued inverter type CVCF generator, PQ specified generator, PV specified generator, PQ specified load as storage battery, photovoltaic generation, fuel cell and inverter load respectively. Then we propose an autonomous decentralized control method of supply and demand in isolated microgrid where storage batteries, fuel cells, photovoltaic generations and loads are connected. It is proposed here that the system frequency is used as a means to control DG output. By changing the frequency of the storage battery due to unbalance of supply and demand, all inverter based DGs detect the frequency fluctuation and change their own outputs. Finally, a new frequency control method in autonomous decentralized control of supply and demand is proposed. Though the frequency is used to transmit the information on the supply and demand unbalance to DGs, after the frequency plays the role, the frequency finally has to return to a standard value. To return the frequency to the standard value, the characteristic curve of the fuel cell is shifted in parallel. This control is carried out corresponding to the fluctuation of the load. The simulation shows that the

  12. A Low-cost System for Generating Near-realistic Virtual Actors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Afifi, Mahmoud; Hussain, Khaled F.; Ibrahim, Hosny M.; Omar, Nagwa M.

    2015-06-01

    Generating virtual actors is one of the most challenging fields in computer graphics. The reconstruction of a realistic virtual actor has been paid attention by the academic research and the film industry to generate human-like virtual actors. Many movies were acted by human-like virtual actors, where the audience cannot distinguish between real and virtual actors. The synthesis of realistic virtual actors is considered a complex process. Many techniques are used to generate a realistic virtual actor; however they usually require expensive hardware equipment. In this paper, a low-cost system that generates near-realistic virtual actors is presented. The facial features of the real actor are blended with a virtual head that is attached to the actor's body. Comparing with other techniques that generate virtual actors, the proposed system is considered a low-cost system that requires only one camera that records the scene without using any expensive hardware equipment. The results of our system show that the system generates good near-realistic virtual actors that can be used on many applications.

  13. When More Power Makes Actors Worse off: Turning a Profit in the American Economy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan; Casciaro, Tiziana

    2006-01-01

    We propose a theory which predicts that an increase in an actor's relative power reduces the actor's rewards in high mutual dependence dyads. Our argument is based on the premise that higher relative power gives the more powerful actor a greater share of surplus, but it also reduces dyadic exchange frequency, which lowers the expected magnitude of…

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. 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.

  18. Management decentralization and montane forest conditions in Tanzania.

    PubMed

    Persha, Lauren; Blomley, Tom

    2009-12-01

    We examined how differences in local forest-management institutions relate to disparate anthropogenic forest disturbance and forest conditions among three neighboring montane forests in Tanzania under centralized, comanaged, or communal management. Institutional differences have been shaped by decentralization reforms. We conducted semistructured interviews with members of forest management committees, local government, and village households and measured anthropogenic disturbance, tree structure, and species composition in forest plots. We assessed differences in governance system components of local institutions, including land tenure, decision-making autonomy by forest users, and official and de facto processes of rule formation, monitoring, and enforcement among the three management strategies. We also assessed differences in frequencies of prohibited logging and subsistence pole cutting, and measures of forest condition. An adjacent research forest served as an ecological reference for comparison of forest conditions. Governance was similar for comanaged and centralized management, whereas communal managers had greater tenure security and decision-making autonomy over the use and management of their forest. There was significantly less illegal logging in the communal forest, but subsistence pole cutting was common across all management strategies. The comanaged forest was most disturbed by recent logging and pole cutting, as were peripheral areas of the larger centralized forest. This manifested in more degraded indicators of forest conditions (lower mean tree size, basal area, density of trees >or= 90 cm dbh, and aboveground biomass and higher overall stem density). Greater tenure security and institutional autonomy of the communal strategy contributed to more effective management, less illegal logging, and maintenance of good forest conditions, but generating livelihood benefits was a challenge for both decentralized strategies. Our results underscore the

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-05-01

    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.

  2. 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).

  3. 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.

  4. Optimal decentralized feedback control for a truss structure

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cagle, A.; Ozguner, U.

    1989-01-01

    One approach to the decentralized control of large flexible space structures involves the design of controllers for the substructures of large systems and their subsequent application to the entire coupled system. This approach is presently developed for the case of active vibration damping on an experimental large struss structure. The isolated boundary loading method is used to define component models by FEM; component controllers are designed using an interlocking control concept which minimizes the motion of the boundary nodes, thereby reducing the exchange of mechanical disturbances among components.

  5. A PLAN FOR EDUCATIONAL POLICY AND ADMINISTRATIVE UNITS, FURTHER DECENTRALIZATION OF THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    New York City Board of Education, Brooklyn, NY.

    THIS PLAN CONTAINS LEGISLATIVE PROPOSALS AND GENERAL RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE DECENTRALIZATION OF THE NEW YORK CITY PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND FOR INCREASED PARENT AND COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION. IN PART IT RESPONDS TO AN EARLIER PLAN PROPOSED BY THE MAYOR'S PANEL ON DECENTRALIZATION. THE PRESENT PROPOSAL SUGGESTS THAT THE ADMINISTRATIVE RESTRUCTURING OF THE…

  6. Academic Dynasties: Decentralization and Familism in the Italian Academia. NBER Working Paper No. 17572

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Durante, Ruben; Labartino, Giovanna; Perotti, Roberto

    2011-01-01

    Decentralization can lead to "good" or "bad" outcomes depending on the socio-cultural norms of the targeted communities. We investigate this issue by looking at the evolution of familism and nepotism in the Italian academia before and after the 1998 reform, which decentralized the recruitment of professors from the national to the university…

  7. 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…

  8. 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)…

  9. 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…

  10. Decentralization Consensus or Confusion: Defining Citizen Participation in School Policy Formation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lucco, Robert J.; Mosher, Edith K.

    Political, administrative, and territorial types of decentralization are identified, along with their implications for citizen participation in educational policymaking. The Adams-Morgan experiment provides case study material. Preliminary results indicate that "administrative decentralization," despite the claims of school officials in this case,…

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. Educational Decentralization in Three Asian Societies: Japan, Korea and Hong Kong

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ho, Esther Sui-chu

    2006-01-01

    Purpose: This paper aims to identify and compare the nature of decentralization that has emerged in three important Asian societies after a decade of their involvement in the decentralization movement. Design/methodology/approach: Data from the first cycle of the program for international student assessment were analyzed to investigate educational…

  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. An Empirical Study of the Effects of Decentralization in Indonesian Junior Secondary Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Toi, Atsuko

    2010-01-01

    Decentralization in the education system has become a trend in many developing countries. However, it is not a solution to the many problems in education faced by these countries. One of the adverse effects of decentralization is disparity between regions or schools in terms of educational achievement. This paper offers a justification for such a…

  16. Efforts to Desegregate and Decentralize the Administration of a Large City School System.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Redmond, James F.

    The superintendent of schools in Chicago discusses concurrent efforts to desegregate and decentralize the city's public school systems. He stresses the financial limitations which cripple efforts to ameliorate the urban school crisis. He feels that effective decentralization does not necessitate multiple local boards of education, for the central…

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. Sharing, caring, and surveilling: an actor-partner interdependence model examination of Facebook relational maintenance strategies.

    PubMed

    McEwan, Bree

    2013-12-01

    Abstract Relational maintenance is connected to high quality friendships. Friendship maintenance behaviors may occur online via social networking sites. This study utilized an Actor-Partner Interdependence Model to examine how Facebook maintenance and surveillance affect friendship quality. Bryant and Marmo's (2012) Facebook maintenance scale was evaluated, revealing two factors: sharing and caring. Facebook surveillance was also measured. For friendship satisfaction and liking, significant positive actor and partner effects emerged for caring; significant negative actor, partner, and interaction effects emerged for sharing; and significant positive actor effects emerged for surveillance. For friendship closeness, significant positive actor effects emerged for caring and surveillance. PMID:23962125

  20. 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. PMID:26969639

  1. Decentralized guaranteed cost static output feedback vibration control for piezoelectric smart structures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiang, Jian-ping; Li, Dong-xu

    2010-01-01

    This paper is devoted to the study of the decentralized guaranteed cost static output feedback vibration control for piezoelectric smart structures. A smart panel with collocated piezoelectric actuators and velocity sensors is modeled using a finite element method, and then the size of the model is reduced in the state space using the modal Hankel singular value. The necessary and sufficient conditions of decentralized guaranteed cost static output feedback control for the reduced system have been presented. The decentralized and centralized static output feedback matrices can be obtained from solving two linear matrix inequalities. A comparison between centralized control and decentralized control is performed in order to investigate their effectiveness in suppressing vibration of a smart panel. Numerical results show that when the system is subjected to initial displacement or white noise disturbance, the decentralized and centralized controls are both very effective and the control results are very close.

  2. 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. PMID:23371512

  3. 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.

  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. 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

  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. 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

  8. Production of intoxication states by actors: perception by lay listeners.

    PubMed

    Hollien, H; DeJong, G; Martin, C A

    1998-11-01

    The effects of ingesting ethanol have been shown to be somewhat variable in humans; there appear to be but few universals. Yet, questions about intoxication often are asked by law enforcement personnel (especially relative to DUI), clinicians and various individuals in social settings. A key question: Is it possible to determine if a person is intoxicated by observing them in some manner? A closely associated one: Can speech be used for that purpose? Two of the many issues related to the second of these questions involve the possibility that (1) speakers, especially actors, can effectively mimic the speech of intoxicated individuals, and (2) they may be able to volitionally reduce any speech degradation which results from intoxication. The approach used to test these two questions tasked auditors to determine if these simulations were possible. To this end, young, healthy actors chosen on the basis of a large number of selection criteria were asked to produce several types of controlled utterances (1) during a learning phase, (2) when sober, (3) at three simulated levels of intoxication (mildly, legally and severely drunk), (4) during actual, and parallel, levels of intoxication, and (5) at the highest intoxication level attained but when attempting to sound completely sober. Two aural-perceptual studies were conducted; both involved counterbalanced ABX procedures where each subject was paired with him/herself. Listeners were normally hearing university students drawn from undergraduate phonetics and linguistics courses. In the first study, they rated the actors as being more intoxicated--when they actually were sober but simulating drunkenness--88% more often than when they actually were intoxicated. In the second study, they were judged as sounding less inebriated when attempting to sound sober (than they actually were) 61% of the time. These relationships would appear to impact a number of situations; one of special importance would be the detection of

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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

  11. 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

  12. Decentralized peri-urban wastewater treatment technologies assessment integrating sustainability indicators.

    PubMed

    Mena-Ulecia, Karel; Hernández, Heykel Hernández

    2015-01-01

    Selection of treatment technologies without considering the environmental, economic and social factors associated with each geographical context risks the occurrence of negative impacts that were not properly foreseen, working against the sustainable performance of the technology. The principal aim of this study was to evaluate 12 technologies for decentralized treatment of domestic wastewater applicable to peri-urban communities using sustainability approaches and, at the same time, continuing a discussion about how to address a more integrated assessment of overall sustainability. For this, a set of 13 indicators that embody the environmental, economic and social approach for the overall sustainability assessment were used by means of a target plot diagram as a tool for integrating indicators that represent a holistic analysis of the technologies. The obtained results put forward different degrees of sustainability, which led to the selection of: septic tank+land infiltration; up-flow anaerobic reactor+high rate trickling filter and septic tank+anaerobic filter as the most sustainable and attractive technologies to be applied in peri-urban communities, according to the employed indicators. PMID:26177403

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. What about the "actor's formant" in actresses' voices?

    PubMed

    Master, Suely; De Biase, Noemi Grigolleto; Madureira, Sandra

    2012-05-01

    Spectrographic analysis of male actors' voices showed a cluster, the "actor's formant" (AF), which is related to the perception of good and projected voice quality. To date, similar phenomena have not been described in the voices of actresses. Therefore, the objective of the current investigation was to compare actresses' and nonactresses' voices through acoustic analysis to verify the existence of the "AF" cluster or the strategies used to produce the performing voice. Thirty actresses and 30 nonactresses volunteered as subjects in the present study. All subjects read a 40-second text at both habitual and loud levels. Praat (v.5.1) was then used to analyze equivalent sound pressure level (Leq), speaking fundamental frequency (SFF), and in the long-term average spectrum window, the difference between the amplitude level of the fundamental frequency and first formant (L1-L0), the spectral tilt (alpha ratio), and the amplitude and frequency of the "AF" region. Significant differences between the groups, in both levels, were observed for SFF and L1-L0, with actresses presenting lower values. There were no significant differences between groups for Leq or alpha ratio at either level. There was no evidence of an "AF" cluster in the actresses' voices. Voice projection for this group of actresses seemed to be mainly a result of a laryngeal setting instead of vocal tract resonances. PMID:21376530

  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. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. [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. PMID:25531512

  5. 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.

  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. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Centralization or decentralization of technology information: future cooperation or competition

    SciTech Connect

    Rivera, E.

    1982-01-01

    Although advocates of decentralization cite the values of individual privacy, human dimensions, and potential for creativity and innovation, the advent of microcomputer technology during the past five years brought the first real reversal of the trend toward centralization. Both systems have their economic, social, and technical consequences. Centralization, for example, has the advantages of scale economy, coordination, and the control of lower-level activities to meet higher-level goals. At issue are the problems of sharing and data distribution. A hybridism of systems will take place in the next five years along with a conversion to smaller, more-flexible and personal systems as microprocessors come down in price. Application will determine the extent of centralization for each system. The shift will affect education, international forums, the type of work conducted in the service sector, and life styles, and will introduce legal, political, and organizational problems. 7 references. (DCK)

  10. Decentralized Checking Context Inconsistency in Ubiquitous Mobile Computing Environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Daqiang; Yang, Zhijun; Huang, Hongyu; Zou, Qin

    Contexts are often noisy in ubiquitous mobile computing environments due to user mobility, unreliable wireless connectivity and resource constraints. Various schemes have been proposed to check context inconsistency for ubiquitous mobile applications. However, most of them require central control. This requirement inhibits their working in ubiquitous mobile environments, which are characterized by the asynchronous coordination among computing devices. In this paper, we propose DCCI scheme - Decentralized Checking Context Inconsistency for ubiquitous mobile applications by exploiting the preference-based locality that denotes context inconsistency occurs among the nodes that impose various restrictions on the same context. According to this locality, DCCI constructs a preference-based shortcut structure to check inconsistency within shortcuts. Extensive experiments show that DCCI can accurately and efficiently check context inconsistency in a fully distributed manner.

  11. 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

  12. A new approach to implementing decentralized wastewater treatment concepts.

    PubMed

    van Afferden, Manfred; Cardona, Jaime A; Lee, Mi-Yong; Subah, Ali; Müller, Roland A

    2015-01-01

    Planners and decision-makers in the wastewater sector are often confronted with the problem of identifying adequate development strategies and most suitable finance schemes for decentralized wastewater infrastructure. This paper research has focused on providing an approach in support of such decision-making. It is based on basic principles that stand for an integrated perspective towards sustainable wastewater management. We operationalize these principles by means of a geographic information system (GIS)-based approach 'Assessment of Local Lowest-Cost Wastewater Solutions'--ALLOWS. The main product of ALLOWS is the identification of cost-effective local wastewater management solutions for any given demographic and physical context. By using universally available input data the tool allows decision-makers to compare different wastewater solutions for any given wastewater situation. This paper introduces the ALLOWS-GIS tool. Its application and functionality are illustrated by assessing different wastewater solutions for two neighboring communities in rural Jordan. PMID:26606085

  13. 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.

  14. A review on full-scale decentralized wastewater treatment systems: techno-economical approach.

    PubMed

    Singh, Nitin Kumar; Kazmi, A A; Starkl, M

    2015-01-01

    As a solution to the shortcomings of centralized systems, over the last two decades large numbers of decentralized wastewater treatment plants of different technology types have been installed all over the world. This paper aims at deriving lessons learned from existing decentralized wastewater treatment plants that are relevant for smaller towns (and peri-urban areas) as well as rural communities in developing countries, such as India. Only full-scale implemented decentralized wastewater treatment systems are reviewed in terms of performance, land area requirement, capital cost, and operation and maintenance costs. The results are presented in tables comparing different technology types with respect to those parameters. PMID:25746636

  15. 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

  16. Towards a personalized Internet: a case for a full decentralization.

    PubMed

    Kermarrec, Anne-Marie

    2013-03-28

    The Web has become a user-centric platform where users post, share, annotate, comment and forward content be it text, videos, pictures, URLs, etc. This social dimension creates tremendous new opportunities for information exchange over the Internet, as exemplified by the surprising and exponential growth of social networks and collaborative platforms. Yet, niche content is sometimes difficult to retrieve using traditional search engines because they target the mass rather than the individual. Likewise, relieving users from useless notification is tricky in a world where there is so much information and so little of interest for each and every one of us. We argue that ultra-specific content could be retrieved and disseminated should search and notification be personalized to fit this new setting. We also argue that users' interests should be implicitly captured by the system rather than relying on explicit classifications simply because the world is by nature unstructured, dynamic and users do not want to be hampered in their actions by a tight and static framework. In this paper, we review some existing personalization approaches, most of which are centralized. We then advocate the need for fully decentralized systems because personalization raises two main issues. Firstly, personalization requires information to be stored and maintained at a user granularity which can significantly hurt the scalability of a centralized solution. Secondly, at a time when the 'big brother is watching you' attitude is prominent, users may be more and more reluctant to give away their personal data to the few large companies that can afford such personalization. We start by showing how to achieve personalization in decentralized systems and conclude with the research agenda ahead. PMID:23419849

  17. 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

  18. Using actor network theory to understand network centric healthcare operations.

    PubMed

    Wickramasinghe, Nilmini; Bali, Rajeev K; Tatnall, Arthur

    2007-01-01

    The adoption and diffusion of e-health and the application of ICT in healthcare is being heralded as the panacea with both European and US governments making e-health a priority on their agendas. In this context, a model of networkcentric healthcare operations has been proffered as the best way to maximise the benefits of ICT use in healthcare. We suggest that, before we can move forward and realise such a state, it is vital to examine the critical issues, likely barriers and facilitators and, most importantly, the critical success factors. To do this however, we need an appropriate cognitive lens through which we can capture all the complexities of healthcare dynamics. In this paper we suggest why Actor Network Theory (ANT) should be this lens. PMID:18048305

  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. 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. PMID:23660932

  3. The social control of energy: A case for the promise of decentralized solar technologies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gilmer, R. W.

    1980-05-01

    Decentralized solar technology and centralized electric utilities were contrasted in the ways they assign property rights in capital and energy output; in the assignment of operational control; and in the means of monitoring, policing, and enforcing property rights. An analogy was drawn between the decision of an energy consumer to use decentralized solar and the decision of a firm to vertically integrate, that is, to extend the boundary of a the firm to vertically integrate, that is, to extend the boundary of the firm by making inputs or further processing output. Decentralized solar energy production offers the small energy consumer the chance to cut ties to outside suppliers--to vertically integrate energy production into the home or business. The development of this analogy provides insight into important noneconomic aspects of solar energy, and it points clearly to the lighter burdens of social management offered by decentralized solar technology.

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

  6. 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.

  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. 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…

  9. Decentralized control of Markovian decision processes: Existence Sigma-admissable policies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Greenland, A.

    1980-01-01

    The problem of formulating and analyzing Markov decision models having decentralized information and decision patterns is examined. Included are basic examples as well as the mathematical preliminaries needed to understand Markov decision models and, further, to superimpose decentralized decision structures on them. The notion of a variance admissible policy for the model is introduced and it is proved that there exist (possibly nondeterministic) optional policies from the class of variance admissible policies. Directions for further research are explored.

  10. Decentralized regulation of dynamic systems. [for controlling large scale linear systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chu, K. C.

    1975-01-01

    A special class of decentralized control problem is discussed in which the objectives of the control agents are to steer the state of the system to desired levels. Each agent is concerned about certain aspects of the state of the entire system. The state and control equations are given for linear time-invariant systems. Stability and coordination, and the optimization of decentralized control are analyzed, and the information structure design is presented.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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…

  14. Reassembling the Social - An Introduction to Actor-Network-Theory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Latour, Bruno

    2005-09-01

    Reassembling the Social is a fundamental challenge from one of the world's leading social theorists to how we understand society and the 'social'. Bruno Latour's contention is that the world 'social' as used by Social Scientists has become laden with assumptions to the point where it has become misnomer. When the adjective is applied to a phenomenon, it is used to indicate a stabilized state of affairs, a bundle of ties that in due course may be used to account for another phenomenon. But Latour also finds the word used as if it described a type of material, in a comparable way to an adjective such as 'wooden' or 'steely'. Rather than simply indicating what is already assembled together, it is now used in a way that makes assumptions about the nature of what is assembled. It has become a word that designates two distinct things: a process of assembling: and a type of material, distinct from others. Latour shows why 'the social' cannot be thought of as a kind of material or domain, and disputes attempts to provide a 'social explanation' of other states of affairs. While these attempts have been productive (and probably necessary) in the past, the very success of the social sciences mean that they are largely no longer so. At the present stage it is no longer possible to inspect the precise constituents entering the social domain. Latour returns to the original meaning of 'the social' to redefine the notion and allow it to trace connections again. It will then be possible to resume the traditional goal of the social sciences, but using more refined tools. Drawing on his extensive work examining the 'assemblages' of nature, Latour finds it necessary to scrutinize thoroughly the exact content of what is assembled under the umbrella of Society. This approach, a 'sociology of associations' has become known as Actor-Network-Theory, and this book is an essential introduction both for those seeking to understand Actor-Network-Theory, or the ideas of one of its most

  15. Commercial Actors and the Governing of Education: The Case of Academy School Sponsors in England

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Papanastasiou, Natalie

    2013-01-01

    This article explores the ways in which commercial actors are operating in state education by focusing on the case study of England's academies policy. First of all the discussion outlines the development of academies over time and the way in which the policy has provided opportunities for private actors to become involved in the state…

  16. Nonhumans Unbound: Actor-Network Theory and the Reconsideration of "Things" in Educational Foundations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Waltz, Scott B.

    2006-01-01

    The aim of this paper is to call attention to the missing discourse of non-humans as social actors in the Social Foundations of Education. The paper outlines three common figuring metaphors that impede the adoption of such a theoretical discourse and shows how Actor-Network Theory (ANT), more recently developed in the nascent field of Science and…

  17. West Side Silence: Producing "West Side Story" with Deaf and Hearing Actors.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brewer, Diane

    2002-01-01

    Details a collaborative production of "West Side Story" with hearing actors from MacMurray College and deaf actors from the Illinois School for the Deaf. Explores some of the practical dilemmas encountered as the distinctions between the Deaf and hearing communities were negotiated. Explains that the show explored the ways in which sign language…

  18. 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…

  19. Managing the Bologna Process at the European Level: Institution and Actor Dynamics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lazetic, Predrag

    2010-01-01

    This article analyses the work of the Bologna Follow Up Group as the main institution of the Bologna Process and the perceptions of the policy actors involved concerning the character of the process in terms of its functioning in contrast to similar multi-level multi-actor European processes, its modes of communication and consensus seeking, as…

  20. 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

  1. CREMA-D: Crowd-sourced Emotional Multimodal Actors Dataset

    PubMed Central

    Cao, Houwei; Cooper, David G.; Keutmann, Michael K.; Gur, Ruben C.; Nenkova, Ani; Verma, Ragini

    2014-01-01

    People convey their emotional state in their face and voice. We present an audio-visual data set uniquely suited for the study of multi-modal emotion expression and perception. The data set consists of facial and vocal emotional expressions in sentences spoken in a range of basic emotional states (happy, sad, anger, fear, disgust, and neutral). 7,442 clips of 91 actors with diverse ethnic backgrounds were rated by multiple raters in three modalities: audio, visual, and audio-visual. Categorical emotion labels and real-value intensity values for the perceived emotion were collected using crowd-sourcing from 2,443 raters. The human recognition of intended emotion for the audio-only, visual-only, and audio-visual data are 40.9%, 58.2% and 63.6% respectively. Recognition rates are highest for neutral, followed by happy, anger, disgust, fear, and sad. Average intensity levels of emotion are rated highest for visual-only perception. The accurate recognition of disgust and fear requires simultaneous audio-visual cues, while anger and happiness can be well recognized based on evidence from a single modality. The large dataset we introduce can be used to probe other questions concerning the audio-visual perception of emotion. PMID:25653738

  2. 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.

  3. MASDynamics: Toward Systemic Modeling of Decentralized Agent Coordination

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sudeikat, Jan; Renz, Wolfgang

    Enabling distributed software systems to purposefully self-organize, i.e. to adapt to dynamically changing execution contexts by the collective adjustment of individual components, challenges current development practices. Since the dynamics of self-organizing systems arise from agent coaction, developers cannot directly infer the macroscopic system behavior from established agent design models. This paper plays a part in an ongoing research effort that addresses the provision of self-organizing processes as design elements, i.e. reusable patterns of agent interrelations. We propose a systemic modeling approach and support the application independent description of (inter-) agent coordination patterns by a domain specific language that allows to map interrelations of agent activity to detailed agent design models. This facilitates the separation of decentralized coordination strategies from domain specific agent implementations and enables development teams to treat nature-inspired coordination strategies, which steer self-organizing dynamics, as design concepts. In addition, we show how this modeling conception provides a declarative programming approach by the automated supplementation of conventional developed agent models with non-linear, inter-agent coordination mechanisms.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Decentralized autonomous attitude determination using an inertially stabilized payload

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oshman, Yaakov; Isakow, Michael

    1993-02-01

    A novel method is introduced for the autonomous determination of the attitude angles of a mini remotely piloted vehicle (RPV) with an inertially stabilized payload. The method is based on measurements of rate gyros used to inertially stabilize the payload, and other data which are normally available from conventional aircraft-mounted sensors. These measurements are used to drive a decentralized estimation algorithm, which uses the aircraft/payload mathematical models to bound the estimation errors. Exploiting modern multi-processor computer technology, the new estimation algorithm comprises two extended Kalman filters (EKF) working in parallel, and a data fusion algorithm. Real-time simulation tests, incorporating a payload model with real rate gyros mounted on a three-axis flight table, have validated the feasibility of the concept. The presented theoretical and experimental investigation demonstrates that the estimation algorithm is capable of estimating the attitude angles with an estimation error not exceeding one degree, at ouput rates of 13 Hz, thus constituting an efficient and reliable replacement for the conventional vertical gyroscope.

  7. 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.

  8. Decentralized method for complex task allocation in massive MAS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brahmi, Zaki; Gammoudi, M. M.

    2008-06-01

    Task allocation is still a fundamental problem in Multi-Agents System (MAS). It allows the formation a coalition of agents to cooperate together in order to carry out a complex task. Generally, the process of task allocation requires calculating the value of all the possible allocations, then determining which optimal. In the context of Massive Multi-Agent Systems (MMAS), one agent generates all the possible coalitions and then calculates the value of each, is inefficient. Moreover, the traditional approaches based on the negotiation between agents, are impractical because of the complexity of communications between agents. In this paper we propose a decentralized method, based on grouping agents using the Formal Concepts Analysis (FCA) approach for the task allocation in MMAS. In our model, agents are fully cooperative and each task is composed of several subtasks. The proposed solution is based on two steps: i) computing groups of agents having similar characteristics in the objective to distribute the task allocation process among agents and minimize the communication between agents. ii) Finding the optimal allocation by sharing the task allocation process among groups of agents.

  9. Substructure location and size effects on decentralized model updating

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dong, Xinjun; Zhu, Dapeng; Wang, Yang

    2015-04-01

    To improve the simulation accuracy of the finite-element (FE) model of an as-built structure, measurement data from the actual structure can be utilized for updating the model parameters, which is termed as FE model updating. During the past few decades, most efforts on FE model updating intend to update the entire structure model altogether, while using measurement data from sensors installed throughout the structure. When applied on large and complex structural models, the typical model updating approaches may fail due to computational challenges and convergence issues. In order to reduce the computational difficulty, this paper studies a decentralized FE model updating approach that intends to update one substructure at a time. The approach divides the entire structure into a substructure (currently being instrumented and updated) and the residual structure. The Craig-Bampton transform is adopted to condense the overall structural model. The optimization objective is formulated to minimize the modal dynamic residuals from the eigenvalue equations in structural dynamics involving natural frequencies and mode shapes. This paper investigates the effects of different substructure locations and sizes on updating performance. A space frame example, which is based on an actual pedestrian bridge on Georgia Tech campus, is used to study the substructure location and size effects. Keywords: substructure

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Decentralization of management responsibility: the case of Danish hospitals.

    PubMed

    Pallesen, T; Pedersen, L D

    1993-01-01

    This article examines a specific management reform at three hospitals in a Danish county. Management reform at the hospital level implies a decentralization of responsibility and power to the departmental level. Along with increased responsibility and power, departments get the message: keep your budgets and keep your output level. This preliminary analysis indicates that departmental budgets can be a way of containing costs in clinical departments. Non-staff expenditures especially are subjected to reductions. The system still seems to 'favour' doctors and nurses, but less than in a system with traditional budgetary institutions. The behaviour of the top-management teams shows that the output constraint is not seriously meant. Departments are allowed to reduce capacity, with declining output, with the knowledge of the top-management team. The declining output makes it easier to departments ceteris paribus to keep within their budgets. And that makes it easier for the top-management team to keep the overall hospital budget. The obligation to keep the overall hospital budget is thus an important criterion of success in the eyes of the political masters of hospitals. PMID:10134931

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

    PubMed

    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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  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

    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

  20. 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. PMID:24313297

  1. 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

  2. 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. PMID:20204398

  3. 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

  4. The decentralization of the health system in Colombia and Brazil and its impact on leprosy control.

    PubMed

    Kalk, Andreas; Fleischer, Klaus

    2004-03-01

    Decentralization policies are an integrated component of health sector reform in an increasing number of countries. The ability of such policies to improve the health system's quality and efficiency is backed up by limited scientific evidence. This study intends to evaluate the impact of decentralization on a specialized field of disease control (leprosy control) in Colombia and Brazil. It analyses the respective juridical base, epidemiological indicators and local publications. Furthermore, 39 semi-structured interviews with key informants were conducted. In both countries, the devolution of technical responsibility and financial resources to the municipalities was the implemented form of decentralization. Access to preventive and curative health care and the community participation in decision-making improved clearly only in Brazil. The decentralization to private providers in Colombia had dubious effects on service quality in general and still more on public health. The flow of finances (including finance collection through state-owned taxes instead of insurance companies) seemed to be better controlled in Brazil. Leprosy control in Brazil took advantage of the decentralization process; in Colombia, it came close to a collapse. PMID:15072128

  5. Fully decentralized estimation and control for a modular wheeled mobile robot

    SciTech Connect

    Mutambara, A.G.O.; Durrant-Whyte, H.F.

    2000-06-01

    In this paper, the problem of fully decentralized data fusion and control for a modular wheeled mobile robot (WMR) is addressed. This is a vehicle system with nonlinear kinematics, distributed multiple sensors, and nonlinear sensor models. The problem is solved by applying fully decentralized estimation and control algorithms based on the extended information filter. This is achieved by deriving a modular, decentralized kinematic model by using plane motion kinematics to obtain the forward and inverse kinematics for a generalized simple wheeled vehicle. This model is then used in the decentralized estimation and control algorithms. WMR estimation and control is thus obtained locally using reduced order models with reduced communication of information between nodes is carried out after every measurement (full rate communication), the estimates and control signals obtained at each node are equivalent to those obtained by a corresponding centralized system. Transputer architecture is used as the basis for hardware and software design as it supports the extensive communication and concurrency requirements that characterize modular and decentralized systems. The advantages of a modular WMR vehicle include scalability, application flexibility, low prototyping costs, and high reliability.

  6. 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

  7. [Regional factors and decentralization in planning equitable changes in productivity].

    PubMed

    Sojo, A

    1991-08-01

    This work constitutes a critique of traditional population redistribution policies and a reflection on the relationship between economic development, productivity, and regional factors, with particular reference to Latin America and the Caribbean. The article is organized around 3 main points: an analysis of the sources of competitiveness and productive efficiency, a discussion of the relationship between spatial aspects and productivity and competitiveness, and an assessment of the implications of these factors for regional policies and decentralization. Latin America and the Caribbean suffer from a shrinking importance in the world economy and from technological backwardness. To increase the well being of their populations systematically and deliberately foster technical progress. Authentic competitiveness, sustained over time, should not be confused with the spurious competitiveness resulting from low wage levels of nonsustainable exploitation of natural resources. The new technological model requires constant learning and improvement to adapt products to changing needs. Active participation is required from all workers; the continuous improvement is based on human capital. The technological changes and transformations in the productive structure that will be required to improve productivity in Latin America and the Caribbean can significantly alter comparative regional advantages, the patterns of territorial use, and the spatial division of labor. The role of technological changes and of the organization of production must thus be considered in analyses of regional dynamics. Regional development strategies must be reexamined in light of the obsolescence of some traditional elements of regional policy. The factors influencing the location of productive activities in the context of technological development also affect population distribution and can be used to understand trends in population distribution through effects on employment. PMID:12317459

  8. 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.

  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. Inferring the Size of a Goal Object from an Actor's Grasping Movement in 6- and 9-Month-Old Infants

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Daum, Moritz M.; Vuori, Maria T.; Prinz, Wolfgang; Aschersleben, Gisa

    2009-01-01

    The present study applied a preferential looking paradigm to test whether 6- and 9-month old infants are able to infer the size of a goal object from an actor's grasping movement. The target object was a cup with the handle rotated either towards or away from the actor. In two experiments, infants saw the video of an actor's grasping movement…

  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. 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

  14. 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. PMID:26730575

  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. 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.

  17. 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…

  18. 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

  19. 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…

  20. 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

  1. Time-delay effects on dynamics of a two-actor conflict model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rojas-Pacheco, A.; Obregón-Quintana, B.; Liebovitch, L. S.; Guzmán-Vargas, L.

    2013-02-01

    We present a study of time-delay effects on a two-actor conflict model based on nonlinear differential equations. The state of each actor depends on its own state in isolation, its previous state, its inertia to change, the positive or negative feedback and a time delay in the state of the other actor. We use both theoretical and numerical approaches to characterize the evolution of the system for several values of time delays. We find that, under particular conditions, a time delay leads to the appearance of oscillations in the states of the actors. Besides, phase portraits for the trajectories are presented to illustrate the evolution of the system for different time delays. Finally, we discuss our results in the context of social conflict models.

  2. 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

  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. 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

  5. Restructuring federalism: the effects of decentralized federal policy on states' responsiveness to family planning needs.

    PubMed

    McFarlane, D R

    1992-01-01

    The Reagan Administration sought to decentralize many federal programs by (1) consolidating categorical grants into black grants; (2) reducing their funding; and (3) relying more upon state fiscal support. This study examines the effects of this decentralist policy upon the federal family planning program. Two periods are analyzed: (1) FY 1976-1981, the period immediately prior to the Reagan Administration and (2) FY 1982-1987, the period during the Reagan Administration. Findings show that a more decentralized program produced less responsiveness to individual state needs for family planning, and that these effects could have been predicted from the previous period. PMID:1475995

  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. Towards real-time decentralized operating systems for ballistic missile defense

    SciTech Connect

    Van Tilborg, A.M.

    1982-01-01

    To satisfy the data processing needs of future ballistic missile defense systems, the US Army's ballistic missile defense advanced technology center is sponsoring extensive research on the subject of parallel computers. Both loosely coupled and tightly coupled machines consisting of numerous microcomputer processing elements are being evaluated for use in endoatmospheric, exoatmospheric, and space-based BMD systems. For various reasons, it is important that these parallel computers operate under the control of decentralized operating systems. This paper reports on the current status of research to develop decentralized operating systems for parallel computers used in ballistic missile defense. 24 references.

  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. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Getting acquainted: Actor and partner effects of attachment and temperament on young children's peer behavior.

    PubMed

    McElwain, Nancy L; Holland, Ashley S; Engle, Jennifer M; Ogolsky, Brian G

    2014-06-01

    Guided by a dyadic view of children's peer behavior, this study assessed actor and partner effects of attachment security and temperament on young children's behavior with an unfamiliar peer. At 33 months of age, child-mother attachment security was assessed via a modified Strange Situation procedure, and parents reported on child temperament (anger proneness and social fearfulness). At 39 months, same-sex children (N = 114, 58 girls) were randomly paired, and child dyads were observed during 3 laboratory visits occurring over 1 month. Actor-partner interdependence models, tested via multilevel modeling, revealed that actor security, partner anger proneness, and acquaintanceship (e.g., initial vs. later visits) combined to predict child behavior. Actor security predicted more responsiveness to the new peer partner at the initial visit, regardless of partner anger proneness. Actor security continued to predict responsiveness at the 2nd and 3rd visits when partner anger was low, but these associations were nonsignificant when partner anger was high. Actor security also predicted a less controlling assertiveness style at the initial visit when partner anger proneness was high, yet this association was nonsignificant by the final visit. The findings shed light on the dynamic nature of young children's peer behavior and indicate that attachment security is related to behavior in expected ways during initial interactions with a new peer, but may change as children become acquainted. PMID:24635647

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. The Norwegian Regional College System in the Context of Decentralization Policies.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hanisch, Thor Einar

    1979-01-01

    The author discusses efforts being made in Norway to decentralize policy decision making, allowing greater regional participation in educational policymaking. As an outcome of this process, the Norwegian Regional College System aims at achieving equal access to education, diffusing educational resources, and contributing to the cultural and…

  17. 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...

  18. 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.

  19. Decentralizing High School Administration in Detroit: An Evaluation of Alternative Strategies of Political Control

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jenkins, Michael A.; Shepherd, John W.

    1972-01-01

    Basic cause of the differences in range of choice between white and black decentralization plans is the disparity between black registered electoral figures and the number of black students in the high school system. Geographic polarization of Detroit into a black inner city and surrounding white suburbs reinforces this effect. (RJ)

  20. 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…

  1. Education Reform and State Power in Mexico: The Paradoxes of Decentralization.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tatto, Maria Teresa

    1999-01-01

    A model of the dynamics of educational change links teaching style (on a continuum from didactic to interactive) with basis of authority (from formal to organic). The model is used to analyze educational decentralization in Mexico, examining four strategies: school "technical councils," inservice teacher education about reform implementation, a…

  2. 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…

  3. 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

  4. 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…

  5. 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.

  6. 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…

  7. The Impact of Staff Orientations on Child Performance in Centralized and Decentralized Children's Institutions.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thomas, George

    The relationship between staff orientations and children's performance levels is examined by comparing correlations obtained on these factors in centralized and decentralized institutions for neglected, dependent, abused, and disturbed children. Comparisons are also made of results obtained on the performance of new admissions, children in care…

  8. 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.…

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. 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.

  12. The Venezuelan School System: Some Important Features for the Definition of the Process of Educational Decentralization.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jauregui, Luis Bravo; Blanco, Carlos Eduardo

    1994-01-01

    Reports initial results of an investigation into achievements of Venezuelan state policies since 1958. The state remains the main driving force for school development. Venezuelan education is both public and centrally organized; the central government is the highest authority in educational matters. Decentralization as a way to reform rural…

  13. 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…

  14. Street-Level Governments: Assessing Decentralization and Urban Services (An Evaluation of Policy Related Research).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yin, Robert K.; Yates, Douglas

    Urban decentralization is an attempt to reorganize local services through some combination of: (1) giving service recipients or clients greater responsibility over service policies (the client dimension) and (2) increasing service resources at the level of specific, geographically defined neighborhoods (the territorial dimension). The…

  15. 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...

  16. A Statewide Decentralized Approach to Public School Reform: The Case of Career Ladders in Utah.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Malen, Betty; Murphy, Michael J.

    1985-01-01

    In 1984, the Utah legislature enacted a career ladder bill encouraging all local districts to develop plans for restructuring teachers' compensation and promotion options. An independent, bipartisan taskforce then created a statewide, decentralized model that increases educators' power, minimizes merit and staff differentiation, and fosters…

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. 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.

  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. 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'…

  2. Saying What We Mean, and Meaning What We Say--Unpacking the Contingencies of Decentralization

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Meyer, Heinz-Dieter

    2009-01-01

    During the 1980s and 1990s, administrative decentralization was a prominent reform theme in public education. Revisiting those efforts today reveals a conceptual landscape often governed by ad hoc theorizing, untested assumptions, and an overall lack of consistency and coherence. It provides an example of how terminological ambiguity on the part…

  3. Centralized, decentralized, and independent control of a flexible manipulator on a flexible base

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Li, Feiyue; Bainum, Peter M.; Xu, Jianke

    1991-01-01

    The dynamics and control of a flexible manipulator arm with payload mass on a flexible base in space are considered. The controllers are provided by one torquer at the center of the base and one torquer at the connection joint of the robot and the base. The nonlinear dynamics of the system is modeled by applying the finite element method and Lagrangian formula. Three control strategies are considered and compared, i.e., centralized control, decentralized control, and independent control. All these control designs are based on the linear quadratic regulator theory. A mathematical decomposition is used in the decentralization process so that the coupling between the subsystems is weak, while a physical decomposition is used in the independent control design process. For both the decentralized and the independent controls, the stability of the overall linear system is checked before a numerical simulations is initiated. Two numerical examples show that the response of the independent control system are close to those of the centralized control system, while the responses of the decentralized control system are not.

  4. De-centralized and centralized control for realistic EMS Maglev systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moawad, Mohamed M. Aly M.

    A comparative study of de-centralized and centralized controllers when used with real EMS Maglev Systems is introduced. This comparison is divided into two parts. Part I is concerned with numerical simulation and experimental testing on a two ton six-magnet EMS Maglev vehicle. Levitation and lateral control with these controllers individually and when including flux feedback control in combination with these controllers to enhance stability are introduced. The centralized controller is better than the de-centralized one when the system is exposed to a lateral disturbing force such as wind gusts. The flux feedback control when combined with de-centralized or centralized controllers does improve the stability and is more resistant and robust with respect to the air gap variations. Part II is concerned with the study of Maglev vehicle-girder dynamic interaction system and the comparison between these two controllers on this typical system based on performance and ride quality achieved. Numerical simulations of the ODU EMS Maglev vehicle interacting with girder are conducted with these two different controllers. The de-centralized and centralized control for EMS Maglev systems that interact with a flexible girder provides similar ride quality. Centralized control with flux feedback could be the best controller for the ODU Maglev system when operating on girder. The centralized control will guarantee the suppression of the undesired lateral displacements; hence it will provide smoother ride quality. Flux feedback will suppress air gap variations due to the track discontinuities.

  5. 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…

  6. Decentralization in Indonesia: lessons from cost recovery rate of district hospitals.

    PubMed

    Maharani, Asri; Femina, Devi; Tampubolon, Gindo

    2015-07-01

    In 1991, Indonesia began a process of decentralization in the health sector which had implications for the country's public hospitals. The public hospitals were given greater authority to manage their own personnel, finance and procurement, with which they were allowed to operate commercial sections in addition to offering public services. These public services are subsidized by the government, although patients still pay certain proportion of fees. The main objectives of health sector decentralization are to increase the ability of public hospitals to cover their costs and to reduce government subsidies. This study investigates the consequences of decentralization on cost recovery rate of public hospitals at district level. We examine five service units (inpatient, outpatient, operating room, laboratory and radiology) in three public hospitals. We find that after 20 years of decentralization, district hospitals still depend on government subsidies, demonstrated by the fact that the cost recovery rate of most service units is less than one. The commercial sections fail to play their role as revenue generator as they are still subsidized by the government. We also find that the bulk of costs are made up of staff salaries and incentives in all units except radiology. As this study constitutes exploratory research, further investigation is needed to find out the reasons behind these results. PMID:24966293

  7. 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…

  8. 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.

  9. 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…

  10. Evaluating a Targeted Social Program When Placement Is Decentralized. Policy Research Working Papers No. 1945.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ravallion, Martin; Wodon, Quentin

    Assessment of welfare gains from a targeted social program can be seriously biased unless the endogeneity of program participation is addressed. Bias comes from two sources of placement endogeneity: the purposive targeting of geographic areas, and the targeting of individual recipients within selected areas. Partial decentralization of program…

  11. Decentralization, Money, and Power: The Case of People-Run Schools in China.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Robinson, Jean C.

    1986-01-01

    Chinese "people-managed schools" began in the 1940s as popular voluntary village schools providing flexible relevant education to rural peasants, but are regarded today as low status and low quality. This change reflects the Chinese Communist Party's incremental move away from both decentralized decision making and populist education to…

  12. 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…

  13. Partially Decentralizing Administrative Practices in Secondary Schools to Develop Collective Staff Efficacy and Improve Student Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jacobs, Karen D.; Kritsonis, William Allan

    2006-01-01

    Schools must have the capacity to change. School administrators must be able to find a balance in distributing administrative authority in schools. In an effort to evoke meaningful change within the organization of secondary school structures, administrators must be advocates of change and support their staff members by decentralizing key roles by…

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. [Fundamental problems and decentralization in the Sahel. At the basis of desertification and demographic pressure].

    PubMed

    Offisome, S

    1994-12-01

    In June 1994, a regional conference on deep-seated problems and decentralization was held in Praia, Cape Verde. Deep-seated problems and decentralization have become fashionable words, after those of devaluation and democratization, which have profoundly marked first political life then economic life in several Sahelian states. Most member states of the Permanent Committee of the Interstate Fight Against Desertification in the Sahel have undertaken fundamental reforms and have implemented national structures to bring about decentralization. The conference was an opportunity for participants to reflect on the fundamental problems and decentralization as well as to discuss ways to solve many existing problems. Participants included civil servants from national administrations, representatives of women's groups, elected officials, economic operators from the private sector, bank representatives, and communication professionals. The conference stressed the need for different players involved in development to share powers as well as the importance of recognizing the legitimacy of basic organizations. It also emphasized access to natural resources for marginalized groups (e.g., women). It insisted on legislative and institutional equality. Participants adopted a declaration which asks member states to help with the materialization of the recommendations issued at the conference. Priority questions of the declaration ranged from "what options are there to build laws and sustainable institutions in the Sahel?" to "what future is there for the Sahel in terms of population, environment, and management of natural resources?". Participants insisted on four basic principals: recognition of the legitimacy of local structures, development of a definition framework; the return to confidence in public institutions and other associated organizations; and implementation of decentralized structures. PMID:12288682

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Emotional labor actors: a latent profile analysis of emotional labor strategies.

    PubMed

    Gabriel, Allison S; Daniels, Michael A; Diefendorff, James M; Greguras, Gary J

    2015-05-01

    Research on emotional labor focuses on how employees utilize 2 main regulation strategies-surface acting (i.e., faking one's felt emotions) and deep acting (i.e., attempting to feel required emotions)-to adhere to emotional expectations of their jobs. To date, researchers largely have considered how each strategy functions to predict outcomes in isolation. However, this variable-centered perspective ignores the possibility that there are subpopulations of employees who may differ in their combined use of surface and deep acting. To address this issue, we conducted 2 studies that examined surface acting and deep acting from a person-centered perspective. Using latent profile analysis, we identified 5 emotional labor profiles-non-actors, low actors, surface actors, deep actors, and regulators-and found that these actor profiles were distinguished by several emotional labor antecedents (positive affectivity, negative affectivity, display rules, customer orientation, and emotion demands-abilities fit) and differentially predicted employee outcomes (emotional exhaustion, job satisfaction, and felt inauthenticity). Our results reveal new insights into the nature of emotion regulation in emotional labor contexts and how different employees may characteristically use distinct combinations of emotion regulation strategies to manage their emotional expressions at work. PMID:25068812

  3. 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…

  4. 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

  5. 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

  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. 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

  8. 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

  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. 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 ...

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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. PMID:20691588

  15. Model-Based Design of Tree WSNs for Decentralized Detection †

    PubMed Central

    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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Nonlinear joint transmit-receive processing for coordinated multi-cell systems: centralized and decentralized

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Zhirui; Feng, Chunyan; Zhang, Tiankui; Niu, Qin; Chen, Yue

    2015-12-01

    This paper proposes a nonlinear joint transmit-receive (tx-rx) processing scheme for downlink-coordinated multi-cell systems with multi-stream multi-antenna users. The nonlinear joint tx-rx processing is formulated as an optimization problem to maximize the minimum signal-to-interference noise ratio (SINR) of streams to guarantee the fairness among streams of each user. Nonlinear Tomlinson-Harashima precoding (THP) is applied at transmitters, and linear receive processing is applied at receivers, to eliminate the inter-user interference and inter-stream interference. We consider multi-cell systems under two coordinated modes: centralized and decentralized, corresponding to systems with high- and low-capacity backhaul links, respectively. For the centralized coordinated mode, transmit and receive processing matrices are jointly determined by the central processing unit based on the global channel state information (CSI) shared by base stations (BSs). For the decentralized coordinated mode, transmit and receive processing matrices are computed independently based on the local CSI at each BS. In correspondence, we propose both a centralized and a decentralized algorithm to solve the optimization problem under the two modes, respectively. Feasibility and computational complexity of the proposed algorithms are also analyzed. Simulation results prove that the proposed nonlinear joint tx-rx processing scheme can achieve user fairness by equalizing the bit error rate (BER) among streams of each user and the proposed scheme outperforms the existing linear joint tx-rx processing. Moreover, consistent with previous research results, performance of the proposed centralized nonlinear joint tx-rx processing scheme is proved to be better than that of the decentralized nonlinear joint tx-rx processing.

  20. [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

  1. Research of a continuous time model of the decentralized decision-making

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fang, Xu

    2013-07-01

    A continuous time model is proposed in this paper, dealing with the decentralized decision-making of multi-products promotion, under the condition of moral hazard. The main result is that when the revenue function and the movement law satisfy certain conditions, the optimal efforts level of the division in continuous time is the same with that in the static case, even though both are distorted compared with the optimal efforts level under complete information.

  2. Natural resources and decentralization: the use of forests and woodlands in development

    SciTech Connect

    Newman, J.L.

    1982-01-01

    In recent years international development assistance has begun to emphasize a decentralized approach as a result of trying to provide Basic Needs to the ''poorest of the poor.'' The various resources of forests and woodlands are seen as providing such opportunities to many lesser developed countries (LDC) because at present they often tend to be under-utilized as well as renewable. Potential options are explored for true forest dwellers, forest fringe settlers, and villagers in essentially nonwooded areas.

  3. 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.

  4. Decentralized responsibility for costs of outpatient prescription pharmaceuticals in Sweden. Assessment of models for decentralized financing of subsidies from a management perspective.

    PubMed

    Bergström, Gina; Karlberg, Ingvar

    2007-05-01

    In this study, models for decentralization of responsibility for costs of subsidised outpatient prescription pharmaceuticals within the county councils in Sweden were studied. The aims of the decentralization were to cut the escalating costs associated with risk sharing mechanisms on a national level and to integrate utilization of drugs into the priority process in health care. History of development and the characteristics of the solutions on county level were identified, described and analysed from taped interviews with relevant persons in central management positions in the selected counties. Information was supplemented from documentation. Two main models were found, a population based model and a prescriber based. In the population based model, family medicine in primary care was responsible for subsidies of drugs classified as "basic" (80%) regardless of prescriber. In this model, hospital departments were responsible for the "special" drugs (20%) regardless of prescriber. In the prescriber based model each provider was responsible for costs of its own prescribing. We found that the prescriber based model was chosen for the strong incentives for cost containment, while the population based model was expected to focus more on service to patients. This reform was based on the assumption that incentives for cost containment on an organisational level are effective. Experiences from other reforms in health care support this hypothesis. This means that there is a risk that cost containment jeopardises medical decisions on patient level. PMID:16942815

  5. 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…

  6. Whose Quality? Social Actors in the Interface of Transnational and National Higher Education Policy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Saarinen, Taina

    2008-01-01

    The article analyzes the construction of national reactions to a transnational higher education policy from the point of view of the representation of social actors in policy documents. The data are provided by the so-called Bologna Process, particularly the development of comparable quality assurance systems, and Finnish responses to those…

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. 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)

  14. 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 =…

  15. 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,…

  16. 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,…

  17. 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. PMID:23975479

  18. Students' Inventory of Social Actors Concerned by the Controversy Surrounding Cellular Telephones: A Case Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pouliot, Chantal

    2008-01-01

    The present article scrutinizes the manner with which a group of three postsecondary students (in Quebec, Canada) describe the social actors concerned by the controversy surrounding cellular telephones. The study was conducted on the basis of an ethnographic approach. Participant observation was performed by the researcher for 3 hours during each…

  19. 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…

  20. Exchange Studies as Actor-Networks: Following Korean Exchange Students in Swedish Higher Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ahn, Song-ee

    2011-01-01

    This article explores how Korean exchange students organized their studies during exchange programs in Swedish higher education. For most students, the programs became a disordered period in relation to their education. The value of exchange studies seems mainly to be extra-curricular. Drawing upon actor network theory, the article argues that the…

  1. ("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…

  2. ("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…

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. Modeling Homophily over Time with an Actor-Partner Interdependence Model

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Popp, Danielle; Laursen, Brett; Kerr, Margaret; Stattin, Hakan; Burk, William J.

    2008-01-01

    Selection and socialization have been implicated in friendship homophily, but the relative contributions of each are difficult to measure simultaneously because of the nonindependent nature of the data. To address this problem, the authors applied a multiple-groups longitudinal actor-partner interdependence model (D. A. Kashy & D. A. Kenny, 2000)…

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. Effects Of Principal Actor Time Structuring On Goal Attainment In Group Counseling

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jessell, John C.; Bush, John F.

    1973-01-01

    Subjects were 84 university and high school students. Data was obtained from responses to a behavioral goal questionnaire and the Truax Relationship Inventory. Structuring of group counseling through the use of principal actor time did not result in differential goal attainment between clients of structured or unstructured groups. Neither was any…

  10. 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.…

  11. 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

  12. 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…

  13. Inside the Actors' Studio: Exploring Dietetics Education Practices through Dialogical Inquiry

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fox, Ann L.; Gingras, Jacqui

    2012-01-01

    Two colleagues, Ann and Jacqui, came together, within the safety of an imagined actors' studio, to explore the challenges that Ann faced in planning a new graduate program in public health nutrition. They met before, during, and after program implementation to discuss Ann's experiences, and audio-taped and transcribed the discussions. When all…

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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. PMID:22127405

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. [Decentralization of health management:the path traveled to date, problematic points and prospects].

    PubMed

    Pinafo, Elisangela; Carvalho, Brígida Gimenez; Nunes, Elisabete de Fátima Polo de Almeida

    2016-05-01

    The scope of this study was to analyze the decentralization of health management at city level and its implications for comprehensive access and care for users. A "scoping review" located 1,902 references. After being subjected to the criteria of inclusion and exclusion by judges, 27 articles were selected and charted. The research revealed the following issues: what it was possible to establish by the process; problematic points in charting the path and prospects of decentralization. The following aspects were identified: increased access to primary care through increasing the number of professionals and family health teams; planning, evaluation and inter-sector aspects were seen as problematic; planning and management instruments are limited, and cities face difficulties in relation to medium and high complexity care. Funding is still a barrier to the advancement of decentralization, few studies have analyzed the guarantee of access to medium and high complexity care and studies that define the reality of small cities are needed. Several challenges were identified, such as the need for implementation of the regionalization process, shared management and an inter-federative network that ensures comprehensive access to health care. PMID:27166900

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Is a decentralized continuing medical education program feasible for Chinese rural health professionals?

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: Rural health professionals in township health centers (THCs) tend to have less advanced educational degrees. This study aimed to ascertain the perceived feasibility of a decentralized continuing medical education (CME) program to upgrade their educational levels. Methods: A cross-sectional survey of THC health professionals was conducted using a self-administered, structured questionnaire in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China. Results: The health professionals in the THCs were overwhelmingly young with low education levels. They had a strong desire to upgrade their educational degrees. The decentralized CME program was perceived as feasible by health workers with positive attitudes about the benefit for license examination, and by those who intended to improve their clinical diagnosis and treatment skills. The target groups of such a program were those who expected to undertake a bachelor’s degree and who rated themselves as “partially capable” in clinical competency. They reported that 160-400 USD annually would be an affordable fee for the program. Conclusion: A decentralized CME program was perceived feasible to upgrade rural health workers’ education level to a bachelor’s degree and improve their clinical competency. PMID:27134005

  13. Decentralized supervisory based switching control for uncertain multivariable plants with variable input-output pairing.

    PubMed

    Namaki-Shoushtari, Omid; Khaki-Sedigh, Ali

    2012-01-01

    In this paper, the design of decentralized switching control for uncertain multivariable plants is considered. In the proposed strategy, the uncertainty region is divided into smaller regions with a nominal model and specific control structure. The underlying design is based on the quantitative feedback theory (QFT). It is assumed that a MIMO-QFT controller exists for robust stability and performance of the individual uncertain sets. The proposed control structure is made up by these local decentralized controllers, which commute among themselves in accordance with the decision of a high level decision maker called the supervisor. The supervisor makes the decision by comparing the local models' behaviors with the one of the plant and selects the controller corresponding to the best fitted model. A hysteresis switching logic is used to slow down the switching to guarantee the overall closed loop stability. It is shown that this strategy provides a stable and robust adaptive controller to deal with complex multivariable plants with input-output pairing changes during the plant operation, which can facilitate the development of a reconfigurable decentralized control. Also, the multirealization technique is used to implement a family of controllers to achieve bumpless transfer. Simulation results are employed to show the effectiveness of the proposed method. PMID:21999896

  14. 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

  15. 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. PMID:25313087

  16. E-health approach to link-up actors in the health care system of Austria.

    PubMed

    Schabetsberger, Thomas; Ammenwerth, Elske; Breu, Ruth; Hoerbst, Alexander; Goebel, Georg; Penz, Robert; Schindelwig, Klaus; Toth, Herlinde; Vogl, Raimund; Wozak, Florian

    2006-01-01

    "Electronic health services are important" the EU commission stated in the E-Health action plan. By these means access to health care can be improved and the quality and effect of the offered medical services can be increased. By introducing the e-card in Austria, an overall link-up of nearly all health service providers of the external sector (e.g. family doctors) was achieved. In 2005 the Austrian E-Health Initiative (EHI) of the Austrian Federal Ministry for Health and Women mapped out a strategy to organise the development of the health system towards an integrated patient-centred. Hereby the electronic health record (EHR) plays a decisive role. The aim of this study is to analyse requirements for a virtual, cross-institutional and patient-centred electronic health record from the point of view of the exemplary main actors (Doctor and Patient), to define conditions, and then to evaluate the thus derived, specific concept of implementation. Aside from the two main actors regarding medical acts, namely the institution treating a patient (e.g. doctor, paramedic or nurse) and the patient receiving treatment, a row of other actors could be identified. Group assessment techniques with representatives of these actors resulted in an overview of required functions of an EHR. As a proof-of-concept an information system architecture conformable to the IHE XDS architecture for cross enterprise document sharing is currently being constructed and evaluated in the course of a pilot-project. If the core architecture fulfils the expectations, then a further extension to other hospitals and resident doctors, and subsequently also to the other actors of the health system, is planned. Since both legal and socio-technical requirements are presently not yet entirely met, and since there are also deficits from a methodical viewpoint, a complete implementation and widespread introduction will be a long term goal. PMID:17108555

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. Action observers implicitly expect actors to act goal-coherently, even if they do not: an fMRI study.

    PubMed

    Hrkać, Mari; Wurm, Moritz F; Schubotz, Ricarda I

    2014-05-01

    Actions observed in everyday life normally consist of one person performing sequences of goal-directed actions. The present fMRI study tested the hypotheses that observers are influenced by the actor's identity, even when this information is task-irrelevant, and that this information shapes their expectation on subsequent actions of the same actor. Participants watched short video clips of action steps that either pertained to a common action with an overarching goal or not, and were performed by either one or by varying actors (2 × 2 design). Independent of goal coherence, actor coherence elicited activation in dorsolateral and ventromedial frontal cortex, together pointing to a spontaneous attempt to integrate all actions performed by one actor. Interestingly, watching an actor performing unrelated actions elicited additional activation in left inferior frontal gyrus, suggesting a search in semantic memory in an attempt to construct an overarching goal that can reconcile the disparate action steps with a coherent intention. Post-experimental surveys indicate that these processes occur mostly unconsciously. Findings strongly suggest a spontaneous expectation bias toward actor-related episodes in action observers, and hence to the immense impact of actor information on action observation. PMID:23983202

  1. 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…

  2. 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

  3. 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…

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Alternative manifestations of actor responses to urban flooding: case studies from Bradford and Glasgow.

    PubMed

    Cashman, A C

    2009-01-01

    Flooding processes are complex and can occur throughout urban areas sometimes with devastating consequences. Traditionally flood risks have been managed through a combination of structural defence measures, warnings and emergency measures. More recently they have included development controls and land zoning policies. When such measures fail, individuals, authorities and the economy have to cope with the consequences. There is a growing realization that the resilience of individuals and institutions to floods and the risks from flooding need to be addressed. In the past few years there has been what some have referred to as a paradigm shift in the way responses to flooding are being conceptualized and the way this affects actors and actions. Based on fieldwork including interviews this paper presents two examples of actor and institutional responses to flooding events from the cities of Bradford and Glasgow in the United Kingdom. PMID:19587405

  10. [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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Inferring the size of a goal object from an actor's grasping movement in 6- and 9-month-old infants.

    PubMed

    Daum, Moritz M; Vuori, Maria T; Prinz, Wolfgang; Aschersleben, Gisa

    2009-11-01

    The present study applied a preferential looking paradigm to test whether 6- and 9-month old infants are able to infer the size of a goal object from an actor's grasping movement. The target object was a cup with the handle rotated either towards or away from the actor. In two experiments, infants saw the video of an actor's grasping movement towards an occluded target object. The aperture size of the actor's hand was varied as between-subjects factor. Subsequently, two final states of the grasping movement were presented simultaneously with the occluder being removed. In Experiment 1, the expected final state showed the actor's hand holding a cup in a way that would be expected after the performed grasping movement. In the unexpected final state, the actor's hand held the cup at the side which would be unexpected after the performed grasping movement. Results show that 6- as well as 9-month-olds looked longer at the unexpected than at the expected final state. Experiment 2 excluded an alternative explanation of these findings, namely that the discrimination of the final states was due to geometrical familiarity or novelty of the final states. These findings provide evidence that infants are able to infer the size of a goal object from the aperture size of the actor's hand during the grasp. PMID:19840041

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. [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

  17. 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. PMID:26779692

  18. The politics of federal environmental education policy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crouch, Richard Craig

    Both environmental governance1 and education governance 2 occupy contested territory in contemporary US political discourse. Environmental education (EE) policy has emerged at this intersection and taken on aspects of both controversies. Central to debates surrounding environmental education are still unresolved issues concerning the role of the federal government in education, the role of education in citizen-making, and the role of the public in environmental governance. As a case study of the politics of environmental education policy, I explore these issues as they relate to the National Environmental Education Act of 1990,3 attempts at its reauthorization, its continued appropriations, and its current state of policy stasis. The political controversy over the federal role in environmental education is an appropriate case study of environmental education politics insofar as it reflects the different positions held by actor groups with regard to the definition, efficacy, and legitimacy of environmental education. At the core of these debates, as we will see, is a definitional crisis---that is, there is no common understanding across the relevant actor groups as to what environmental education is, or should be. I suggest here that this definitional issue can be best understood as having technical, ideological, and structural components4---all of which are mutually reinforcing and thus perpetuate the stasis in federal environmental education policy. 1I rely on Durant, Fiorino and O'leary's definition of environmental governance in Environmental Governance Reconsidered ; "In the term environmental governance, we refer to the increasingly collaborative nature of [environmental and natural resource] policy formulation and implementation. In this vein, a wide array of third parties (for example, actors in the profit sector, the nonprofit sector, and civic society), in addition to government agencies, comprise non hierarchical networks of actors wielding a variety of

  19. Experiential learning in nursing consultation education via clinical simulation with actors: action research.

    PubMed

    de Oliveira, Saionara Nunes; do Prado, Marta Lenise; Kempfer, Silvana Silveira; Martini, Jussara Gue; Caravaca-Morera, Jaime Alonso; Bernardi, Mariely Carmelina

    2015-02-01

    This was an action research study conducted during an undergraduate nursing course. The objective was to propose and implement experiential learning for nursing consultation education using clinical simulation with actors. The 4 steps of action research were followed: planning, action, observation and reflection. Three nursing undergraduate students participated in the study. Data were collected in May and July 2013 via participant comments and interviews and were analyzed in accordance with the operative proposal for qualitative data analysis. Planning included constructing and validating the clinical guides, selecting and training the actors, organizing and preparing the scenario and the issuing invitations to the participants. The action was carried out according to Kolb's (1984) 4 stages of learning cycles: Concrete Experience, Reflective Observation, Abstract Conceptualization and Active Experimentation. Clinical simulation involves different subjects' participation in all stages, and action research is a method that enables the clinical stimulation to be implemented. It must be guided by clear learning objectives and by a critical pedagogy that encourages critical thinking in students. Using actors and a real scenario facilitated psychological fidelity, and debriefing was the key moment of the reflective process that facilitated the integral training of students through experiential learning. PMID:25563657

  20. 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. PMID:26040841