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Sample records for quality assessment decision

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clayton, Berwyn; Booth, Robin; Roy, Sue

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

  2. Assessing the Quality of Decision Making in Special Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harber, Jean R.

    1981-01-01

    Three approaches to the evaluation of diagnostic decision making for handicapped students are discussed: accuracy, sensitivity and specificity, and ROC (receiver-operating-characteristic) analysis. ROC analysis is explained to allow the diagnostician to vary the decision threshold depending on the index of suspicion and relative costs and benefits…

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Mirauda, Domenica; Ostoich, Marco

    2011-04-15

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

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

    PubMed

    Volk, Robert J; Llewellyn-Thomas, Hilary; Stacey, Dawn; Elwyn, Glyn

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Donelan, Ronan; Walker, Stuart; Salek, Sam

    2016-01-01

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

  8. Maximising Confidence in Assessment Decision-Making: Current Approaches and Future Strategies for Quality Assurance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clayton, Berwyn; Roy, Sue; Booth, Robin; House, Robyn

    2004-01-01

    This report provides a literature review and history of approaches to quality assurance of assessment in the vocational education and training (VET) sector in Australia and overseas. It also examines eight potential models that can be used by individual or groups of assessors within a training organisation. The models include a diagnostic…

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

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

  10. Making Decisions in Quality Circles.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Browne, Mildred

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

  11. Competency in health care management: a training model in epidemiologic methods for assessing and improving the quality of clinical practice through evidence-based decision making.

    PubMed

    Hudak, R P; Jacoby, I; Meyer, G S; Potter, A L; Hooper, T I; Krakauer, H

    1997-01-01

    This article describes a training model that focuses on health care management by applying epidemiologic methods to assess and improve the quality of clinical practice. The model's uniqueness is its focus on integrating clinical evidence-based decision making with fundamental principles of resource management to achieve attainable, cost-effective, high-quality health outcomes. The target students are current and prospective clinical and administrative executives who must optimize decision making at the clinical and managerial levels of health care organizations.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  14. Decision-Making Procedure and Decision Quality.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burleson, Brant R.; And Others

    1984-01-01

    Strongly confirmed the hypothesis that groups employing an interacting decision procedure would produce better decisions than groups employing procedures that are either nominal (Delphi) or "staticized" (individual judgments statistically pooled). Provides clear and consistent support for the value of social interaction in small group decision…

  15. Decision Impact Assessment Model

    1991-08-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Defining and Assessing Quality.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fincher, Cameron, Ed.

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

  19. Quality decision making in dialysis.

    PubMed

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

    1998-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wall, N.; PytlikZillig, L. M.

    2012-12-01

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

  1. [Quality assessment in surgery].

    PubMed

    Espinoza G, Ricardo; Espinoza G, Juan Pablo

    2016-06-01

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

  2. Evaluating the Validity of Portfolio Assessments for Licensure Decisions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2014-01-01

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

  3. Quality Assessment in Oncology

    SciTech Connect

    Albert, Jeffrey M.; Das, Prajnan

    2012-07-01

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

  4. Shared Decision Making in Neonatal Quality Improvement.

    PubMed

    Warren, Jamie B; Wiggins, Nikki

    2016-01-01

    Since the Institute of Medicine published Crossing the Quality Chasm in 2001, healthcare systems have become more focused on improving the quality of healthcare delivery. At Oregon Health & Science University and Doernbecher Children's Hospital, we recognize the need to take an interprofessional, team-based approach to improving the care we provide to our current and future patients. We describe here an ongoing quality improvement project in the Doernbecher Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), with specific attention to the factors we believe have contributed to the implementation and early success of the project. These factors include the history of quality improvement work in our NICU and in the field of neonatology, the "dyad leadership" structure under which we operate in our NICU, and our developing understanding of the concept of "team intelligence." These elements have led to the formation of a team that can practice shared decision making and work as one to realize a shared goal. PMID:27465457

  5. Assessing risks to ecosystem quality

    SciTech Connect

    Barnthouse, L.W.

    1995-12-31

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Porello, Daniele

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

  7. [Quality assessment in anesthesia].

    PubMed

    Kupperwasser, B

    1996-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Raynes, Norma V.; And Others

    1977-01-01

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

  9. Health impact assessment of urban waterway decisions.

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-25

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

  10. Health Impact Assessment of Urban Waterway Decisions

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Krumboltz, John D.; And Others

    1982-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  13. Portfolio Assessment and Quality Teaching

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kim, Youb; Yazdian, Lisa Sensale

    2014-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2004-01-01

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

  15. The Southeast Stream Quality Assessment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

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

  16. Solar Radiation Empirical Quality Assessment

    1994-03-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    1999-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Poncelow, Stacy D.

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

  20. External Quality Assessment Schemes in Latin America.

    PubMed

    Migliarino, Gabriel Alejandro

    2015-11-01

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

  1. External Quality Assessment Schemes in Latin America

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chan, Siu Y.

    2001-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Background: We examined the agreement over time of the physical functioning domains of the Resident Assessment Instrument: Minimum Data Set Version 2.0 (RAI-MDS) and the Functional Independence Measure (FIM) in nursing home residents with dementia. Methods: We completed a secondary analysis of data from a longitudinal quasi-experimental study of residents who could transfer independently or with the assistance of one person. FIM assessments were completed at up to three time points by researchers using interviews. RAI-MDS assessments, completed by nursing home staff, were matched to the FIM assessment by nearest time. FIM and RAI-MDS assessments were correlated based on time between assessments using Pearson’s correlation. Items for activities of daily living (ADL) from the RAI-MDS were rescaled using two previously published crosswalks. Motor and ADL subscales were also used, containing eight and six items, respectively. Results: A total of 362 paired interviews and assessments were collected from 130 residents. The mean scores and standard deviations were as follows: FIM: 19.64 (7.60); William’s RAI-MDS crosswalk: 18.04 (5.25); and Velozo’s RAI-MDS crosswalk: 18.09 (6.50). Using both crosswalks, most items showed medium (r > 0.3) or large (r > 0.5) correlations, even at greater than 41 days between assessments. Subscales showed large correlations for all time intervals for both crosswalks. Conclusions: The RAI-MDS remains stable when data are collected greater than 41 days from the FIM assessment. These findings should add confidence in the RAI-MDS data and its clinical utility. PMID:27417788

  4. Assessing uncertainty in stormwater quality modelling.

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-15

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

  5. Assessing uncertainty in stormwater quality modelling.

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-15

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

  6. Quality assessment of urban environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Automated data quality assessment of marine sensors.

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

  8. Quality Assessment in Action.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hawk, Thomas R.

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hebbar, V.

    2012-12-01

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

  10. The Northeast Stream Quality Assessment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2016-04-22

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

  11. Adaptive Peircean decision aid project summary assessments.

    SciTech Connect

    Senglaub, Michael E.

    2007-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Kee, Frank; Owen, Tracy; Leathem, Ruth

    2004-01-01

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

  13. Ethics-based decision-making and health impact assessment.

    PubMed

    Tannahill, Andrew; Douglas, Margaret J

    2014-03-01

    To compare the use of health impact assessment (HIA) and the decision-making triangle (DMT) framework for evidence-informed, ethics-based decision-making and consider implications for practice. We compared HIA and the DMT approach with reference to: their use of evidence and theory; their application of ethical principles or values; and how they aid decision-making. A good fit between the HIA and DMT approaches was found. Ways in which they could be of benefit to each other were identified. The DMT approach and HIA are highly compatible: they are rooted in largely shared ethical principles or values; both involve appropriate use of evidence and theory; and both are concerned with enhancing the quality of decision-making in the interests of population health. The DMT approach and HIA are of potential value to each other: established HIA methods and tools can be of practical help in using the DMT approach; and the DMT framework provides insights to how HIA methods and processes could be improved and the vision of 'impacts that matter' widened.

  14. Competence and Quality in Real-Life Decision Making.

    PubMed

    Geisler, Martin; Allwood, Carl Martin

    2015-01-01

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

  15. Competence and Quality in Real-Life Decision Making

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  18. Quality assessment for hyperspectral imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Villalobos, Alice E

    2011-05-01

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

  20. Automated Data Quality Assessment of Marine Sensors

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Ohlson, Dan W; Serveiss, Victor B

    2007-01-01

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

  2. The Midwest Stream Quality Assessment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    ,

    2012-01-01

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

  3. Decision-support tools for the assessment process

    SciTech Connect

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

    2004-06-14

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

  4. Orion Entry Handling Qualities Assessments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  5. Fovea based image quality assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-07-01

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

  6. Mixing Methods in Assessing Coaches' Decision Making

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vergeer, Ineke; Lyle, John

    2007-01-01

    Mixing methods has recently achieved respectability as an appropriate approach to research design, offering a variety of advantages (Tashakkori & Teddlie, 2003). The purpose of this paper is to outline and evaluate a mixed methods approach within the domain of coaches' decision making. Illustrated with data from a policy-capturing study on…

  7. Group decision making in hidden profile situations: dissent as a facilitator for decision quality.

    PubMed

    Schulz-Hardt, Stefan; Brodbeck, Felix C; Mojzisch, Andreas; Kerschreiter, Rudolf; Frey, Dieter

    2006-12-01

    The effect of diversity in individual prediscussion preferences on group decision quality was examined in an experiment in which 135 three-person groups worked on a personnel selection case with 4 alternatives. The information distribution among group members constituted a hidden profile (i.e., the correct solution was not identifiable on the basis of the members' individual information and could be detected only by pooling and integrating the members' unique information). Whereas groups with homogeneous suboptimal prediscussion preferences (no dissent) hardly ever solved the hidden profile, solution rates were significantly higher in groups with prediscussion dissent, even if none of these individual prediscussion preferences were correct. If dissent came from a proponent of the correct solution, solution rates were even higher than in dissent groups without such a proponent. The magnitude of dissent (i.e., minority dissent or full diversity of individual preferences) did not affect decision quality. The beneficial effect of dissent on group decision quality was mediated primarily by greater discussion intensity and to some extent also by less discussion bias in dissent groups.

  8. An Assessment of Reading Compliance Decisions among Undergraduate Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

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

  9. Consensus Group Decision-Making, Quality of Decision, and Group Satisfaction: An Attempt to Sort "Fact" from "Fiction."

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hirokawa, Randy Y.

    1982-01-01

    Concludes (1) that the relationship between consensus and decision quality tends to merge when the group approaches its task in a systematic and rational manner and (2) that group communication scholars need to be careful about assuming that consensus decision-making necessarily results in more decision-making satisfaction among group members. (PD)

  10. Tests and Other Assessments: Helping You Make Better Career Decisions.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kump, Ann; Petersen, Pat; Fruin, Jerry; Koritko, Laurie; Ramsburger, Peter

    This guide is designed to help the user better understand the different types of career assessments and how the user and others may want to use them to make career decisions. Information is presented in question and answer format. These topics are covered: how assessment tests can help; how assessments are used by counselors and employers; how…

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  13. Data Quality Assessment for Maritime Situation Awareness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Naegeli, Hanspeter; Sugasawa, Kaoru

    2011-07-15

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  16. A pitfall in utility assessment--patients' undisclosed investment decisions.

    PubMed

    Hilden, J; Glasziou, P P; Habbema, J D

    1992-01-01

    Among those decisions that may be made by a patient in response to an illness, the authors single out a certain class: contingent investment decisions. They are characterized by the patient's committing him- or herself, on the basis of prognostic counseling, to a certain action or non-action that he or she may regret in retrospect. Examples show that, when assessing utilities, the decision analyst runs a risk of handling such investment decisions incorrectly, unless they are made explicit and incorporated into the medical decision process. The anomaly is explained as a violation of the structural rules for decision trees and is also interpreted in terms of "the price of prognostic ignorance," a quantity closely related to the expected utility value of perfect information.

  17. Carbon Nanotube Material Quality Assessment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Holekamp, Kara; Frisbie, Troy; Estep, Lee

    2005-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Holekamp, Kara; Frisbie, Troy; Estep, Lee

    2005-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

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

  1. Assessing Decision-Making Capacity in Patients with Communication Impairments.

    PubMed

    Cairncross, Molly; Peterson, Andrew; Lazosky, Andrea; Gofton, Teneille; Weijer, Charles

    2016-10-01

    The ethical principle of autonomy requires physicians to respect patient autonomy when present, and to protect the patient who lacks autonomy. Fulfilling this ethical obligation when a patient has a communication impairment presents considerable challenges. Standard methods for evaluating decision-making capacity require a semistructured interview. Some patients with communication impairments are unable to engage in a semistructured interview and are at risk of the wrongful loss of autonomy. In this article, we present a general strategy for assessing decision-making capacity in patients with communication impairments. We derive this strategy by reflecting on a particular case. The strategy involves three steps: (1) determining the reliability of communication, (2) widening the bandwidth of communication, and (3) using compensatory measures of decision-making capacity. We argue that this strategy may be useful for assessing decision-making capacity and preserving autonomy in some patients with communication impairments.

  2. Assessing Decision-Making Capacity in Patients with Communication Impairments.

    PubMed

    Cairncross, Molly; Peterson, Andrew; Lazosky, Andrea; Gofton, Teneille; Weijer, Charles

    2016-10-01

    The ethical principle of autonomy requires physicians to respect patient autonomy when present, and to protect the patient who lacks autonomy. Fulfilling this ethical obligation when a patient has a communication impairment presents considerable challenges. Standard methods for evaluating decision-making capacity require a semistructured interview. Some patients with communication impairments are unable to engage in a semistructured interview and are at risk of the wrongful loss of autonomy. In this article, we present a general strategy for assessing decision-making capacity in patients with communication impairments. We derive this strategy by reflecting on a particular case. The strategy involves three steps: (1) determining the reliability of communication, (2) widening the bandwidth of communication, and (3) using compensatory measures of decision-making capacity. We argue that this strategy may be useful for assessing decision-making capacity and preserving autonomy in some patients with communication impairments. PMID:27634720

  3. Towards Quality Assessment in an EFL Programme

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Manigault, Andrew Wilhelm; Whillock, Summer Rain

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Ramadan, Nadia; Arafeh, Mazen

    2016-04-18

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

  6. Environmental Decision Making and Information Technology: Issues Assessment

    SciTech Connect

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

    1999-05-01

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

  7. [Quality assessment of continuing medical education].

    PubMed

    Lipp, M

    1996-04-01

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

  8. Rationales behind irrationality of decision making in groundwater quality management.

    PubMed

    Ronen, Daniel; Sorek, Shaul; Gilron, Jack

    2012-01-01

    This issue paper presents how certain policies regarding management of groundwater quality lead to unexpected and undesirable results, despite being backed by seemingly reasonable assumptions. This happened in part because the so-called reasonable decisions were not based on an integrative and quantitative methodology. The policies surveyed here are: (1) implementation of a program for aquifer restoration to pristine conditions followed, after failure, by leaving it to natural attenuation; (2) the "Forget About The Aquifer" (FATA) approach, while ignoring possible damage that contaminated groundwater can inflict on the other environmental systems; (3) groundwater recharge in municipal areas while neglecting the presence of contaminants in the unsaturated zone and conditions exerted by upper impervious surfaces; (4) the Soil Aquifer Treatment (SAT) practice considering aquifers to be "filters of infinite capacity"; and (5) focusing on well contamination vs. aquifer contamination to conveniently defer grappling with the problem of the aquifer as a whole. Possible reasons for the failure of these seemingly rational policies are: (1) the characteristic times of processes associated with groundwater that are usually orders of magnitude greater than the residence times of decision makers in their managerial position; (2) proliferation of improperly trained "groundwater experts" or policymakers with sectoral agendas alongside legitimate differences of opinion among groundwater scientists; (3) the neglect of the cyclic nature of natural phenomena; and (4) ignoring future long-term costs because of immediate costs.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Elmelegy, Reda Ibrahim

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Qualitatively Assessing Family Influence in Career Decision Making

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chope, Robert C.

    2005-01-01

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

  12. Assessing the Quality of Teachers' Teaching Practices

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

  13. Assessing Quality in Home Visiting Programs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

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

  14. SERI QC Solar Data Quality Assessment Software

    1994-12-31

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pendrill, L. R.

    2014-08-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Spiering, Bruce; Underwood, Lauren

    2010-01-01

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

  17. Situation assessment in the Paladin tactical decision generation system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1992-01-01

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

  18. Rendered virtual view image objective quality assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-18

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. Decision analytic strategies for integrating ecosystem services and risk assessment.

    PubMed

    von Stackelberg, Katherine E

    2013-04-01

    Ecosystem services as a concept and guiding principle are enjoying wide popularity and endorsement from high-level policy thinkers to industry as support for sustainability goals continue to grow. However, explicit incorporation of ecosystem services into decision making still lacks practical implementation at more local scales and faces significant regulatory and technical constraints. Risk assessment represents an example of a regulatory process for which guidance exists that makes it challenging to incorporate ecosystem service endpoints. Technical constraints exist in the quantification of the relationships between ecological functions and services and endpoints valued by humans, and the complexity of those interactions with respect to bundling and stacking. In addition, ecosystem services, by their very definition, represent an anthropogenic construct with no inherent ecological value, which, in practical terms, requires a far more inclusionary decision making process explicitly incorporating a greater diversity of stakeholder values. Despite these constraints, it is possible, given a commitment to sustainable decision making, to simplify the process based on strategic outcomes (e.g., identifying desired end-states in general terms). Decision analytic techniques provide a mechanism for evaluating tradeoffs across key ecosystem services valued by stakeholders and to develop criteria drawn from the entire spectrum of stakeholders in evaluating potential alternatives. This article highlights several examples of ways in which ecosystem service endpoints can be incorporated into the decision-making process.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2009-01-01

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

  5. Continuous assessment of perceptual image quality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamberg, Roelof; de Ridder, Huib

    1995-12-01

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

  6. Probabilistic Risk Assessment for Decision Making During Spacecraft Operations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Meshkat, Leila

    2009-01-01

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

  7. Tools to assess tissue quality.

    PubMed

    Neumeister, Veronique M

    2014-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Meers, C; Singer, M A

    1996-01-01

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

  9. Assessing quality in Earth Science Education

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rollinson, Hugh

    1999-05-01

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

  10. Quality Assessment in the Blog Space

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2010-01-01

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

  11. Quality Assessment for a University Curriculum.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hjalmered, Jan-Olof; Lumsden, Kenth

    1994-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Urquhart, C J; Hepworth, J B

    1996-01-01

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

  13. An Approach towards Software Quality Assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Srivastava, Praveen Ranjan; Kumar, Krishan

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

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

  15. Brain Hemispheric Consensus and the Quality of Investment Decisions.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Boyd, Michael

    This on-going study explores the hypothesis that stock fund managers who underperform do so because they make bad decisions, and examines whether their choices can be improved by using a decision model that invokes principles of brain hemispheric consensus. The study, begun in fall 1999, involves two groups of business students: the control group…

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1990-01-01

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

  17. Computational study of developing high-quality decision trees

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fu, Zhiwei

    2002-03-01

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  19. ANSS Backbone Station Quality Assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-12-01

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

  20. Water quality assessment in Ecuador

    SciTech Connect

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

    1993-02-01

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

  1. Decision support for workload assessment - Introducing WC FIELDE

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Casper, Patricia A.; Shively, Robert J.; Hart, Sandra G.

    1987-01-01

    Currently there is a great demand for mental workload evaluation in the course of system design and modification. In light of this demand, a microprocessor-based decision support system has been created called WC FIELDE: Workload Consultant for FIELD Evaluation. The system helps the user select workload measures appropriate to his or her application from the large pool of currently available techniques. Both novices and those with some workload experience may benefit from using WC FIELDE, since the system's operation is entirely transparent and all rules involved in the decision process are available for the user to examine. WC FIELDE recommends several assessment methodologies in decreasing order of appropriateness, and provides additional information on each measure at the end of the program in the form of text files.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1991-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Sturloni, Giancarlo

    2016-01-01

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

  7. Superintendents and Principals Need Quality Public Information That Informs Decisions, Empowers Action. Don't Make Decisions in the Dark

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Data Quality Campaign, 2014

    2014-01-01

    District superintendents or school principals need to be able to access and use high-quality data to make good decisions. Often this data is collected and stored locally, but information that is publicly reported by the state can provide additional value. Although public reporting in a few states is designed to serve information needs, states'…

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

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

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

  9. Automatic no-reference image quality assessment.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Assessing product image quality for online shopping

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  11. Decision process to assess medical equipment for hyperbaric use.

    PubMed

    Burman, F; Sheffield, R; Posey, K

    2009-01-01

    There are very few items of medical equipment specifically designed for hyperbaric use; and little information is available about medical equipment already tested for hyperbaric use. Hyperbaricists are usually left to their own devices in making a determination about the safe and effective use of standard medical equipment in the hyperbaric setting. This article proposes a logical and systematic process to arrive at this determination. The process involves seven steps beginning with a need assessment and ending with endorsement by appropriate individuals. The discussion of decision steps includes identifying risk elements, compliance with safety standards, testing, and documentation.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

  13. Soft Mathematical Aggregation in Safety Assessment and Decision Analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Cooper, J. Arlin

    1999-06-10

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

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

    PubMed

    Freyman, William A

    2015-01-01

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

  15. Automatic quality assessment of planetary images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Morgan, Grayson B.

    2013-01-01

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

  18. End-to-end image quality assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raventos, Joaquin

    2012-05-01

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

  19. A customisable framework for the assessment of therapies in the solution of therapy decision tasks.

    PubMed

    Manjarrés Riesco, A; Martínez Tomás, R; Mira Mira, J

    2000-01-01

    In current medical research, a growing interest can be observed in the definition of a global therapy-evaluation framework which integrates considerations such as patients preferences and quality-of-life results. In this article, we propose the use of the research results in this domain as a source of knowledge in the design of support systems for therapy decision analysis, in particular with a view to application in oncology. We discuss the incorporation of these considerations in the definition of the therapy-assessment methods involved in the solution of a generic therapy decision task, described in the context of AI software development methodologies such as CommonKADS. The goal of the therapy decision task is to identify the ideal therapy, for a given patient, in accordance with a set of objectives of a diverse nature. The assessment methods applied are based either on data obtained from statistics or on the specific idiosyncrasies of each patient, as identified from their responses to a suite of psychological tests. In the analysis of the therapy decision task we emphasise the importance, from a methodological perspective, of using a rigorous approach to the modelling of domain ontologies and domain-specific data. To this aim we make extensive use of the semi-formal object oriented analysis notation UML to describe the domain level.

  20. Software quality assessment for health care systems.

    PubMed

    Braccini, G; Fabbrini, F; Fusani, M

    1997-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kohli, Rajiv; Fishman, Julianna; Hyatt, Mark

    2012-01-01

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

  3. Assessing the quality of nursing work life.

    PubMed

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-06-15

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

  5. Objective assessment of MPEG-2 video quality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gastaldo, Paolo; Zunino, Rodolfo; Rovetta, Stefano

    2002-07-01

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

  6. Water quality issues and energy assessments

    SciTech Connect

    Davis, M.J.; Chiu, S.

    1980-11-01

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

  7. An assessment model for quality management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2002-07-01

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

  8. INTEGRATING AIR QUALITY DATA TO INFORM HUMAN HEALTH DECISIONS

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  9. Surface water quality assessment by environmetric methods.

    PubMed

    Boyacioglu, Hülya; Boyacioglu, Hayal

    2007-08-01

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

  10. Water Quality Assessment using Satellite Remote Sensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haque, Saad Ul

    2016-07-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-15

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

  15. Overview of the National Water-Quality Assessment Program

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1994-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Allison, T.

    1993-02-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Möltner, Andreas; Tımbıl, Sevgi; Jünger, Jana

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Hamann, Darla J

    2014-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Hamann, Darla J

    2014-08-01

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

  3. Visual pattern degradation based image quality assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-08-01

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

  4. An Evaluation of the Decision-Making Capacity Assessment Model

    PubMed Central

    Brémault-Phillips, Suzette C.; Parmar, Jasneet; Friesen, Steven; Rogers, Laura G.; Pike, Ashley; Sluggett, Bryan

    2016-01-01

    Background The Decision-Making Capacity Assessment (DMCA) Model includes a best-practice process and tools to assess DMCA, and implementation strategies at the organizational and assessor levels to support provision of DMCAs across the care continuum. A Developmental Evaluation of the DMCA Model was conducted. Methods A mixed methods approach was used. Survey (N = 126) and focus group (N = 49) data were collected from practitioners utilizing the Model. Results Strengths of the Model include its best-practice and implementation approach, applicability to independent practitioners and inter-professional teams, focus on training/mentoring to enhance knowledge/skills, and provision of tools/processes. Post-training, participants agreed that they followed the Model’s guiding principles (90%), used problem-solving (92%), understood discipline-specific roles (87%), were confident in their knowledge of DMCAs (75%) and pertinent legislation (72%), accessed consultative services (88%), and received management support (64%). Model implementation is impeded when role clarity, physician engagement, inter-professional buy-in, accountability, dedicated resources, information sharing systems, and remuneration are lacking. Dedicated resources, job descriptions inclusive of DMCAs, ongoing education/mentoring supports, access to consultative services, and appropriate remuneration would support implementation. Conclusions The DMCA Model offers practitioners, inter-professional teams, and organizations a best-practice and implementation approach to DMCAs. Addressing barriers and further contextualizing the Model would be warranted. PMID:27729947

  5. Novel flood risk assessment framework for rapid decision making

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Valyrakis, Manousos; Koursari, Eftychia; Solley, Mark

    2016-04-01

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

  6. Assessing the quality of cost management

    SciTech Connect

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

    1995-12-31

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

  7. Scene reduction for subjective image quality assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lewandowska (Tomaszewska), Anna

    2016-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Maringe, Felix

    2012-01-01

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

  9. 76 FR 4345 - A Method To Assess Climate-Relevant Decisions: Application in the Chesapeake Bay

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-01-25

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

  10. RCRA ground-water monitoring decision procedures viewed as quality control schemes.

    PubMed

    Starks, T H; Flatman, G T

    1991-01-01

    The problems of developing and comparing statistical procedures appropriate to the monitoring of ground water at hazardous waste sites are discussed. It is suggested that these decision procedures should be viewed as quality control schemes and compared in the same way that industrial quality control schemes are compared. The results of a Monte Carlo simulation study of run-length distribution of a combined Shewhart-CUSUM quality control scheme are reported.

  11. Improving the quality of risk assessments in Canada using a principle-based approach.

    PubMed

    Forristal, P M; Wilke, D L; McCarty, L S

    2008-04-01

    In 2000, the Government of Canada issued the "Framework for Science and Technology Advice" (FSTA). This official government policy directive mandates that decision-making to protect human health and the environment should be carried out in a timely, predictable, and efficient manner. It also leaves no doubt that quality assurance and quality control (QA/QC) are required for both technical data and the decision-making process itself. Since current publicly available Canadian risk assessment guidance does not directly address quality management for the decision-making process, an evaluative scheme for CEPA risk assessments was created. For each of the six FSTA principles (early issue identification, inclusiveness, sound science and science advice, uncertainty and risk, openness and transparency, review) specific expectations were developed for performance measurement purposes. This scheme addresses the FSTA requirement for a policy compliance checklist. It could serve as the basis for quality assurance audits during risk assessment production and quality control audits in subsequent review of the risk assessment process. Among other things, it could also improve the integration of science advice, policy objectives and general risk communication by enhancing decision-making openness and transparency. PMID:18321623

  12. Quality Assessment of Domesticated Animal Genome Assemblies

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  13. Guidance for water-quality-based decisions: The TMDL process

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1991-04-01

    The document defines and clarifies the requirements under Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act. Its purpose is to help State water quality program managers understand the application of total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) through and integrated, basin-wide approach to controlling point and nonpoint source pollution. The document describes the steps that are involved in identifying and prioritizing impaired waters and developing and implementing TMDLs.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Haiping; Yin, Qiuxiao; Chen, Ling

    2010-11-01

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

  15. Assessing the Quality of Bioforensic Signatures

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-06-04

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

  16. Spatial scale of local breeding habitat quality and adjustment of breeding decisions.

    PubMed

    Doligez, Blandine; Berthouly, Anne; Doligez, Damien; Tanner, Marion; Saladin, Verena; Bonfils, Danielle; Richner, Heinz

    2008-05-01

    Experimental studies provide evidence that, in spatially and temporally heterogeneous environments, individuals track variation in breeding habitat quality to adjust breeding decisions to local conditions. However, most experiments consider environmental variation at one spatial scale only, while the ability to detect the influence of a factor depends on the scale of analysis. We show that different breeding decisions by adults are based on information about habitat quality at different spatial scales. We manipulated (increased or decreased) local breeding habitat quality through food availability and parasite prevalence at a small (territory) and a large (patch) scale simultaneously in a wild population of Great Tits (Parus major). Females laid earlier in high-quality large-scale patches, but laying date did not depend on small-scale territory quality. Conversely, offspring sex ratio was higher (i.e., biased toward males) in high-quality, small-scale territories but did not depend on large-scale patch quality. Clutch size and territory occupancy probability did not depend on our experimental manipulation of habitat quality, but territories located at the edge of patches were more likely to be occupied than central territories. These results suggest that integrating different decisions taken by breeders according to environmental variation at different spatial scales is required to understand patterns of breeding strategy adjustment.

  17. Assessing facial attractiveness: individual decisions and evolutionary constraints

    PubMed Central

    Kocsor, Ferenc; Feldmann, Adam; Bereczkei, Tamas; Kállai, János

    2013-01-01

    Background Several studies showed that facial attractiveness, as a highly salient social cue, influences behavioral responses. It has also been found that attractive faces evoke distinctive neural activation compared to unattractive or neutral faces. Objectives Our aim was to design a face recognition task where individual preferences for facial cues are controlled for, and to create conditions that are more similar to natural circumstances in terms of decision making. Design In an event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) experiment, subjects were shown attractive and unattractive faces, categorized on the basis of their own individual ratings. Results Statistical analysis of all subjects showed elevated brain activation for attractive opposite-sex faces in contrast to less attractive ones in regions that previously have been reported to show enhanced activation with increasing attractiveness level (e.g. the medial and superior occipital gyri, fusiform gyrus, precentral gyrus, and anterior cingular cortex). Besides these, females showed additional brain activation in areas thought to be involved in basic emotions and desires (insula), detection of facial emotions (superior temporal gyrus), and memory retrieval (hippocampus). Conclusions From these data, we speculate that because of the risks involving mate choice faced by women during evolutionary times, selection might have preferred the development of an elaborated neural system in females to assess the attractiveness and social value of male faces. PMID:24693356

  18. Interactive decision support system to predict print quality.

    PubMed

    Leman, Sugani; Lehto, Mark R

    2003-01-15

    Customers using printers occasionally experience problems such as fuzzy images, bands, or streaks. The customer may call or otherwise contact the manufacturer, who attempts to diagnose the problem based on the customer's description of the problem. This study evaluated Bayesian inference as a tool for identifying or diagnosing 16 different types of print defects from such descriptions. The Bayesian model was trained using 1701 narrative descriptions of print defects obtained from 60 subjects with varying technical backgrounds. The Bayesian model was then implemented as an interactive decision support system, which was used by eight 'agents' to diagnose print defects reported by 16 'customers' in a simulated call centre. The 'agents' and 'customers' in the simulated call centre were all students at Purdue University. Each customer made eight telephone calls, resulting in a total of 128 telephone calls in which the customer reported defects to the agents. The results showed that the Bayesian model closely fitted the data in the training set of narratives. Overall, the model correctly predicted the actual defect category with its top prediction 70% of the time. The actual defect was in the top five predictions 94% of the time. The model in the simulated call centre performed nearly as well for the test subjects. The top prediction was correct 50% of the time, and the defect was one of the top five predictions 80% of the time. Agent accuracy in diagnosing the problem improved when using the tool. These results demonstrated that the Bayesian system learned enough from the existing narratives to accurately classify print defect categories.

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

    PubMed

    Lichtenberg, Peter A; Ficker, Lisa; Rahman-Filipiak, Analise; Tatro, Ron; Farrell, Cynthia; Speir, James J; Mall, Sanford J; Simasko, Patrick; Collens, Howard H; Jackman, John Daniel

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tillema, Harm; Leenknecht, Martijn; Segers, Mien

    2011-01-01

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

  2. Bacteriological Assessment of Spoon River Water Quality

    PubMed Central

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

    1974-01-01

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

  3. Quality assessment of strawberries (Fragaria species).

    PubMed

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

    2003-01-29

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  5. Identification and assessment of potential water quality impact factors for drinking-water reservoirs.

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-10

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

  6. Teacher Decisions about Planning and Assessment in Primary Mathematics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dezfuli, Homayoon

    2010-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Cuihua; Xing, Peng; Wang, Jianwei

    2015-04-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Savickiene, Izabela; Pukelis, Kestutis

    2004-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Oszust, Mariusz

    2016-01-01

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

  12. Assessment of Secondary School Students' Decision-Making and Game-Play Ability in Soccer

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Blomqvist, Minna; Vanttinen, Tomi; Luhtanen, Pekka

    2005-01-01

    The purposes of this study were to assess secondary school students' decision-making and game-play ability and to investigate how game understanding, assessed by a standardized video-based test, corresponds to students' decision-making and skill execution ability in actual game play. Students (12, aged 14-15 years) participated in a video-based…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2014-01-01

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

  14. Blind image quality assessment via deep learning.

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

  15. Blind image quality assessment via deep learning.

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  18. Regional risk assessment for contaminated sites part 1: vulnerability assessment by multicriteria decision analysis.

    PubMed

    Zabeo, A; Pizzol, L; Agostini, P; Critto, A; Giove, S; Marcomini, A

    2011-11-01

    As highlighted in the EU Soil Communication, local contamination is one of the main soil threats and it is often related to present and past industrial activities which left a legacy of a high number of contaminated sites in Europe. These contaminated sites can be harmful to many different receptors according to their sensitivity/susceptibility to contamination, and specific vulnerability evaluations are needed in order to manage this widely spread environmental issue. In this paper a novel comprehensive vulnerability assessment framework to assess regional receptor susceptibility to contaminated site is presented. The developed methodology, which combines multi criteria decision analysis (MCDA) techniques and spatial analysis, can be applied to different receptors recognized as relevant for regional assessment. In order to characterize each receptor, picked parameters significant for the estimation of the vulnerability to contaminated sites have been selected, normalized and aggregated by means of multi criteria decision analysis (MCDA) techniques. The developed MCDA methodology, based on the Choquet integral, allows to include expert judgments for the elicitation of synergic and conflicting effects between involved criteria and is applied to all the geographical objects representing the identified receptors. To test the potential of the vulnerability methodology, it has been applied to a specific case study area in the upper Silesia region of Poland where it proved to be reliable and consistent with the environmental experts' expected results. The vulnerability assessment results indicate that groundwater is the most vulnerable receptor characterized by a wide area with vulnerability scores belonging to the highest vulnerability class. As far as the other receptors are concerned, human health and surface water are characterized by quite homogeneous vulnerability scores falling in the medium-high vulnerability classes, while protected areas resulted to be the less

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

    PubMed

    Scannell, Jack W; Bosley, Jim

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Scannell, Jack W.; Bosley, Jim

    2016-01-01

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

  1. Quality assessment of clinical computed tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-08-01

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

  2. Automatic quality assessment protocol for MRI equipment.

    PubMed

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

    1999-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kučerová, Marta; Škůrková Lestyánszka, Katarína

    2013-12-01

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

  6. Surgical quality assessment. A simplified approach.

    PubMed

    DeLong, D L

    1991-10-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2016-06-20

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Akar, S.; Young, K. R.

    2015-02-01

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

  10. 42 CFR 493.1299 - Standard: Postanalytic systems quality assessment.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

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

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

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

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

  12. Beef quality assessed at European research centres.

    PubMed

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

    1984-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Ben-Assuli, Ofir; Leshno, Moshe

    2016-09-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Orasanu, Judith

    1993-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2005-10-15

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

  16. Environmental condition assessment of US military installations using GIS based spatial multi-criteria decision analysis.

    PubMed

    Singer, Steve; Wang, Guangxing; Howard, Heidi; Anderson, Alan

    2012-08-01

    Environment functions in various aspects including soil and water conservation, biodiversity and habitats, and landscape aesthetics. Comprehensive assessment of environmental condition is thus a great challenge. The issues include how to assess individual environmental components such as landscape aesthetics and integrate them into an indicator that can comprehensively quantify environmental condition. In this study, a geographic information systems based spatial multi-criteria decision analysis was used to integrate environmental variables and create the indicator. This approach was applied to Fort Riley Military installation in which land condition and its dynamics due to military training activities were assessed. The indicator was derived by integrating soil erosion, water quality, landscape fragmentation, landscape aesthetics, and noise based on the weights from the experts by assessing and ranking the environmental variables in terms of their importance. The results showed that landscape level indicator well quantified the overall environmental condition and its dynamics, while the indicator at level of patch that is defined as a homogeneous area that is different from its surroundings detailed the spatiotemporal variability of environmental condition. The environmental condition was mostly determined by soil erosion, then landscape fragmentation, water quality, landscape aesthetics, and noise. Overall, environmental condition at both landscape and patch levels greatly varied depending on the degree of ground and canopy disturbance and their spatial patterns due to military training activities and being related to slope. It was also determined the environment itself could be recovered quickly once military training was halt or reduced. Thus, this study provided an effective tool for the army land managers to monitor environmental dynamics and plan military training activities. Its limitation lies at that the obtained values of the indicator vary and are

  17. QUALITY: A program to assess basis set quality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sordo, J. A.

    1998-09-01

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

  18. 42 CFR 493.1289 - Standard: Analytic systems quality assessment.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 5 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Standard: Analytic systems quality assessment. 493... Nonwaived Testing Analytic Systems § 493.1289 Standard: Analytic systems quality assessment. (a) The..., assess, and when indicated, correct problems identified in the analytic systems specified in §§...

  19. A neurolaw perspective on psychiatric assessments of criminal responsibility: decision-making, mental disorder, and the brain.

    PubMed

    Meynen, Gerben

    2013-01-01

    In some criminal law cases, the defendant is assessed by a forensic psychiatrist or psychologist within the context of an insanity defense. In this article I argue that specific neuroscientific research can be helpful in improving the quality of such a forensic psychiatric evaluation. This will be clarified in two ways. Firstly, we shall adopt the approach of understanding these forensic assessments as evaluations of the influence of a mental disorder on a defendant's decision-making process. Secondly, I shall point to the fact that researchers in neuroscience have performed various studies over recent years on the influence of specific mental disorders on a patient's decision-making. I argue that such research, especially if modified to decision-making in criminal scenarios, could be very helpful to forensic psychiatric assessments. This kind of research aims to provide insights not merely into the presence of a mental disorder, but also into the actual impact of mental disorders on the decisions defendants have made in regard to their actions.

  20. Assessment of sleep quality in powernapping.

    PubMed

    Takhtsabzy, Bashaer K; Thomsen, Carsten E

    2011-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kingsbury, Nancy M.

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhuyan, Samarjyoti

    2001-07-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kissau, Scott; Adams, Mary Jo

    2016-01-01

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

  5. Food quality assessment by NIR hyperspectral imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-04-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1990-01-01

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

  7. Use of the decision quality process for strategic planning in the Duri Field, Indonesia

    SciTech Connect

    Neal, L. Jr.

    1994-12-31

    Strategic planning and rigorous decision analysis applications will be primary management tools for upstream companies in the 1990`s. Merging the long term focus of a strategic planning process with the probabilistic output of decision analysis techniques can yield insightful views of the potential successes and failures of a business plan. Even with these insights, comparing and deciding among a group of alternatives will remain a difficult task. In addition to uncertainties, business partners do not always share common value measures. Marketers want more barrels to sell, field supervisors like low operating cost strategies, and stockholders like cashflow. This environment complicates the managers` ability to choose between available options. The Decision Quality Process, a combination of classical decision analysis techniques coupled with Quality Improvement (QI) principles, bridges this gap. The process allows managers to develop and decide between different long term strategic plans, explicitly accounting for uncertainties, unknowns, and differing value measures. Three teams consisting of engineers, geologists, front line managers, and the highest levels of management within Caltex Pacific Indonesia, Texaco, and Chevron, spent 18 months developing and evaluating a multitude of development scenarios for the Duri Field. More than 200,000 cases of economics were run to support the evaluation. The result was a significant increase in expected value for the field regardless of the value measure used.

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Microbial quality assessment of household greywater.

    PubMed

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

    2012-09-01

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

  12. Multi-criteria decision making approaches for quality control of genome-wide association studies.

    PubMed

    Malovini, Alberto; Rognoni, Carla; Puca, Annibale; Bellazzi, Riccardo

    2009-03-01

    Experimental errors in the genotyping phases of a Genome-Wide Association Study (GWAS) can lead to false positive findings and to spurious associations. An appropriate quality control phase could minimize the effects of this kind of errors. Several filtering criteria can be used to perform quality control. Currently, no formal methods have been proposed for taking into account at the same time these criteria and the experimenter's preferences. In this paper we propose two strategies for setting appropriate genotyping rate thresholds for GWAS quality control. These two approaches are based on the Multi-Criteria Decision Making theory. We have applied our method on a real dataset composed by 734 individuals affected by Arterial Hypertension (AH) and 486 nonagenarians without history of AH. The proposed strategies appear to deal with GWAS quality control in a sound way, as they lead to rationalize and make explicit the experimenter's choices thus providing more reproducible results.

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

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, O W; Shields, M C

    1982-01-01

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

  14. Quantitative Framework for Retrospective Assessment of Interim Decisions in Clinical Trials

    PubMed Central

    Stanev, Roger

    2016-01-01

    This article presents a quantitative way of modeling the interim decisions of clinical trials. While statistical approaches tend to focus on the epistemic aspects of statistical monitoring rules, often overlooking ethical considerations, ethical approaches tend to neglect the key epistemic dimension. The proposal is a second-order decision-analytic framework. The framework provides means for retrospective assessment of interim decisions based on a clear and consistent set of criteria that combines both ethical and epistemic considerations. The framework is broadly Bayesian and addresses a fundamental question behind many concerns about clinical trials: What does it take for an interim decision (e.g., whether to stop the trial or continue) to be a good decision? Simulations illustrating the modeling of interim decisions counterfactually are provided. PMID:27353825

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

    PubMed Central

    Henry, S B

    1995-01-01

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

  16. A decision support system for assessing landfill performance.

    PubMed

    Celik, Başak; Girgin, Sertan; Yazici, Adnan; Unlü, Kahraman

    2010-01-01

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

  17. A decision support system for assessing landfill performance

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-01-15

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mayo, L. H.

    1971-01-01

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

  19. Interactions of Landowners' Land Use Decisions with Flood and Water Quality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsai, Y.; Mohammed, I. N.; Turnbull, S.; Zia, A.; Bomblies, A.

    2014-12-01

    Human-induced changes in landscape occurring at an unprecedented rate and spatial scale have significantly altered the hydrological processes. However, due to the complexity of human decision making on land management in response to various socio-economic circumstances, anthropogenic changes in landscape rarely occur homogenously across temporal and special scales, so do the underlying drivers for land management decisions. For this reason and that for achieving more sustainable natural resources management, we develop a cascading integrated assessment model (CIAM) that accounts for dynamic land use characteristics in modeling hydrological variability, heterogeneity in human land management decisions under various socio-economic scenarios, and feedback of hydrological responses to human behaviors. The CIAM consists of two core components: the interactive land-use transition agent-based model (ILUTABM) and the Regional Hydro-Ecological Simulation System (RHESSys). The ILUTABM simulates heterogeneity in land use decisions at parcel levels by differentiating decision making processes for agricultural, urban and forest landowners. A landowner is expected to make decisions given his expected utility with respect to different underlying socio-economic drivers given the landowner category and the characteristics of his landholdings. These attributes of the land include but not limited to the neighboring land use, zoning rules, current use, soil, slope and elevation. The RHESSys is physical-based watershed model that uses a hierarchical spatial framework to simulate runoff, snow, soil and vegetation processes. Here we use the CIAM to examine the impacts of coupled landscape and climate changes on flood and nutrient transport and consequently the impacts of flood and nutrient loadings on human decisions for land use in the Missisquoi Watershed, Vermont.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  1. In Search of Quality Criteria in Peer Assessment Practices

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Tier III Assessments, Data-Based Decision Making, and Interventions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Powers, Kristin; Mandal, Arpita

    2011-01-01

    Within the Response-to-Intervention framework, students who fail to profit from high-quality general education instruction, accommodations, and supplemental instruction progress to a more intensive intervention program, sometimes referred to as "Tier III." This article describes a problem-solving approach to designing such intensive, data-based,…

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

    SciTech Connect

    Webster, Mort D.

    2015-11-30

    This report presents the final outcomes and products of the project as performed both at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and subsequently at Pennsylvania State University. The research project can be divided into three main components: methodology development for decision-making under uncertainty, improving the resolution of the electricity sector to improve integrated assessment, and application of these methods to integrated assessment.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Webster, Mort David

    2015-03-10

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

  8. Using landscape ecology to focus ecological risk assessment and guide risk management decision-making.

    PubMed

    Kapustka, L A; Galbraith, H; Luxon, B M; Yocum, J

    2001-06-01

    Ecological risk assessment (EcoRA) generally suffers from limited application of ecological knowledge in the definition and characterization of real-world sites. Not surprisingly, most remediation decisions, which follow, have little or no relationship to the valued ecological resources of the site or the broader region. The practice has evolved to favor engineering-based mitigation strategies, which eliminate excess chemical concentrations at sites, or otherwise break exposure pathways, but which may not be ecologically beneficial. The heavy emphasis of EcoRA on toxicity threshold levels tends to focus dollars on clean up of small areas or volumes with high concentrations. Moreover, intrusive remediation technologies often render an area uninhabitable to the very species that were to be protected. Infusion of ecological knowledge into EcoRA has been difficult. Most professional ecologists choose not to venture into the messy applied fields, leaving their impressive knowledge untapped. Moreover, narrowly defined responsibilities within government circles can limit cooperation and coordination. The realization that land use activities often have greater adverse consequences to wildlife than do chemicals provides an opportunity to change attitudes and practices. We are developing procedures that incorporate landscape features into the environmental management process. Specifically, we are using an iterative approach to: a) identify scenarios where habitat value is important in EcoRAs; b) guide selection of appropriate assessment species, i) keyed to wildlife distribution ranges; ii) keyed to a database of habitat suitability models; iii) cross-linked with the EPA exposure handbook species; iv) referenced to wildlife distributions (e.g., breeding bird survey); c) define data collection needs for reconnaissance-, screening-, and definitive-level characterization of habitat quality for potential assessment species; d) generate spatially explicit descriptions of habitat

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liu, Shuiyun

    2015-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Deutsch, Nancy L.; Spencer, Renee

    2009-01-01

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

  12. Academics' Perceptions on the Purposes of Quality Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

  13. Development and Validation of Assessing Quality Teaching Rubrics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

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

  15. Quality Assessment of Internationalised Studies: Theory and Practice

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Juknyte-Petreikiene, Inga

    2013-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2014-01-01

    We present results from a study that categorizes and assesses the quality of questions and explanations authored by students in question repositories produced as part of the summative assessment in introductory physics courses over two academic sessions. Mapping question quality onto the levels in the cognitive domain of Bloom's taxonomy, we…

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wang, Qi

    2006-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Grainger, Peter; Adie, Lenore; Weir, Katie

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Assessment of the Quality Management Models in Higher Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Ji Yeoun; Hahn, Minsoo

    2010-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aydeniz, Mehmet; Gürçay, Deniz

    2013-11-01

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

  7. 75 FR 53298 - A Method to Assess Climate-Relevant Decisions: Application in the Chesapeake Bay

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-08-31

    ... AGENCY A Method to Assess Climate-Relevant Decisions: Application in the Chesapeake Bay AGENCY... 60-day public comment period for the draft document titled, ``A Method to Assess Climate-Relevant... climate change.'' The EO Strategy also commits EPA to ensuring that ``TMDL allocations account for...

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tansy, Michael

    2009-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  12. Statistical quality assessment of a fingerprint

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hwang, Kyungtae

    2004-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

  14. Assessment of a decision aid to assist genetic testing research participants in the informed consent process.

    PubMed

    Sorenson, J R; Lakon, C; Spinney, T; Jennings-Grant, T

    2004-01-01

    Limited attention has been given to applying decision-making theories from psychology to the content and process of informed consent in genetic testing research. Data are presented from a study that developed and assessed a psychological theory-based decision aid as part of the informed consent process. This innovative approach assisted at-risk women in assessing the consequences of participating in a research project that offered them free hemophilia A genetic carrier testing. Results suggest: (1) the decision aid can be incorporated into the consent process with few problems; (2) women of varying educational backgrounds can complete the decision aid; (3) while women consider many consequences of genetic testing, their primary focus is on the implications for their family; and (4) this is in marked contrast to the typical benefit-harm statements prepared by researchers for genetic testing.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Khadam, Ibrahim M.; Kaluarachchi, Jagath J

    2003-10-01

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

  16. Space shuttle flying qualities and criteria assessment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1987-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Borgert, Christopher J.; Mihaich, Ellen M.

    2012-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Spickett, Jeffery; Katscherian, Dianne; Harris, Patrick

    2013-11-15

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

  19. Water quality assessment and meta model development in Melen watershed - Turkey.

    PubMed

    Erturk, Ali; Gurel, Melike; Ekdal, Alpaslan; Tavsan, Cigdem; Ugurluoglu, Aysegul; Seker, Dursun Zafer; Tanik, Aysegul; Ozturk, Izzet

    2010-07-01

    Istanbul, being one of the highly populated metropolitan areas of the world, has been facing water scarcity since the past decade. Water transfer from Melen Watershed was considered as the most feasible option to supply water to Istanbul due to its high water potential and relatively less degraded water quality. This study consists of two parts. In the first part, water quality data covering 26 parameters from 5 monitoring stations were analyzed and assessed due to the requirements of the "Quality Required of Surface Water Intended for the Abstraction of Drinking Water" regulation. In the second part, a one-dimensional stream water quality model with simple water quality kinetics was developed. It formed a basic design for more advanced water quality models for the watershed. The reason for assessing the water quality data and developing a model was to provide information for decision making on preliminary actions to prevent any further deterioration of existing water quality. According to the water quality assessment at the water abstraction point, Melen River has relatively poor water quality with regard to NH(4)(+), BOD(5), faecal streptococcus, manganese and phenol parameters, and is unsuitable for drinking water abstraction in terms of COD, PO(4)(3-), total coliform, total suspended solids, mercury and total chromium parameters. The results derived from the model were found to be consistent with the water quality assessment. It also showed that relatively high inorganic nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations along the streams are related to diffuse nutrient loads that should be managed together with municipal and industrial wastewaters.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Switzer, Anne C.

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Kolstad, Jonathan T; Chernew, Michael E

    2009-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Sturgeon, Catharine

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Sturgeon, Catharine

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fulcher, Keston H.; Orem, Chris D.

    2010-01-01

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

  8. Factors Influencing Assessment Quality in Higher Vocational Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baartman, Liesbeth; Gulikers, Judith; Dijkstra, Asha

    2013-01-01

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

  9. Doctors or technicians: assessing quality of medical education

    PubMed Central

    Hasan, Tayyab

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Langenburg, Glenn; Champod, Christophe; Genessay, Thibault

    2012-06-10

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

  11. Local School Board Members Need Quality Public Information That Informs Decisions, Empowers Action. Don't Make Decisions in the Dark

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Data Quality Campaign, 2014

    2014-01-01

    Local school board members need to be able to access and use high-quality data to make good decisions. Often this data is collected and stored locally, but information that is publicly reported by the state can provide additional value. Most state public reporting is designed to serve information needs, and are geared toward compliance with state…

  12. Dried fruits quality assessment by hyperspectral imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Serranti, Silvia; Gargiulo, Aldo; Bonifazi, Giuseppe

    2012-05-01

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

  13. Transition Assessment: Wise Practices for Quality Lives.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sax, Caren L.; Thoma, Colleen A.

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Maguire, Kate; Gibbs, Paul

    2013-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Child Trends, 2010

    2010-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Child Trends, 2010

    2010-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Child Trends, 2010

    2010-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Child Trends, 2010

    2010-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Child Trends, 2010

    2010-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Child Trends, 2010

    2010-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Child Trends, 2010

    2010-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Child Trends, 2010

    2010-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Child Trends, 2010

    2010-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Child Trends, 2010

    2010-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Child Trends, 2010

    2010-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Child Trends, 2010

    2010-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2010-01-01

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

  8. Air quality risk assessment and management.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yue; Craig, Lorraine; Krewski, Daniel

    2008-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  12. Quality assessment of medical research and education.

    PubMed

    Eriksson, H

    1992-01-01

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

  13. ASSESSING WATER QUALITY: AN ENERGETICS PERPECTIVE

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  14. Time-averaging water quality assessment

    SciTech Connect

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

    1995-07-01

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

  15. SAMPLING DESIGN FOR ASSESSING RECREATIONAL WATER QUALITY

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  16. E-Services quality assessment framework for collaborative networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-08-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  18. Towards the ecotourism: a decision support model for the assessment of sustainability of mountain huts in the Alps.

    PubMed

    Stubelj Ars, Mojca; Bohanec, Marko

    2010-12-01

    This paper studies mountain hut infrastructure in the Alps as an important element of ecotourism in the Alpine region. To improve the decision-making process regarding the implementation of future infrastructure and improvement of existing infrastructure in the vulnerable natural environment of mountain ecosystems, a new decision support model has been developed. The methodology is based on qualitative multi-attribute modelling supported by the DEXi software. The integrated rule-based model is hierarchical and consists of two submodels that cover the infrastructure of the mountain huts and that of the huts' surroundings. The final goal for the designed tool is to help minimize the ecological footprint of tourists in environmentally sensitive and undeveloped mountain areas and contribute to mountain ecotourism. The model has been tested in the case study of four mountain huts in Triglav National Park in Slovenia. Study findings provide a new empirical approach to evaluating existing mountain infrastructure and predicting improvements for the future. The assessment results are of particular interest for decision makers in protected areas, such as Alpine national parks managers and administrators. In a way, this model proposes an approach to the management assessment of mountain huts with the main aim of increasing the quality of life of mountain environment visitors as well as the satisfaction of tourists who may eventually become ecotourists.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Dougherty, M R; Shanteau, J

    1999-03-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Duncan, Bryan

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Reisman, A.

    1981-11-01

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

  4. Assessment of Groundwater Quality by Chemometrics.

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Briancesco, Rossella

    2005-01-01

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

  6. Method and apparatus for assessing weld quality

    DOEpatents

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

    2001-01-01

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

  7. Assessment of Groundwater Quality by Chemometrics.

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1984-04-01

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

  11. Assessing Quality across Health Care Subsystems in Mexico

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  12. 42 CFR 460.140 - Additional quality assessment activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

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

  13. 42 CFR 460.140 - Additional quality assessment activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

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

  14. 42 CFR 460.140 - Additional quality assessment activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

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

  15. 42 CFR 460.140 - Additional quality assessment activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

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

  16. Assessing Truck Ride Quality for Design

    SciTech Connect

    Field, R.V., Jr.

    1998-09-30

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Zining, Jin

    2015-11-15

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

  18. Using big data for quality assessment in oncology.

    PubMed

    Broughman, James R; Chen, Ronald C

    2016-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Keum, Jongho; Kaluarachchi, Jagath J

    2015-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Keum, Jongho; Kaluarachchi, Jagath J

    2015-07-01

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

  1. Analytical performance, reference values and decision limits. A need to differentiate between reference intervals and decision limits and to define analytical quality specifications.

    PubMed

    Petersen, Per Hyltoft; Jensen, Esther A; Brandslund, Ivan

    2012-05-01

    With the increasing use of decision limits (action limits, cut-off points) specified for a number of analytical components in diagnosis and for action in critical situations, formulated in national or international recommendations, the traditional interpretation of reference intervals has been uncertain, and sometimes the two concepts are being mixed up by incorporating risk calculations in the reference intervals. There is, therefore, a need to clarify the two concepts and to keep them definitely separated. Reference intervals are the 95% limits for the descriptions of the distributions of the values of analytical components measured on reference samples from reference individuals. Decision limits are based on guidelines from national and international expert groups defining specific concentrations of certain components as limits for decision about diagnosis or well-defined specific actions. Analytical quality specifications for reference intervals have been defined for bias since the 1990s, but in the recommendations specified in the clinical guidelines analytical quality specifications are only scarcely defined. The demands for negligible biases are, however, even more essential for decision limits, as the choice is no longer left to the clinician, but emerge directly from the concentration. Even a small bias will change the number of diseased individuals, so the demands for negligible biases are obvious. A view over the analytical quality as published gives a variable picture of bias for many components, but with many examples of considerable bias which must be critical--yet no specifications have been stipulated until now. PMID:22628319

  2. Analytical performance, reference values and decision limits. A need to differentiate between reference intervals and decision limits and to define analytical quality specifications.

    PubMed

    Petersen, Per Hyltoft; Jensen, Esther A; Brandslund, Ivan

    2011-12-23

    With the increasing use of decision limits (action limits, cut-off points) specified for a number of analytical components in diagnosis and for action in critical situations, formulated in national or international recommendations, the traditional interpretation of reference intervals has been uncertain, and sometimes the two concepts are being mixed up by incorporating risk calculations in the reference intervals. There is, therefore, a need to clarify the two concepts and to keep them definitely separated. Reference intervals are the 95% limits for the descriptions of the distributions of the values of analytical components measured on reference samples from reference individuals. Decision limits are based on guidelines from national and international expert groups defining specific concentrations of certain components as limits for decision about diagnosis or well-defined specific actions. Analytical quality specifications for reference intervals have been defined for bias since the 1990s, but in the recommendations specified in the clinical guidelines analytical quality specifications are only scarcely defined. The demands for negligible biases are, however, even more essential for decision limits, as the choice is no longer left to the clinician, but emerge directly from the concentration. Even a small bias will change the number of diseased individuals, so the demands for negligible biases are obvious. A view over the analytical quality as published gives a variable picture of bias for many components, but with many examples of considerable bias which must be critical--yet no specifications have been stipulated until now.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  5. Manipulating mentors' assessment decisions: Do underperforming student nurses use coercive strategies to influence mentors' practical assessment decisions?

    PubMed

    Hunt, Louise A; McGee, Paula; Gutteridge, Robin; Hughes, Malcolm

    2016-09-01

    There is growing evidence of a culture of expectation among nursing students in Universities which leads to narcissistic behaviour. Evidence is growing that some student nurses are disrespectful and rude towards their university lecturers. There has been little investigation into whether they exhibit similar behaviour towards their mentors during practical placements, particularly when they, the students, are not meeting the required standards for practice. This paper focuses on adding to the evidence around a unique finding - that student nurses can use coercive and manipulative behaviour to elicit a successful outcome to their practice learning assessment (as noted in Hunt et al. (2016, p 82)). Four types of coercive student behaviour were identified and classified as: ingratiators, diverters, disparagers and aggressors, each of which engendered varying degrees of fear and guilt in mentors. The effects of each type of behaviour are discussed and considered in the light of psychological contracts. Mechanisms to maintain effective working relationships between student nurses and mentors and bolster the robustness of the practical assessment process under such circumstances are discussed. PMID:27635995

  6. Technical assessment for quality control of resins

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gosnell, R. B.

    1977-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Macchia, Peter, Jr.

    1993-01-01

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

  8. Goals of Peer Assessment and Their Associated Quality Concepts

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baric, Denis; Burušic, Josip

    2015-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Losak, John

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Openshaw, Peter

    1984-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Leahy, P. Patrick; Wilber, William G.

    1991-01-01

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

  13. Assumptions Commonly Underlying Government Quality Assessment Practices

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schmidtlein, Frank A.

    2004-01-01

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

  14. Developing Quality Physical Education through Student Assessments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Yan

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Xu, Yan; Wells, Philip S

    2016-07-01

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

  17. Assessing an Adolescent's Capacity for Autonomous Decision-Making in Clinical Care.

    PubMed

    Michaud, Pierre-André; Blum, Robert Wm; Benaroyo, Lazare; Zermatten, Jean; Baltag, Valentina

    2015-10-01

    The purpose of this article is to provide policy guidance on how to assess the capacity of minor adolescents for autonomous decision-making without a third party authorization, in the field of clinical care. In June 2014, a two-day meeting gathered 20 professionals from all continents, working in the field of adolescent medicine, neurosciences, developmental and clinical psychology, sociology, ethics, and law. Formal presentations and discussions were based on a literature search and the participants' experience. The assessment of adolescent decision-making capacity includes the following: (1) a review of the legal context consistent with the principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child; (2) an empathetic relationship between the adolescent and the health care professional/team; (3) the respect of the adolescent's developmental stage and capacities; (4) the inclusion, if relevant, of relatives, peers, teachers, or social and mental health providers with the adolescent's consent; (5) the control of coercion and other social forces that influence decision-making; and (6) a deliberative stepwise appraisal of the adolescent's decision-making process. This stepwise approach, already used among adults with psychiatric disorders, includes understanding the different facets of the given situation, reasoning on the involved issues, appreciating the outcomes linked with the decision(s), and expressing a choice. Contextual and psychosocial factors play pivotal roles in the assessment of adolescents' decision-making capacity. The evaluation must be guided by a well-established procedure, and health professionals should be trained accordingly. These proposals are the first to have been developed by a multicultural, multidisciplinary expert panel. PMID:26281798

  18. Characterizing the Leaching Behavior of Coal Combustion Residues using the Leaching Environmental Assessment Framework (LEAF) to Inform Future Management Decisions

    EPA Science Inventory

    Abstract for presentation on Characterizing the Leaching Behavior of Coal Combustion Residues using the Leaching Environmental Assessment Framework (LEAF) to Inform Future Management Decisions. The abstract is attached.

  19. Quality assessment of plant transpiration water

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1990-01-01

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

  20. Health impact assessments are needed in decision making about environmental and land-use policy.

    PubMed

    Wernham, Aaron

    2011-05-01

    The importance to public health of environmental decisions-including those about land use, transportation, power generation, agriculture, and environmental regulation-is increasingly well documented. Yet many decision makers in fields not traditionally focused on health continue to pay little if any attention to the important health effects of their work. This article examines the emerging practice of health impact assessment and offers real-world examples of its effective implementation, including studying the impact of nearby highways-a major source of air pollution-on proposed new housing for seniors. The article argues that officials at the federal, state, and local levels should consult health experts and consider using health impact assessments when their decisions on such issues as urban planning, land use, and environmental regulation have the potential to directly affect the conditions in which people live and work. PMID:21555479

  1. Health impact assessments are needed in decision making about environmental and land-use policy.

    PubMed

    Wernham, Aaron

    2011-05-01

    The importance to public health of environmental decisions-including those about land use, transportation, power generation, agriculture, and environmental regulation-is increasingly well documented. Yet many decision makers in fields not traditionally focused on health continue to pay little if any attention to the important health effects of their work. This article examines the emerging practice of health impact assessment and offers real-world examples of its effective implementation, including studying the impact of nearby highways-a major source of air pollution-on proposed new housing for seniors. The article argues that officials at the federal, state, and local levels should consult health experts and consider using health impact assessments when their decisions on such issues as urban planning, land use, and environmental regulation have the potential to directly affect the conditions in which people live and work.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-01

    Increased concern over climate change is demonstrated by the many efforts to assess climate effects and develop adaptation strategies. Scientists, resource managers, and decision makers are increasingly expected to use climate information, but they struggle with its uncertainty. With the current proliferation of climate simulations and downscaling methods, scientifically credible strategies for selecting a subset for analysis and decision making are needed. Drawing on a rich literature in climate science and impact assessment and on experience working with natural resource scientists and decision makers, we devised guidelines for choosing climate-change scenarios for ecological impact assessment that recognize irreducible uncertainty in climate projections and address common misconceptions about this uncertainty. This approach involves identifying primary local climate drivers by climate sensitivity of the biological system of interest; determining appropriate sources of information for future changes in those drivers; considering how well processes controlling local climate are spatially resolved; and selecting scenarios based on considering observed emission trends, relative importance of natural climate variability, and risk tolerance and time horizon of the associated decision. The most appropriate scenarios for a particular analysis will not necessarily be the most appropriate for another due to differences in local climate drivers, biophysical linkages to climate, decision characteristics, and how well a model simulates the climate parameters and processes of interest. Given these complexities, we recommend interaction among climate scientists, natural and physical scientists, and decision makers throughout the process of choosing and using climate-change scenarios for ecological impact assessment. Selección y Uso de Escenarios de Cambio Climático para Estudios de Impacto Ecológico y Decisiones de Conservación. PMID:24299081

  4. Using Social Simulations to Assess and Train Potential Leaders to Make Effective Decisions in Turbulent Environments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hunsaker, L. Phillip

    2007-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to describe two social simulations created to assess leadership potential and train leaders to make effective decisions in turbulent environments. One is set in the novel environment of a lunar moon colony and the other is a military combat command. The research generated from these simulations for assessing…

  5. 76 FR 12356 - A Method To Assess Climate-Relevant Decisions: Application in the Chesapeake Bay

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-03-07

    ...: Application in the Chesapeake Bay'' (EPA/600/R-10/096a), announced earlier (76 FR 4345, January 25, 2011). EPA... received during the public comment period from August 31 to November 1, 2010 (announced in 75 FR 168... AGENCY A Method To Assess Climate-Relevant Decisions: Application in the Chesapeake Bay...

  6. Determining Faculty Effectiveness. Assessing Teaching, Research, and Service for Personnel Decisions and Improvement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Centra, John A.

    An authoritative, research-based guide to determining faculty effectiveness is offered. Assessment of classroom teaching, scholarship and research, public service, and student advising are faculty tasks examined for personnel decisions and general improvement. Emphasis on educational accountability in academe, due to declining enrollments and…

  7. Setting Proficiency Standards for School Leadership Assessment: An Examination of Cut Score Decision Making

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cravens, Xiu Chen; Goldring, Ellen B.; Porter, Andrew C.; Polikoff, Morgan S.; Murphy, Joseph; Elliott, Stephen N.

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: Performance evaluation informs professional development and helps school personnel improve student learning. Although psychometric literature indicates that a rational, sound, and coherent standard-setting process adds to the credibility of an assessment, few studies have empirically examined the decision-making process. This article…

  8. Assessing the Benefits of Wetland Restoration: A Rapid Benefit Indicators Approach for Decision Makers

    EPA Science Inventory

    This guide presents the Rapid Benefits Indicators (RBI) Approach, a rapid process for assessing the social benefits of ecosystem restoration. Created for those who conduct, advocate for, or support restoration, the RBI approach consists of five steps: (1) Describe the decision co...

  9. LIFE CYCLE ASSESSMENT IN MANAGEMENT, PRODUCT AND PROCESS DESIGN, AND POLICY DECISION MAKING: A CONFERENCE REPORT

    EPA Science Inventory

    On 24 September 2003, life cycle assessment (LCA) practitioners and decision makers gathered at the InLCA/LCM Conference in Seattle, Washington, USA (see http://www.lcacenter.org/InLCA-LCM03/index.html) to discuss the role of LCA in management, product design, process development...

  10. Trends in Facility Management Technology: The Emergence of the Internet, GIS, and Facility Assessment Decision Support.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Teicholz, Eric

    1997-01-01

    Reports research on trends in computer-aided facilities management using the Internet and geographic information system (GIS) technology for space utilization research. Proposes that facility assessment software holds promise for supporting facility management decision making, and outlines four areas for its use: inventory; evaluation; reporting;…

  11. Career Development Strivings: Assessing Goals and Motivation in Career Decision-Making and Planning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dik, Bryan J.; Sargent, Adam M.; Steger, Michael F.

    2008-01-01

    This article describes and demonstrates a novel approach to assessing goals and motives among individuals engaged in the career decision-making and planning process. Participants generated five career development strivings, rated each striving along several dimensions (self-efficacy, outcome expectations, sense of calling, spiritual significance,…

  12. Curriculum Needs Assessment: A Model for Trade & Industrial Education Decision-Making.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wichowski, Chester

    A multi-dimensional needs assessment model has been developed to provide a research tool for the review of statewide curriculum needs in vocational education. The model provides for an integrated review of selected demographic, educational, and decision-making data to target vocational education program areas and occupational titles for additional…

  13. Facility Energy Decision System (FEDS) Assessment Report for Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico

    SciTech Connect

    Chvala, William D.; Solana, Amy E.; Dixon, Douglas R.

    2005-02-01

    This report documents the findings of the Facility Energy Decision System (FEDS) assessment at Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico, by a team of PNNL engineers under contract to the Installation Management Agency (IMA) Southeast Region Office (SERO). Funding support was also provided by the Department of Energy's Federal Energy Management Program. The purpose of the assessment was to determine how energy is consumed at Fort Buchanan, identify the most cost-effective energy retrofit measures, and calculate the potential energy and cost savings.

  14. Data quality and processing for decision making: divergence between corporate strategy and manufacturing processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McNeil, Ronald D.; Miele, Renato; Shaul, Dennis

    2000-10-01

    Information technology is driving improvements in manufacturing systems. Results are higher productivity and quality. However, corporate strategy is driven by a number of factors and includes data and pressure from multiple stakeholders, which includes employees, managers, executives, stockholders, boards, suppliers and customers. It is also driven by information about competitors and emerging technology. Much information is based on processing of data and the resulting biases of the processors. Thus, stakeholders can base inputs on faulty perceptions, which are not reality based. Prior to processing, data used may be inaccurate. Sources of data and information may include demographic reports, statistical analyses, intelligence reports (e.g., marketing data), technology and primary data collection. The reliability and validity of data as well as the management of sources and information is critical element to strategy formulation. The paper explores data collection, processing and analyses from secondary and primary sources, information generation and report presentation for strategy formulation and contrast this with data and information utilized to drive internal process such as manufacturing. The hypothesis is that internal process, such as manufacturing, are subordinate to corporate strategies. The impact of possible divergence in quality of decisions at the corporate level on IT driven, quality-manufacturing processes based on measurable outcomes is significant. Recommendations for IT improvements at the corporate strategy level are given.

  15. Floristic Quality Assessment Across the Nation: Status, Opportunities, and Challenges

    EPA Science Inventory

    Floristic Quality Assessment (FQA) will be considered in the USEPA National Wetland Condition Assessment (NWCA). FQA is a powerful tool to describe wetland ecological condition, and is based on Coefficients of Conservatism (CC) of individual native plant species. CCs rank sensiti...

  16. A new assessment method for image fusion quality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-03-01

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

  17. School Indoor Air Quality Assessment and Program Implementation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Prill, R.; Blake, D.; Hales, D.

    This paper describes the effectiveness of a three-step indoor air quality (IAQ) program implemented by 156 schools in the states of Washington and Idaho during the 2000-2001 school year. An experienced IAQ/building science specialist conducted walk-through assessments at each school. These assessments documented deficiencies and served as an…

  18. No-reference visual quality assessment for image inpainting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Voronin, V. V.; Frantc, V. A.; Marchuk, V. I.; Sherstobitov, A. I.; Egiazarian, K.

    2015-03-01

    Inpainting has received a lot of attention in recent years and quality assessment is an important task to evaluate different image reconstruction approaches. In many cases inpainting methods introduce a blur in sharp transitions in image and image contours in the recovery of large areas with missing pixels and often fail to recover curvy boundary edges. Quantitative metrics of inpainting results currently do not exist and researchers use human comparisons to evaluate their methodologies and techniques. Most objective quality assessment methods rely on a reference image, which is often not available in inpainting applications. Usually researchers use subjective quality assessment by human observers. It is difficult and time consuming procedure. This paper focuses on a machine learning approach for no-reference visual quality assessment for image inpainting based on the human visual property. Our method is based on observation that Local Binary Patterns well describe local structural information of the image. We use a support vector regression learned on assessed by human images to predict perceived quality of inpainted images. We demonstrate how our predicted quality value correlates with qualitative opinion in a human observer study. Results are shown on a human-scored dataset for different inpainting methods.

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

    PubMed

    Depalma, Ralph G

    2011-04-01

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

  20. Quality Assessment of TPB-Based Questionnaires: A Systematic Review

    PubMed Central

    Oluka, Obiageli Crystal; Nie, Shaofa; Sun, Yi

    2014-01-01

    Objective This review is aimed at assessing the quality of questionnaires and their development process based on the theory of planned behavior (TPB) change model. Methods A systematic literature search for studies with the primary aim of TPB-based questionnaire development was conducted in relevant databases between 2002 and 2012 using selected search terms. Ten of 1,034 screened abstracts met the inclusion criteria and were assessed for methodological quality using two different appraisal tools: one for the overall methodological quality of each study and the other developed for the appraisal of the questionnaire content and development process. Both appraisal tools consisted of items regarding the likelihood of bias in each study and were eventually combined to give the overall quality score for each included study. Results 8 of the 10 included studies showed low risk of bias in the overall quality assessment of each study, while 9 of the studies were of high quality based on the quality appraisal of questionnaire content and development process. Conclusion Quality appraisal of the questionnaires in the 10 reviewed studies was successfully conducted, highlighting the top problem areas (including: sample size estimation; inclusion of direct and indirect measures; and inclusion of questions on demographics) in the development of TPB-based questionnaires and the need for researchers to provide a more detailed account of their development process. PMID:24722323

  1. A new quality assessment and improvement system for print media

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Mohan; Konya, Iuliu; Nandzik, Jan; Flores-Herr, Nicolas; Eickeler, Stefan; Ndjiki-Nya, Patrick

    2012-12-01

    Print media collections of considerable size are held by cultural heritage organizations and will soon be subject to digitization activities. However, technical content quality management in digitization workflows strongly relies on human monitoring. This heavy human intervention is cost intensive and time consuming, which makes automization mandatory. In this article, a new automatic quality assessment and improvement system is proposed. The digitized source image and color reference target are extracted from the raw digitized images by an automatic segmentation process. The target is evaluated by a reference-based algorithm. No-reference quality metrics are applied to the source image. Experimental results are provided to illustrate the performance of the proposed system. We show that it features a good performance in the extraction as well as in the quality assessment step compared to the state-of-the-art. The impact of efficient and dedicated quality assessors on the optimization step is extensively documented.

  2. Southwest Principal Aquifers Regional Ground-Water Quality Assessment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2009-01-01

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

  3. Assessing quality management in an R and D environment

    SciTech Connect

    Thompson, B.D.

    1998-02-01

    Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) is a premier research and development institution operated by the University of California for the US Department of Energy. Since 1991, LANL has pursued a heightened commitment to developing world-class quality in management and operations. In 1994 LANL adopted the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award criteria as a framework for all activities and initiated more formalized customer focus and quality management. Five measurement systems drive the current integration of quality efforts: an annual Baldrige-based assessment, a customer focus program, customer-driven performance measurement, an employee performance management system and annual employee surveys, and integrated planning processes with associated goals and measures.

  4. Continuous high-frequency monitoring of estuarine water quality as a decision support tool: a Dublin Port case study.

    PubMed

    Briciu-Burghina, Ciprian; Sullivan, Timothy; Chapman, James; Regan, Fiona

    2014-09-01

    High-frequency, continuous monitoring using in situ sensors offers a comprehensive and improved insight into the temporal and spatial variability of any water body. In this paper, we describe a 7-month exploratory monitoring programme in Dublin Port, demonstrating the value of high-frequency data in enhancing knowledge of processes, informing discrete sampling, and ultimately increasing the efficiency of port and environmental management. Kruskal-Wallis and Mann-Whitney tests were used to show that shipping operating in Dublin Port has a small-medium effect on turbidity readings collected by in situ sensors. Turbidity events are largely related to vessel activity in Dublin Port, caused by re-suspension of sediments by vessel propulsion systems. The magnitudes of such events are strongly related to water level and tidal state at vessel arrival times. Crucially, measurements of Escherichia coli and enterococci contamination from discrete samples taken at key periods related to detected turbidity events were up to nine times higher after vessel arrival than prior to disturbance. Daily in situ turbidity patterns revealed time-dependent water quality "hot spots" during a 24-h period. We demonstrate conclusively that if representative environmental assessment of water quality is to be performed at such sites, sampling times, informed by continous monitoring data, should take into account these daily variations. This work outlines the potential of sensor technologies and continuous monitoring, to act as a decision support tool in both environmental and port management.

  5. Clinical judgment and decision making in wound assessment and management: is experience enough?

    PubMed

    Logan, Gemma

    2015-03-01

    The assessment and management of wounds forms a large proportion of community nurses' workload, often requiring judgment and decision-making in complex, challenging and uncertain circumstances. The processes through which nurses form judgments and make decisions within this context are reviewed in this article against existing theories on these on these subjects. There is variability in wound assessment and management practice which may be attributed to uncertainties within the context, a lack of knowledge in appropriate treatment choices and the inability to correctly value the importance of the clinical information presented. Nurses may be required to draw on intuition to guide their judgments and decision-making by association with experience and expertise. In addition, a step-by-step analytical approach underpinned by an evidence base may be required to ensure accuracy in practice. Developing an understanding of the different theories of judgment and decision-making may facilitate nurses' abilities to reflect on their own decision tasks, thereby enhancing the care provided.

  6. Intelligent Aircraft Damage Assessment, Trajectory Planning, and Decision-Making under Uncertainty

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lopez, Israel; Sarigul-Klijn, Nesrin

    Situational awareness and learning are necessary to identify and select the optimal set of mutually non-exclusive hypothesis in order to maximize mission performance and adapt system behavior accordingly. This paper presents a hierarchical and decentralized approach for integrated damage assessment and trajectory planning in aircraft with uncertain navigational decision-making. Aircraft navigation can be safely accomplished by properly addressing the following: decision-making, obstacle perception, aircraft state estimation, and aircraft control. When in-flight failures or damage occur, rapid and precise decision-making under imprecise information is required in order to regain and maintain control of the aircraft. To achieve planned aircraft trajectory and complete safe landing, the uncertainties in system dynamics of the damaged aircraft need to be learned and incorporated at the level of motion planning. The damaged aircraft is simulated via a simplified kinematic model. The different sources and perspectives of uncertainties in the damage assessment process and post-failure trajectory planning are presented and classified. The decision-making process for an emergency motion planning and landing is developed via the Dempster-Shafer evidence theory. The objective of the trajectory planning is to arrive at a target position while maximizing the safety of the aircraft given uncertain conditions. Simulations are presented for an emergency motion planning and landing that takes into account aircraft dynamics, path complexity, distance to landing site, runway characteristics, and subjective human decision.

  7. Assessing Requirements Quality through Requirements Coverage

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rajan, Ajitha; Heimdahl, Mats; Woodham, Kurt

    2008-01-01

    requirements and existing model coverage metrics such as the Modified Condition and Decision Coverage (MC/DC) used when testing highly critical software in the avionics industry [8]. Our work is related to Chockler et al. [2], but we base our work on traditional testing techniques as opposed to verification techniques.

  8. 42 CFR 438.240 - Quality assessment and performance improvement program.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

  11. Visual analytics in medical education: impacting analytical reasoning and decision making for quality improvement.

    PubMed

    Vaitsis, Christos; Nilsson, Gunnar; Zary, Nabil

    2015-01-01

    The medical curriculum is the main tool representing the entire undergraduate medical education. Due to its complexity and multilayered structure it is of limited use to teachers in medical education for quality improvement purposes. In this study we evaluated three visualizations of curriculum data from a pilot course, using teachers from an undergraduate medical program and applying visual analytics methods. We found that visual analytics can be used to positively impacting analytical reasoning and decision making in medical education through the realization of variables capable to enhance human perception and cognition on complex curriculum data. The positive results derived from our evaluation of a medical curriculum and in a small scale, signify the need to expand this method to an entire medical curriculum. As our approach sustains low levels of complexity it opens a new promising direction in medical education informatics research.

  12. [From library to clinical decision support systems: access of general practitioner to quality information].

    PubMed

    Fauquert, B

    2012-09-01

    Since 2003, the following tools have been implemented in Belgium for improving the access of general practioners to the EBM literature: the Digital Library for Health and the evidence-linker of the CEBAM, the portal EBMPracticeNet.be and the multidimensional electronic clinical decision support EBMeDS. The aim of this article is to show the progress achieved in the information dissemination toward the belgian general practioners, particularly the access from the electronic health record. From the literature published these last years, the opportunities cited by the users are for using EBM and the strong willingness for using these literature access in the future; the limits are the medical data coding, the irrelevance of the search results, the alerts fatigue induced by EBMeDS. The achievements done and planned for the new EBMPracticeNet guidelines portal and the EBMeDS system are explained in the aim of informing belgian healthcare professionals. These projects are claiming for lauching a participatory process in the production and dissemination of EBM information. The discussion is focused on the belgian healthcare system advantages, the solutions for a reasonable implementation of these projects and for increasing the place of an evidence-based information in the healthcare decision process. Finally the input of these projects to the continuing medical education and to the healthcare quality are discussed, in a context of multifactorial interaction healthcare design (complexity design).

  13. Interaction between assessment and instruction in science: A teacher's decision-making process

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brownstein, Erica Marie

    This study describes the interaction between assessment and instruction in a secondary science classroom. This research examines a chemistry teacher in an AP class in a midwestern urban setting interactively assessing his students and how knowledge gained during that assessment affected his instructional decision-making. The theoretical framework includes reflection-in-action, the zone of proximal development, and social constructivism. The primary question that guided the study was: What is the interaction between assessment and instruction in a science classroom? The three sub questions were: How does a teacher gain knowledge of students' thinking? How does a teacher use knowledge of his students' thinking in interactive instructional decisions? What are the components of his interactive instructional decisions? Participant observation of the classroom occurred over a four month period. The elicit interview technique was used immediately following class to discuss interactive instructional decisions with the teacher. Data sources included videotapes, interviews, field notes, classroom documents, intern journal, and member checking from which triangulation was possible. The goal was to examine and understand interactive decisions that had an impact on instruction. The results indicated that the students were in a safe, accepting environment and that student levels of understanding chemistry were indeterminate, low, medium, and high. Impacts on teacher decision making were pedagogical content knowledge, assessing context, and knowledge of the student. It was found that to gain knowledge of student thinking, the teacher listened, examined student work, asked questions, and made statements. Questions the teacher asked were to probe, lead, or clarify student knowledge. Statements the teacher made would clarify or restate student words. The teacher used his understanding of student knowledge to make instructional decisions by recognizing student knowledge, connecting

  14. Combining multicriteria decision analysis, ethics and health technology assessment: applying the EVIDEM decisionmaking framework to growth hormone for Turner syndrome patients

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Objectives To test and further develop a healthcare policy and clinical decision support framework using growth hormone (GH) for Turner syndrome (TS) as a complex case study. Methods The EVIDEM framework was further developed to complement the multicriteria decision analysis (MCDA) Value Matrix, that includes 15 quantifiable components of decision clustered in four domains (quality of evidence, disease, intervention and economics), with a qualitative tool including six ethical and health system-related components of decision. An extensive review of the literature was performed to develop a health technology assessment report (HTA) tailored to each component of decision, and content was validated by experts. A panel of representative stakeholders then estimated the MCDA value of GH for TS in Canada by assigning weights and scores to each MCDA component of decision and then considered the impact of non-quantifiable components of decision. Results Applying the framework revealed significant data gaps and the importance of aligning research questions with data needs to truly inform decision. Panelists estimated the value of GH for TS at 41% of maximum value on the MCDA scale, with good agreement at the individual level (retest value 40%; ICC: 0.687) and large variation across panelists. Main contributors to this panel specific value were "Improvement of efficacy", "Disease severity" and "Quality of evidence". Ethical considerations on utility, efficiency and fairness as well as potential misuse of GH had mixed effects on the perceived value of the treatment. Conclusions This framework is proposed as a pragmatic step beyond the current cost-effectiveness model, combining HTA, MCDA, values and ethics. It supports systematic consideration of all components of decision and available evidence for greater transparency. Further testing and validation is needed to build up MCDA approaches combined with pragmatic HTA in healthcare decisionmaking. PMID:20377888

  15. Assessment of mesh simplification algorithm quality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roy, Michael; Nicolier, Frederic; Foufou, S.; Truchetet, Frederic; Koschan, Andreas; Abidi, Mongi A.

    2002-03-01

    Traditionally, medical geneticists have employed visual inspection (anthroposcopy) to clinically evaluate dysmorphology. In the last 20 years, there has been an increasing trend towards quantitative assessment to render diagnosis of anomalies more objective and reliable. These methods have focused on direct anthropometry, using a combination of classical physical anthropology tools and new instruments tailor-made to describe craniofacial morphometry. These methods are painstaking and require that the patient remain still for extended periods of time. Most recently, semiautomated techniques (e.g., structured light scanning) have been developed to capture the geometry of the face in a matter of seconds. In this paper, we establish that direct anthropometry and structured light scanning yield reliable measurements, with remarkably high levels of inter-rater and intra-rater reliability, as well as validity (contrasting the two methods).

  16. Quality assessment of diagnosis and antibiotic treatment of infectious diseases in primary care: a systematic review of quality indicators

    PubMed Central

    Saust, Laura Trolle; Monrad, Rikke Nygaard; Hansen, Malene Plejdrup; Arpi, Magnus; Bjerrum, Lars

    2016-01-01

    Objective To identify existing quality indicators (QIs) for diagnosis and antibiotic treatment of patients with infectious diseases in primary care. Design A systematic literature search was performed in PubMed and EMBASE. We included studies with a description of the development of QIs for diagnosis and antibiotic use in patients with infectious diseases in primary care. We extracted information about (1) type of infection; (2) target for quality assessment; (3) methodology used for developing the QIs; and (4) whether the QIs were developed for a national or international application. The QIs were organised into three categories: (1) QIs focusing on the diagnostic process; (2) QIs focusing on the decision to prescribe antibiotics; and (3) QIs concerning the choice of antibiotics. Results Eleven studies were included in this review and a total of 130 QIs were identified. The majority (72%) of the QIs were focusing on choice of antibiotics, 22% concerned the decision to prescribe antibiotics, and few (6%) concerned the diagnostic process. Most QIs were either related to respiratory tract infections or not related to any type of infection. A consensus method (mainly the Delphi technique), based on either a literature study or national guidelines, was used for the development of QIs in all of the studies. Conclusions The small number of existing QIs predominantly focuses on the choice of antibiotics and is often drug-specific. There is a remarkable lack of diagnostic QIs. Future development of new QIs, especially disease-specific QIs concerning the diagnostic process, is needed. Key Points In order to improve the use of antibiotics in primary care, measurable instruments, such as quality indicators, are needed to assess the quality of care being provided.A total of 11 studies were found, including 130 quality indicators for diagnosis and antibiotic treatment of infectious diseases in primary care.The majority of the identified quality indicators were focusing on the

  17. Assessing a farmer's decision concerning the application timing of nitrogen fertilizer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, W.-Y.; Uri, N. D.; Hansen, L.

    1994-08-01

    This paper is concerned with a farmer's decision on the timing of nitrogen fertilizer application. Analytical models are developed to determine the necessary conditions for the optimal timing of the application of nitrogen fertilizer. The models, coupled with an estimated cotton yield function, are used to assess a farmer's decision on the optimal application timing of nitrogen fertilizer in cotton production. The empirical results explain various observed application timings of nitrogen fertilizer being used in cotton production in Mississippi, USA, and provide an estimate of the cost to a farmer when he or she must comply with a restriction on the timing of the application of nitrogen fertilizer.

  18. Accuracy assessment of planimetric large-scale map data for decision-making

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doskocz, Adam

    2016-06-01

    This paper presents decision-making risk estimation based on planimetric large-scale map data, which are data sets or databases which are useful for creating planimetric maps on scales of 1:5,000 or larger. The studies were conducted on four data sets of large-scale map data. Errors of map data were used for a risk assessment of decision-making about the localization of objects, e.g. for land-use planning in realization of investments. An analysis was performed for a large statistical sample set of shift vectors of control points, which were identified with the position errors of these points (errors of map data). In this paper, empirical cumulative distribution function models for decision-making risk assessment were established. The established models of the empirical cumulative distribution functions of shift vectors of control points involve polynomial equations. An evaluation of the compatibility degree of the polynomial with empirical data was stated by the convergence coefficient and by the indicator of the mean relative compatibility of model. The application of an empirical cumulative distribution function allows an estimation of the probability of the occurrence of position errors of points in a database. The estimated decision-making risk assessment is represented by the probability of the errors of points stored in the database.

  19. Constructing Assessment Model of Primary and Secondary Educational Quality with Talent Quality as the Core Standard

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chen, Benyou

    2014-01-01

    Quality is the core of education and it is important to standardization construction of primary and secondary education in urban (U) and rural (R) areas. The ultimate goal of the integration of urban and rural education is to pursuit quality urban and rural education. Based on analysing the related policy basis and the existing assessment models…

  20. No Reference Video-Quality-Assessment Model for Monitoring Video Quality of IPTV Services

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamagishi, Kazuhisa; Okamoto, Jun; Hayashi, Takanori; Takahashi, Akira

    Service providers should monitor the quality of experience of a communication service in real time to confirm its status. To do this, we previously proposed a packet-layer model that can be used for monitoring the average video quality of typical Internet protocol television content using parameters derived from transmitted packet headers. However, it is difficult to monitor the video quality per user using the average video quality because video quality depends on the video content. To accurately monitor the video quality per user, a model that can be used for estimating the video quality per video content rather than the average video quality should be developed. Therefore, to take into account the impact of video content on video quality, we propose a model that calculates the difference in video quality between the video quality of the estimation-target video and the average video quality estimated using a packet-layer model. We first conducted extensive subjective quality assessments for different codecs and video sequences. We then model their characteristics based on parameters related to compression and packet loss. Finally, we verify the performance of the proposed model by applying it to unknown data sets different from the training data sets used for developing the model.

  1. U.S. EPA Authority to Use Cumulative Risk Assessments in Environmental Decision-Making

    PubMed Central

    Alves, Sarah; Tilghman, Joan; Rosenbaum, Arlene; Payne-Sturges, Devon C.

    2012-01-01

    Conventionally, in its decision-making, the U.S. EPA has evaluated the effects and risks associated with a single pollutant in a single exposure medium. In reality, people are exposed to mixtures of pollutants or to the same pollutant through a variety of media, including the air, water, and food. It is now more recognized than before that environmental exposure to pollutants occurs via multiple exposure routes and pathways, including inhalation, ingestion, and dermal absorption. Moreover, chemical, biologic, radiologic, physical, and psychologic stressors are all acknowledged as affecting human health. Although many EPA offices attempt to consider cumulative risk assessment and cumulative effects in various ways, there is no Agency-wide policy for considering these risks and the effects of exposure to these risks when making environmental decisions. This article examines how U.S. courts might assess EPA’s general authority and discretion to use cumulative risk assessment as the basis for developing data in support of environmental decision-making, and how courts might assess the validity of a cumulative risk assessment methodology itself. PMID:22829786

  2. Decision support methods for the environmental assessment of contamination at mining sites.

    PubMed

    Jordan, Gyozo; Abdaal, Ahmed

    2013-09-01

    Polluting mine accidents and widespread environmental contamination associated with historic mining in Europe and elsewhere has triggered the improvement of related environmental legislation and of the environmental assessment and management methods for the mining industry. Mining has some unique features such as natural background pollution associated with natural mineral deposits, industrial activities and contamination located in the three-dimensional sub-surface space, the problem of long-term remediation after mine closure, problem of secondary contaminated areas around mine sites and abandoned mines in historic regions like Europe. These mining-specific problems require special tools to address the complexity of the environmental problems of mining-related contamination. The objective of this paper is to review and evaluate some of the decision support methods that have been developed and applied to mining contamination. In this paper, only those methods that are both efficient decision support tools and provide a 'holistic' approach to the complex problem as well are considered. These tools are (1) landscape ecology, (2) industrial ecology, (3) landscape geochemistry, (4) geo-environmental models, (5) environmental impact assessment, (6) environmental risk assessment, (7) material flow analysis and (8) life cycle assessment. This unique inter-disciplinary study should enable both the researcher and the practitioner to obtain broad view on the state-of-the-art of decision support methods for the environmental assessment of contamination at mine sites. Documented examples and abundant references are also provided.

  3. U.S. EPA authority to use cumulative risk assessments in environmental decision-making.

    PubMed

    Alves, Sarah; Tilghman, Joan; Rosenbaum, Arlene; Payne-Sturges, Devon C

    2012-06-01

    Conventionally, in its decision-making, the U.S. EPA has evaluated the effects and risks associated with a single pollutant in a single exposure medium. In reality, people are exposed to mixtures of pollutants or to the same pollutant through a variety of media, including the air, water, and food. It is now more recognized than before that environmental exposure to pollutants occurs via multiple exposure routes and pathways, including inhalation, ingestion, and dermal absorption. Moreover, chemical, biologic, radiologic, physical, and psychologic stressors are all acknowledged as affecting human health. Although many EPA offices attempt to consider cumulative risk assessment and cumulative effects in various ways, there is no Agency-wide policy for considering these risks and the effects of exposure to these risks when making environmental decisions. This article examines how U.S. courts might assess EPA's general authority and discretion to use cumulative risk assessment as the basis for developing data in support of environmental decision-making, and how courts might assess the validity of a cumulative risk assessment methodology itself.

  4. Methods for assessing the quality of runoff from Minnesota peatlands

    SciTech Connect

    Clausen, J.C.

    1981-01-01

    The quality of runoff from large, undisturbed peatlands in Minnesota is chaaracterized and sampling results from a number of bogs (referred to as a multiple watershed approach) was used to assess the effects of peat mining on the quality of bog runoff. Runoff from 45 natural peatlands and one mined bog was sampled five times in 1979-80 and analyzed for 34 water quality characteristics. Peatland watersheds were classified as bog, transition, or fen, based upon both water quality and watershed characteristics. Alternative classification methods were based on frequency distributions, cluster analysis, discriminant analysis, and principal component analysis results. A multiple watershed approach was used as a basis of drawing inferences regarding the quality of runoff from a representative sample of natural bogs and a mined bog. The multiple watershed technique applied provides an alternative to long-term paired watershed experiments in evaluating the effects of land use activities on the quality of runoff from peatlands in Minnesota.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-04-01

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

  6. Regional Integrated Assessments in Support of Decision-making: Process, Product, and Policy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luers, A. L.; Hayhoe, K.

    2006-12-01

    Regional integrated climate assessments are increasingly viewed as critical for informing sound climate policy. Yet, the scientific information in many assessments often is not effectively transformed in to policies to protect the environment. Why are some assessments more effective at informing policies than others? We will provide some insight into this question by describing the lessons learned from a series of regional assessments organized by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). Working with independent experts in the global change research community, UCS has produced assessments in three regions of the US California, the Great Lakes, and the Gulf Coast. The reports from each of these assessments continue to be used by local, state and regional decision-makers in related management and policy initiatives. We attribute the success of these assessments in motivating and supporting climate-related decisions to four factors: (1) credibility, attained both through scientific peer-review and by engaging local scientific and community leaders; (2) regional relevance of assessment focus areas; (3) accessible presentation of the results to non-technical audiences; and (4) wide communication and distribution of the report to the media, the public, civic groups, and public officials.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

  8. Assessing the quality of a student-generated question repository

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

    We present results from a study that categorizes and assesses the quality of questions and explanations authored by students in question repositories produced as part of the summative assessment in introductory physics courses over two academic sessions. Mapping question quality onto the levels in the cognitive domain of Bloom's taxonomy, we find that students produce questions of high quality. More than three-quarters of questions fall into categories beyond simple recall, in contrast to similar studies of student-authored content in different subject domains. Similarly, the quality of student-authored explanations for questions was also high, with approximately 60% of all explanations classified as being of high or outstanding quality. Overall, 75% of questions met combined quality criteria, which we hypothesize is due in part to the in-class scaffolding activities that we provided for students ahead of requiring them to author questions. This work presents the first systematic investigation into the quality of student produced assessment material in an introductory physics context, and thus complements and extends related studies in other disciplines.

  9. Quality assurance checks on ecological risk assessments

    SciTech Connect

    Ferson, S.; Ginzburg, L.

    1995-12-31

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

  10. 77 FR 38856 - An Approach for Probabilistic Risk Assessment in Risk-Informed Decisions on Plant-Specific...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-06-29

    ... COMMISSION An Approach for Probabilistic Risk Assessment in Risk-Informed Decisions on Plant-Specific Changes...; extension of comment period. SUMMARY: On May 17, 2012 (77 FR 29391), the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission... Approach for Probabilistic Risk Assessment in Risk-Informed Decisions on Plant-Specific Changes to...

  11. 77 FR 29391 - An Approach for Probabilistic Risk Assessment in Risk-Informed Decisions on Plant-Specific...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-05-17

    ... COMMISSION An Approach for Probabilistic Risk Assessment in Risk-Informed Decisions on Plant-Specific Changes... Assessment in Risk- Informed Decisions on Plant-Specific Changes to the Licensing Basis,'' (proposed Revision 3 of Regulatory Guide 1.174); DG-1286, ``An Approach for Plant-Specific,...

  12. Qualitative Uncertainty Assessment for Distributed Surface Water Quality Models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meixner, T.; Bubb, K.; van Griensven, A.

    2006-12-01

    Water quality models are often used to aid water quality regulators in the United States and around the world make critical decisions about how to improve water quality. Basin scale water quality models generally simplify spatial complexity to some degree. This problem is especially relevant in water quality modeling since the sources of pollution as well as the hydrologic drivers vary spatially across the landscape. The spatial complexity problem also presents specific challenges for estimating model predictive uncertainty. Questions of how to integrate multiple sources of stream water and water quality data at multiple locations are likely to be even more daunting than they are for surface water hydrologic models. At this time, given the complexity of water quality models and the general lack of data available, true statistical techniques of integrating, multiple data sources and calculating uncertainty bounds are probably not reasonable approaches. For this reason, we propose evaluation methods that are not based on statistics in order to evaluate the fit-to- purpose of particular model applications. Within SWAT2005, both a statistical method for uncertainty analysis, ParaSol, and an evaluation method, SUNGLASSES, have been incorporated. Additionally weighted averages of prediction errors are integrated into a global objective function and used to evaluate the reasonableness of model assumptions. This integration occurs across multiple objective functions and multiple locations. These methods have been applied in the context of a hypothetical water quality control problem in the San Jacinto watershed in southern California. The analysis includes an extension of the uncertainty analysis into its economic implications. The economic impact of the uncertainty methods proposed here are compared to more traditional uncertainty methods. The economic implications of uncertainty are shown to be important but only under circumstances where water quality targets are close

  13. Design and implementation of a risk assessment module in a spatial decision support system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Kaixi; van Westen, Cees; Bakker, Wim

    2014-05-01

    The spatial decision support system named 'Changes SDSS' is currently under development. The goal of this system is to analyze changing hydro-meteorological hazards and the effect of risk reduction alternatives to support decision makers in choosing the best alternatives. The risk assessment module within the system is to assess the current risk, analyze the risk after implementations of risk reduction alternatives, and analyze the risk in different future years when considering scenarios such as climate change, land use change and population growth. The objective of this work is to present the detailed design and implementation plan of the risk assessment module. The main challenges faced consist of how to shift the risk assessment from traditional desktop software to an open source web-based platform, the availability of input data and the inclusion of uncertainties in the risk analysis. The risk assessment module is developed using Ext JS library for the implementation of user interface on the client side, using Python for scripting, as well as PostGIS spatial functions for complex computations on the server side. The comprehensive consideration of the underlying uncertainties in input data can lead to a better quantification of risk assessment and a more reliable Changes SDSS, since the outputs of risk assessment module are the basis for decision making module within the system. The implementation of this module will contribute to the development of open source web-based modules for multi-hazard risk assessment in the future. This work is part of the "CHANGES SDSS" project, funded by the European Community's 7th Framework Program.

  14. Product quality risk perceptions and decisions: contaminated pet food and lead-painted toys.

    PubMed

    Feng, Tianjun; Keller, L Robin; Wang, Liangyan; Wang, Yitong

    2010-10-01

    In the context of the recent recalls of contaminated pet food and lead-painted toys in the United States, we examine patterns of risk perceptions and decisions when facing consumer product-caused quality risks. Two approaches were used to explore risk perceptions of the product recalls. In the first approach, we elicited judged probabilities and found that people appear to have greatly overestimated the actual risks for both product scenarios. In the second approach, we applied the psychometric paradigm to examine risk perception dimensions concerning these two specific products through factor analysis. There was a similar risk perception pattern for both products: they are seen as unknown risks and are relatively not dread risks. This pattern was also similar to what prior research found for lead paint. Further, we studied people's potential actions to deal with the recalls of these two products. Several factors were found to be significant predictors of respondents' cautious actions for both product scenarios. Policy considerations regarding product quality risks are discussed. For example, risk communicators could reframe information messages to prompt people to consider total risks packed together from different causes, even when the risk message has been initiated due to a specific recall event.

  15. Effects on Decision Quality of Supporting Multi-attribute Evaluation in Groups

    PubMed

    Timmermans; Vlek

    1996-11-01

    In this study the effectiveness of multi-attribute utility (MAU) decision support in groups is evaluated for personnel selection problems differing in complexity. Subjects were asked to make an initial individual decision with or without MAU decision support. Next individuals formed small groups and were asked to reach a decision about the same problem. Groups received either MAU support or no support. Results show that for relatively simple problems the most effective method is to provide subjects with both individual and group decision support. Here, decision support had a clear impact on subjects' preferences and the level of agreement between group members. In addition, satisfaction with the decision and the decision procedure was relatively high. Overall, decision support improved communication; subjects reported to find the problem easier, to have more influence on the group decision, and to find it easier to express their opinions. For more complex problems, however, decision making without group support (whether preceded by individual support or not) was evaluated most favorably. Individual decision support in this condition was sometimes better than no support; i.e., there was a lower reported problem difficulty, a higher satisfaction with the group decision, and a higher reported influence on the group decision. The effectiveness of group MAU decision support for complex problems was evaluated less favorably.

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Dini, Leigh; Frean, John

    2003-01-01

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

  18. Computer Simulation as a Tool for Assessing Decision-Making in Pandemic Influenza Response Training

    PubMed Central

    Leaming, James M.; Adoff, Spencer; Terndrup, Thomas E.

    2013-01-01

    Introduction: We sought to develop and test a computer-based, interactive simulation of a hypothetical pandemic influenza outbreak. Fidelity was enhanced with integrated video and branching decision trees, built upon the 2007 federal planning assumptions. We conducted a before-and-after study of the simulation effectiveness to assess the simulations' ability to assess participants' beliefs regarding their own hospitals' mass casualty incident preparedness. Methods: Development: Using a Delphi process, we finalized a simulation that serves up a minimum of over 50 key decisions to 6 role-players on networked laptops in a conference area. The simulation played out an 8-week scenario, beginning with pre-incident decisions. Testing: Role-players and trainees (N=155) were facilitated to make decisions during the pandemic. Because decision responses vary, the simulation plays out differently, and a casualty counter quantifies hypothetical losses. The facilitator reviews and critiques key factors for casualty control, including effective communications, working with external organizations, development of internal policies and procedures, maintaining supplies and services, technical infrastructure support, public relations and training. Pre- and post-survey data were compared on trainees. Results: Post-simulation trainees indicated a greater likelihood of needing to improve their organization in terms of communications, mass casualty incident planning, public information and training. Participants also recognized which key factors required immediate attention at their own home facilities. Conclusion: The use of a computer-simulation was effective in providing a facilitated environment for determining the perception of preparedness, evaluating general preparedness concepts and introduced participants to critical decisions involved in handling a regional pandemic influenza surge. PMID:23687542

  19. Foraging Behaviour in Magellanic Woodpeckers Is Consistent with a Multi-Scale Assessment of Tree Quality.

    PubMed

    Vergara, Pablo M; Soto, Gerardo E; Moreira-Arce, Darío; Rodewald, Amanda D; Meneses, Luis O; Pérez-Hernández, Christian G

    2016-01-01

    Theoretical models predict that animals should make foraging decisions after assessing the quality of available habitat, but most models fail to consider the spatio-temporal scales at which animals perceive habitat availability. We tested three foraging strategies that explain how Magellanic woodpeckers (Campephilus magellanicus) assess the relative quality of trees: 1) Woodpeckers with local knowledge select trees based on the available trees in the immediate vicinity. 2) Woodpeckers lacking local knowledge select trees based on their availability at previously visited locations. 3) Woodpeckers using information from long-term memory select trees based on knowledge about trees available within the entire landscape. We observed foraging woodpeckers and used a Brownian Bridge Movement Model to identify trees available to woodpeckers along foraging routes. Woodpeckers selected trees with a later decay stage than available trees. Selection models indicated that preferences of Magellanic woodpeckers were based on clusters of trees near the most recently visited trees, thus suggesting that woodpeckers use visual cues from neighboring trees. In a second analysis, Cox's proportional hazards models showed that woodpeckers used information consolidated across broader spatial scales to adjust tree residence times. Specifically, woodpeckers spent more time at trees with larger diameters and in a more advanced stage of decay than trees available along their routes. These results suggest that Magellanic woodpeckers make foraging decisions based on the relative quality of trees that they perceive and memorize information at different spatio-temporal scales. PMID:27416115

  20. Foraging Behaviour in Magellanic Woodpeckers Is Consistent with a Multi-Scale Assessment of Tree Quality

    PubMed Central

    Vergara, Pablo M.; Soto, Gerardo E.; Rodewald, Amanda D.; Meneses, Luis O.; Pérez-Hernández, Christian G.

    2016-01-01

    Theoretical models predict that animals should make foraging decisions after assessing the quality of available habitat, but most models fail to consider the spatio-temporal scales at which animals perceive habitat availability. We tested three foraging strategies that explain how Magellanic woodpeckers (Campephilus magellanicus) assess the relative quality of trees: 1) Woodpeckers with local knowledge select trees based on the available trees in the immediate vicinity. 2) Woodpeckers lacking local knowledge select trees based on their availability at previously visited locations. 3) Woodpeckers using information from long-term memory select trees based on knowledge about trees available within the entire landscape. We observed foraging woodpeckers and used a Brownian Bridge Movement Model to identify trees available to woodpeckers along foraging routes. Woodpeckers selected trees with a later decay stage than available trees. Selection models indicated that preferences of Magellanic woodpeckers were based on clusters of trees near the most recently visited trees, thus suggesting that woodpeckers use visual cues from neighboring trees. In a second analysis, Cox’s proportional hazards models showed that woodpeckers used information consolidated across broader spatial scales to adjust tree residence times. Specifically, woodpeckers spent more time at trees with larger diameters and in a more advanced stage of decay than trees available along their routes. These results suggest that Magellanic woodpeckers make foraging decisions based on the relative quality of trees that they perceive and memorize information at different spatio-temporal scales. PMID:27416115

  1. Quality Assessment and Physicochemical Characteristics of Bran Enriched Chapattis

    PubMed Central

    Dar, B. N.; Sharma, Savita; Singh, Baljit; Kaur, Gurkirat

    2014-01-01

    Cereal brans singly and in combination were blended at varying levels (5 and 10%) for development of Chapattis. Cereal bran enriched Chapattis were assessed for quality and physicochemical characteristics. On the basis of quality assessment, 10% enrichment level for Chapatti was the best. Moisture content, water activity, and free fatty acids remained stable during the study period. Quality assessment and physicochemical characteristics of bran enriched Chapattis carried out revealed that dough handling and puffing of bran enriched Chapattis prepared by 5 and 10% level of bran supplementation did not vary significantly. All types of bran enriched Chapattis except rice bran enriched Chapattis showed nonsticky behavior during dough handling. Bran enriched Chapattis exhibited full puffing character during preparation. The sensory attributes showed that both 5 and 10% bran supplemented Chapattis were acceptable. PMID:26904644

  2. Analysis of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Directive and the EIA decision in Turkey

    SciTech Connect

    Bilgin, Ayla

    2015-07-15

    The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Directive first entered into force in the United States in 1969, and began to be implemented in many other countries by 1990. The first Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Directive in Turkey was published on February 7, 1993, under the Environmental Law No. 2872. The EIA Directive was revised seven times on June 23, 1997, June 6, 2002, December 16, 2003, July 17, 2008, October 3, 2013, and November 25, 2014. Several amendments were made during this process. The first EIA Directive dated 1993 was narrow in scope and its procedure was long, while the amendments in 2003, 2008, 2013, and 2014 widened the scope of the EIA, and shortened the EIA assessment procedures. In this study, the amendments to the Turkish EIA Directive were analysed, and their effect on the number of EIA decisions made was addressed. It was concluded that the uncertainties in EIA procedures were removed, procedures were shortened, and as a result, the number of EIA decisions increased thanks to the revisions made in line with harmonisation with European Union (EU) acquis. - Highlights: • Demonstrates the Environmental Impact Assessment practices in Turkey. • Demonstrates the application of the EIA in Turkey by sector. • Demonstrates the amendments of the EIA by-laws in Turkey. • Demonstrates the changes in EIA practices and EIA decisions.

  3. Cumulative or sequential assessment during hermit crab shell fights: effects of oxygen on decision rules.

    PubMed Central

    Briffa, M; Elwood, R W

    2000-01-01

    Agonistic interactions between animals are often settled by the use of repeated signals which advertise the resource-holding potential of the sender. According to the sequential assessment game this repetition increases the accuracy with which receivers may assess the signal, but under the cumulative assessment model the repeated performances accumulate to give a signal of stamina. These models may be distinguished by the temporal pattern of signalling they predict and by the decision rules used by the contestants. Hermit crabs engage in shell fights over possession of the gastropod shells that they inhabit. During these interactions the two roles of signaller and receiver may be examined separately because they are fixed for the duration of the encounter. Attackers rap their shell against that of the defender in a series of bouts whereas defenders remain tightly withdrawn into their shells for the duration of the contest. At the end of a fight the attacker may evict the defender from its shell or decide to give up without first effecting an eviction; the decision for defenders is either to maintain a grip on its shell or to release the shell and allow itself to be evicted. We manipulated fatigue levels separately for attackers and defenders, by varying the oxygen concentration of the water that they are held in prior to fighting, and examined the effects that this has on the likelihood of each decision and on the temporal pattern of rapping. We show that the vigour of rapping and the likelihood of eviction are reduced when the attacker is subjected to low oxygen but that this treatment has no effect on rates of eviction when applied to defenders. We conclude that defenders compare the vigour of rapping with an absolute threshold rather than with a relative threshold when making their decision. The data are compatible with the cumulative assessment model and with the idea that shell rapping signals the stamina of attackers, but do not fit the predictions of the

  4. Environmental risk assessment of chemicals and nanomaterials--The best foundation for regulatory decision-making?

    PubMed

    Syberg, Kristian; Hansen, Steffen Foss

    2016-01-15

    Environmental risk assessment (ERA) is often considered as the most transparent, objective and reliable decision-making tool for informing the risk management of chemicals and nanomaterials. ERAs are based on the assumption that it is possible to provide accurate estimates of hazard and exposure and, subsequently, to quantify risk. In this paper we argue that since the quantification of risk is dominated by uncertainties, ERAs do not provide a transparent or an objective foundation for decision-making and they should therefore not be considered as a "holy grail" for informing risk management. We build this thesis on the analysis of two case studies (of nonylphenol and nanomaterials) as well as a historical analysis in which we address the scientific foundation for ERAs. The analyses show that ERAs do not properly address all aspects of actual risk, such as the mixture effect and the environmentally realistic risk from nanomaterials. Uncertainties have been recognised for decades, and assessment factors are used to compensate for the lack of realism in ERAs. The assessment factors' values were pragmatically determined, thus lowering the scientific accuracy of the ERAs. Furthermore, the default choice of standard assay for assessing a hazard might not always be the most biologically relevant, so we therefore argue that an ERA should be viewed as a pragmatic decision-making tool among several, and it should not have a special status for informing risk management. In relation to other relevant decision-making tools we discuss the use of chemical alternative assessments (CAAs) and the precautionary principle. PMID:26433335

  5. Assessment of permeation quality of concrete through mercury intrusion porosimetry

    SciTech Connect

    Kumar, Rakesh; Bhattacharjee, B

    2004-02-01

    Permeation quality of laboratory cast concrete beams was determined through initial surface absorption test (ISAT). The pore system characteristics of the same concrete beam specimens were determined through mercury intrusion porosimetry (MIP). Data so obtained on the measured initial surface absorption rate of water by concrete and characteristics of pore system of concrete estimated from porosimetry results were used to develop correlations between them. Through these correlations, potential of MIP in assessing the durability quality of concrete in actual structure is demonstrated.

  6. Space Shuttle flying qualities and flight control system assessment study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1982-01-01

    The suitability of existing and proposed flying quality and flight control system criteria for application to the space shuttle orbiter during atmospheric flight phases was assessed. An orbiter experiment for flying qualities and flight control system design criteria is discussed. Orbiter longitudinal and lateral-directional flying characteristics, flight control system lag and time delay considerations, and flight control manipulator characteristics are included. Data obtained from conventional aircraft may be inappropriate for application to the shuttle orbiter.

  7. The influence of actuarial risk assessment in clinical judgments and tribunal decisions about mentally disordered offenders in maximum security.

    PubMed

    Hilton, N Z; Simmons, J L

    2001-08-01

    Research has shown that actuarial assessments of violence risk are consistently more accurate than unaided judgments by clinicians, and it has been suggested that the availability of actuarial instruments will improve forensic decision making. This study examined clinical judgments and autonomous review tribunal decisions to detain forensic patients in maximum security. Variables included the availability of an actuarial risk report at the time of decision making, patient characteristics and history, and clinical presentation over the previous year. Detained and transferred patients did not differ in their actuarial risk of violent recidivism. The best predictor of tribunal decision was the senior clinician's testimony. There was also no significant association between the actuarial risk score and clinicians' opinions. Whether the actuarial report was available at the time of decision making did not alter the statistical model of either clinical judgments or tribunal decisions. Implications for the use of actuarial risk assessment in forensic decision making are discussed.

  8. Real-time Monitor Quality of WMS to Support Service Choosing Decision

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, H.; Li, Z.; Yang, C.

    2009-12-01

    The past decade achievement in geospatial interoperability includes thousands of map layers deployed on the Internet and are persistently served for the community through standard interfaces, such as WMS, WFS, and WCS. Our empirical study reveals that the status of the services is not satisfactory and it is often true that a predefined map application is unable to compose because some published map servers simply do not work. When a map composes several layers from different servers, it becomes a serious problem. The request of each map layer takes time and even in the most optimistic expectation, the total time for composing a map is longer than the longest response time. While these services are geographically distributed and maintained by various hosts, it is not possible to solve this problem by improving these services at the host sides. We propose an approach to solve this problem by providing a mechanism that allows map composition to select the best map layers in run time based on real-time monitoring of the quality of services. Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) is extended in this approach to include quality elements in the process of registration, search and binding. OGC capability document is extended to describe quality of service. Techniques, such as online and automatic substitution of second-best layer, local cache, and virtual tile system, are designed and implemented in this approach to enable map composition by requesting map layers from various service providers. A prototype system based on this approach will be demonstrated in our presentation to prove that this approach significantly improves users’ experience of web map composition and is one of the most desired method to make service suitable for decision support.

  9. Linking water quality and well-being for improved assessment and valuation of ecosystem services.

    PubMed

    Keeler, Bonnie L; Polasky, Stephen; Brauman, Kate A; Johnson, Kris A; Finlay, Jacques C; O'Neill, Ann; Kovacs, Kent; Dalzell, Brent

    2012-11-01

    Despite broad recognition of the value of the goods and services provided by nature, existing tools for assessing and valuing ecosystem services often fall short of the needs and expectations of decision makers. Here we address one of the most important missing components in the current ecosystem services toolbox: a comprehensive and generalizable framework for describing and valuing water quality-related services. Water quality is often misrepresented as a final ecosystem service. We argue that it is actually an important contributor to many different services, from recreation to human health. We present a valuation approach for water quality-related services that is sensitive to different actions that affect water quality, identifies aquatic endpoints where the consequences of changing water quality on human well-being are realized, and recognizes the unique groups of beneficiaries affected by those changes. We describe the multiple biophysical and economic pathways that link actions to changes in water quality-related ecosystem goods and services and provide guidance to researchers interested in valuing these changes. Finally, we present a valuation template that integrates biophysical and economic models, links actions to changes in service provision and value estimates, and considers multiple sources of water quality-related ecosystem service values without double counting.

  10. Linking water quality and well-being for improved assessment and valuation of ecosystem services

    PubMed Central

    Keeler, Bonnie L.; Polasky, Stephen; Brauman, Kate A.; Johnson, Kris A.; Finlay, Jacques C.; O’Neill, Ann; Kovacs, Kent; Dalzell, Brent

    2012-01-01

    Despite broad recognition of the value of the goods and services provided by nature, existing tools for assessing and valuing ecosystem services often fall short of the needs and expectations of decision makers. Here we address one of the most important missing components in the current ecosystem services toolbox: a comprehensive and generalizable framework for describing and valuing water quality-related services. Water quality is often misrepresented as a final ecosystem service. We argue that it is actually an important contributor to many different services, from recreation to human health. We present a valuation approach for water quality-related services that is sensitive to different actions that affect water quality, identifies aquatic endpoints where the consequences of changing water quality on human well-being are realized, and recognizes the unique groups of beneficiaries affected by those changes. We describe the multiple biophysical and economic pathways that link actions to changes in water quality-related ecosystem goods and services and provide guidance to researchers interested in valuing these changes. Finally, we present a valuation template that integrates biophysical and economic models, links actions to changes in service provision and value estimates, and considers multiple sources of water quality-related ecosystem service values without double counting. PMID:23091018

  11. Summary of the U. S. Geological Survey National Water Quality Assessment Program

    SciTech Connect

    Hirsh, R.M.; Alley, W.M.; Wilber, W.G.

    1988-01-01

    Beginning in 1986, the Congress appropriated funds for the US Geological Survey to test and refine concepts for a National Water Quality Assessment Program. At present, the program is in a pilot phase with field studies occurring in seven areas around the Nation. In 1990, a committee of the National Academy of Sciences will complete an evaluation of the design and potential utility of the program. A decision about moving to full-scale implementation will be made upon completion of the evaluation. The program is intended to address a wide range of national water quality issues that include chemical contamination, acidification, eutrophication, salinity, sedimentation, and sanitary quality. The goals of the program are to: (1) provide nationally consistent descriptions of current water quality conditions for a large part of the Nation's water resources; (2) define long-term trends in water quality; and (3) identify and describe the relations of both current conditions and trends in water quality to natural and human factors. This information will be provided to water managers, policy makers, and the public to provide an improved scientific basis for evaluating the effectiveness of water quality management programs and for predicting the likely effects of contemplated changes in land- and water-management practices.

  12. Linking water quality and well-being for improved assessment and valuation of ecosystem services.

    PubMed

    Keeler, Bonnie L; Polasky, Stephen; Brauman, Kate A; Johnson, Kris A; Finlay, Jacques C; O'Neill, Ann; Kovacs, Kent; Dalzell, Brent

    2012-11-01

    Despite broad recognition of the value of the goods and services provided by nature, existing tools for assessing and valuing ecosystem services often fall short of the needs and expectations of decision makers. Here we address one of the most important missing components in the current ecosystem services toolbox: a comprehensive and generalizable framework for describing and valuing water quality-related services. Water quality is often misrepresented as a final ecosystem service. We argue that it is actually an important contributor to many different services, from recreation to human health. We present a valuation approach for water quality-related services that is sensitive to different actions that affect water quality, identifies aquatic endpoints where the consequences of changing water quality on human well-being are realized, and recognizes the unique groups of beneficiaries affected by those changes. We describe the multiple biophysical and economic pathways that link actions to changes in water quality-related ecosystem goods and services and provide guidance to researchers interested in valuing these changes. Finally, we present a valuation template that integrates biophysical and economic models, links actions to changes in service provision and value estimates, and considers multiple sources of water quality-related ecosystem service values without double counting. PMID:23091018

  13. A summary of the U.S. Geological Survey National Water-Quality Assessment program

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hirsch, R.M.; Alley, W.M.; Wilber, W.G.

    1988-01-01

    Beginning in 1986, the Congress appropriated funds for the U.S. Geological Survey to test and refine concepts for a National Water Quality Assessment Program. At present, the program is in a pilot phase with field studies occurring in seven areas around the Nation. In 1990, a committee of the National Academy of Sciences will complete an evaluation of the design and potential utility of the program. A decision about moving to full-scale implementation will be made upon completion of this evaluation. The program is intended to address a wide range of national water quality issues that include chemical contamination, acidification, eutrophication, salinity, sedimentation, and sanitary quality. The goals of the program are to: (1) provide nationally consistent descriptions of current water quality conditions for a large part of the Nation 's water resources; (2) define long-term trends (or lack of trends) in water quality; and (3) identify and describe the relations of both current conditions and trends in water quality to natural and human factors. This information will be provided to water managers, policy makers, and the public to provide an improved scientific basis for evaluating the effectiveness of water quality management programs and for predicting the likely effects of contemplated changes in land- and water-management practices. (USGS)

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-09-01

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

  15. Machine learning approach for objective inpainting quality assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frantc, V. A.; Voronin, V. V.; Marchuk, V. I.; Sherstobitov, A. I.; Agaian, S.; Egiazarian, K.

    2014-05-01

    This paper focuses on a machine learning approach for objective inpainting quality assessment. Inpainting has received a lot of attention in recent years and quality assessment is an important task to evaluate different image reconstruction approaches. Quantitative metrics for successful image inpainting currently do not exist; researchers instead are relying upon qualitative human comparisons in order to evaluate their methodologies and techniques. We present an approach for objective inpainting quality assessment based on natural image statistics and machine learning techniques. Our method is based on observation that when images are properly normalized or transferred to a transform domain, local descriptors can be modeled by some parametric distributions. The shapes of these distributions are different for noninpainted and inpainted images. Approach permits to obtain a feature vector strongly correlated with a subjective image perception by a human visual system. Next, we use a support vector regression learned on assessed by human images to predict perceived quality of inpainted images. We demonstrate how our predicted quality value repeatably correlates with a qualitative opinion in a human observer study.

  16. Fuzzy Based Decision Support System for Condition Assessment and Rating of Bridges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Srinivas, Voggu; Sasmal, Saptarshi; Karusala, Ramanjaneyulu

    2016-09-01

    In this work, a knowledge based decision support system has been developed to efficiently handle the issues such as distress diagnosis, assessment of damages and condition rating of existing bridges towards developing an exclusive and robust Bridge Management System (BMS) for sustainable bridges. The Knowledge Based Expert System (KBES) diagnoses the distresses and finds the cause of distress in the bridge by processing the data which are heuristic and combined with site inspection results, laboratory test results etc. The coupling of symbolic and numeric type of data has been successfully implemented in the expert system to strengthen its decision making process. Finally, the condition rating of the bridge is carried out using the assessment results obtained from the KBES and the information received from the bridge inspector. A systematic procedure has been developed using fuzzy mathematics for condition rating of bridges by combining the fuzzy weighted average and resolution identity technique. The proposed methodologies and the decision support system will facilitate in developing a robust and exclusive BMS for a network of bridges across the country and allow the bridge engineers and decision makers to carry out maintenance of bridges in a rational and systematic way.

  17. Fuzzy Based Decision Support System for Condition Assessment and Rating of Bridges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Srinivas, Voggu; Sasmal, Saptarshi; Karusala, Ramanjaneyulu

    2016-06-01

    In this work, a knowledge based decision support system has been developed to efficiently handle the issues such as distress diagnosis, assessment of damages and condition rating of existing bridges towards developing an exclusive and robust Bridge Management System (BMS) for sustainable bridges. The Knowledge Based Expert System (KBES) diagnoses the distresses and finds the cause of distress in the bridge by processing the data which are heuristic and combined with site inspection results, laboratory test results etc. The coupling of symbolic and numeric type of data has been successfully implemented in the expert system to strengthen its decision making process. Finally, the condition rating of the bridge is carried out using the assessment results obtained from the KBES and the information received from the bridge inspector. A systematic procedure has been developed using fuzzy mathematics for condition rating of bridges by combining the fuzzy weighted average and resolution identity technique. The proposed methodologies and the decision support system will facilitate in developing a robust and exclusive BMS for a network of bridges across the country and allow the bridge engineers and decision makers to carry out maintenance of bridges in a rational and systematic way.

  18. A quantitative method to analyze the quality of EIA information in wind energy development and avian/bat assessments

    SciTech Connect

    Chang, Tony; Nielsen, Erik; Auberle, William; Solop, Frederic I.

    2013-01-15

    The environmental impact assessment (EIA) has been a tool for decision makers since the enactment of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Since that time, few analyses have been performed to verify the quality of information and content within EIAs. High quality information within assessments is vital in order for decision makers, stake holders, and the public to understand the potential impact of proposed actions on the ecosystem and wildlife species. Low quality information has been a major cause for litigation and economic loss. Since 1999, wind energy development has seen an exponential growth with unknown levels of impact on wildlife species, in particular bird and bat species. The purpose of this article is to: (1) develop, validate, and apply a quantitative index to review avian/bat assessment quality for wind energy EIAs; and (2) assess the trends and status of avian/bat assessment quality in a sample of wind energy EIAs. This research presents the development and testing of the Avian and Bat Assessment Quality Index (ABAQI), a new approach to quantify information quality of ecological assessments within wind energy development EIAs in relation to avian and bat species based on review areas and factors derived from 23 state wind/wildlife siting guidance documents. The ABAQI was tested through a review of 49 publicly available EIA documents and validated by identifying high variation in avian and bat assessments quality for wind energy developments. Of all the reviewed EIAs, 66% failed to provide high levels of preconstruction avian and bat survey information, compared to recommended factors from state guidelines. This suggests the need for greater consistency from recommended guidelines by state, and mandatory compliance by EIA preparers to avoid possible habitat and species loss, wind energy development shut down, and future lawsuits. - Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer We developed, validated, and applied a quantitative index to review

  19. Recreational stream assessment using Malaysia water quality index

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ibrahim, Hanisah; Kutty, Ahmad Abas

    2013-11-01

    River water quality assessment is crucial in order to quantify and monitor spatial and temporally. Malaysia is producing WQI and NWQS indices to evaluate river water quality. However, the study on recreational river water quality is still scarce. A study was conducted to determine selected recreational river water quality area and to determine impact of recreation on recreational stream. Three recreational streams namely Sungai Benus, Sungai Cemperuh and Sungai Luruh in Janda Baik, Pahang were selected. Five sampling stations were chosen from each river with a 200-400 m interval. Six water quality parameters which are BOD5, COD, TSS, pH, ammoniacal-nitrogen and dissolved oxygen were measured. Sampling and analysis was conducted following standard method prepared by USEPA. These parameters were used to calculate the water quality subindex and finally an indicative WQI value using Malaysia water quality index formula. Results indicate that all recreational streams have excellent water quality with WQI values ranging from 89 to 94. Most of water quality parameter was homogenous between sampling sites and between streams. An one-way ANOVA test indicates that no significant difference was observed between each sub index values (p> 0.05, α=0.05). Only BOD and COD exhibit slightly variation between stations that would be due to organic domestic wastes done by visitors. The study demonstrated that visitors impact on recreational is minimum and recreation streams are applicable for direct contact recreational.

  20. Assessment of foodservice quality and identification of improvement strategies using hospital foodservice quality model

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Kyungjoo; Kim, Minyoung

    2010-01-01

    The purposes of this study were to assess hospital foodservice quality and to identify causes of quality problems and improvement strategies. Based on the review of literature, hospital foodservice quality was defined and the Hospital Foodservice Quality model was presented. The study was conducted in two steps. In Step 1, nutritional standards specified on diet manuals and nutrients of planned menus, served meals, and consumed meals for regular, diabetic, and low-sodium diets were assessed in three general hospitals. Quality problems were found in all three hospitals since patients consumed less than their nutritional requirements. Considering the effects of four gaps in the Hospital Foodservice Quality model, Gaps 3 and 4 were selected as critical control points (CCPs) for hospital foodservice quality management. In Step 2, the causes of the gaps and improvement strategies at CCPs were labeled as "quality hazards" and "corrective actions", respectively and were identified using a case study. At Gap 3, inaccurate forecasting and a lack of control during production were identified as quality hazards and corrective actions proposed were establishing an accurate forecasting system, improving standardized recipes, emphasizing the use of standardized recipes, and conducting employee training. At Gap 4, quality hazards were menus of low preferences, inconsistency of menu quality, a lack of menu variety, improper food temperatures, and patients' lack of understanding of their nutritional requirements. To reduce Gap 4, the dietary departments should conduct patient surveys on menu preferences on a regular basis, develop new menus, especially for therapeutic diets, maintain food temperatures during distribution, provide more choices, conduct meal rounds, and provide nutrition education and counseling. The Hospital Foodservice Quality Model was a useful tool for identifying causes of the foodservice quality problems and improvement strategies from a holistic point of view

  1. Assessing ground-water vulnerability to contamination: Providing scientifically defensible information for decision makers

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Focazio, Michael J.; Reilly, Thomas E.; Rupert, Michael G.; Helsel, Dennis R.

    2002-01-01

    Throughout the United States increasing demands for safe drinking water and requirements to maintain healthy ecosystems are leading policy makers to ask complex social and scientific questions about how to assess and manage our water resources. This challenge becomes particularly difficult as policy and management objectives require scientific assessments of the potential for ground-water resources to become contaminated from anthropogenic, as well as natural sources of contamination. Assessments of the vulnerability of ground water to contamination range in scope and complexity from simple, qualitative, and relatively inexpensive approaches to rigorous, quantitative, and costly assessments. Tradeoffs must be carefully considered among the competing influences of the cost of an assessment, the scientific defensibility, and the amount of acceptable uncertainty in meeting the objectives of the water-resource decision maker.

  2. The imprecise science of evaluating scholarly performance: utilizing broad quality categories for an assessment of business and management journals.

    PubMed

    Lange, Thomas

    2006-08-01

    In a growing number of countries, government-appointed assessment panels develop ranks on the basis of the quality of scholarly outputs to apportion budgets in recognition of evaluated performance and to justify public funds for future R&D activities. When business and management journals are being grouped in broad quality categories, a recent study has noted that this procedure was placing the same journals in essentially the same categories. Drawing on journal quality categorizations by several German- and English-speaking business departments and academic associations, the author performs nonparametric tests and correlations to analyze whether this claim can be substantiated. In particular, he examines the ability of broad quality categorizations to add value to governmental, administrative, and academic decision making by withstanding the criticism traditionally levied at research quality assessments.

  3. Assessment procedures regarding end-of-life decisions in neonatology in the Netherlands.

    PubMed

    Dorscheidt, Jozef H H M

    2005-12-01

    This paper describes the position of Dutch law concerning end-of-life decisions in neonatology consequent on rulings of the Dutch appeals court in two cases. The concept of a multidisciplinary assessment committee is explored. The European Convention on Human Rights in its articles 2 and 13 is relevant to this concept. The author provides a detailed discussion of the current situation and draws conclusions based on his perception of future developments in regulating thanatic practices in neonatology.

  4. Facility Energy Decision System (FEDS) Assessment Report for US Army Garrison, Japan - Honshu Installations

    SciTech Connect

    Kora, Angela R.; Brown, Daryl R.; Dixon, Douglas R.

    2010-03-09

    This report documents an assessment was performed by a team of engineers from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) under contract to the Installation Management Command (IMCOM) Pacific Region Office (PARO). The effort used the Facility Energy Decision System (FEDS) model to determine how energy is consumed at five U.S. Army Garrison-Japan (USAG-J) installations in the Honshu area, identify the most cost-effective energy retrofit measures, and calculate the potential energy and cost savings.

  5. Water quality modeling in the systems impact assessment model for the Klamath River basin - Keno, Oregon to Seiad Valley, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hanna, R. Blair; Campbell, Sharon G.

    2000-01-01

    This report describes the water quality model developed for the Klamath River System Impact Assessment Model (SIAM). The Klamath River SIAM is a decision support system developed by the authors and other US Geological Survey (USGS), Midcontinent Ecological Science Center staff to study the effects of basin-wide water management decisions on anadromous fish in the Klamath River. The Army Corps of Engineersa?? HEC5Q water quality modeling software was used to simulate water temperature, dissolved oxygen and conductivity in 100 miles of the Klamath River Basin in Oregon and California. The water quality model simulated three reservoirs and the mainstem Klamath River influenced by the Shasta and Scott River tributaries. Model development, calibration and two validation exercises are described as well as the integration of the water quality model into the SIAM decision support system software. Within SIAM, data are exchanged between the water quantity model (MODSIM), the water quality model (HEC5Q), the salmon population model (SALMOD) and methods for evaluating ecosystem health. The overall predictive ability of the water quality model is described in the context of calibration and validation error statistics. Applications of SIAM and the water quality model are described.

  6. A multicriteria decision analysis model and risk assessment framework for carbon capture and storage.

    PubMed

    Humphries Choptiany, John Michael; Pelot, Ronald

    2014-09-01

    Multicriteria decision analysis (MCDA) has been applied to various energy problems to incorporate a variety of qualitative and quantitative criteria, usually spanning environmental, social, engineering, and economic fields. MCDA and associated methods such as life-cycle assessments and cost-benefit analysis can also include risk analysis to address uncertainties in criteria estimates. One technology now being assessed to help mitigate climate change is carbon capture and storage (CCS). CCS is a new process that captures CO2 emissions from fossil-fueled power plants and injects them into geological reservoirs for storage. It presents a unique challenge to decisionmakers (DMs) due to its technical complexity, range of environmental, social, and economic impacts, variety of stakeholders, and long time spans. The authors have developed a risk assessment model using a MCDA approach for CCS decisions such as selecting between CO2 storage locations and choosing among different mitigation actions for reducing risks. The model includes uncertainty measures for several factors, utility curve representations of all variables, Monte Carlo simulation, and sensitivity analysis. This article uses a CCS scenario example to demonstrate the development and application of the model based on data derived from published articles and publicly available sources. The model allows high-level DMs to better understand project risks and the tradeoffs inherent in modern, complex energy decisions. PMID:24772997

  7. A multicriteria decision analysis model and risk assessment framework for carbon capture and storage.

    PubMed

    Humphries Choptiany, John Michael; Pelot, Ronald

    2014-09-01

    Multicriteria decision analysis (MCDA) has been applied to various energy problems to incorporate a variety of qualitative and quantitative criteria, usually spanning environmental, social, engineering, and economic fields. MCDA and associated methods such as life-cycle assessments and cost-benefit analysis can also include risk analysis to address uncertainties in criteria estimates. One technology now being assessed to help mitigate climate change is carbon capture and storage (CCS). CCS is a new process that captures CO2 emissions from fossil-fueled power plants and injects them into geological reservoirs for storage. It presents a unique challenge to decisionmakers (DMs) due to its technical complexity, range of environmental, social, and economic impacts, variety of stakeholders, and long time spans. The authors have developed a risk assessment model using a MCDA approach for CCS decisions such as selecting between CO2 storage locations and choosing among different mitigation actions for reducing risks. The model includes uncertainty measures for several factors, utility curve representations of all variables, Monte Carlo simulation, and sensitivity analysis. This article uses a CCS scenario example to demonstrate the development and application of the model based on data derived from published articles and publicly available sources. The model allows high-level DMs to better understand project risks and the tradeoffs inherent in modern, complex energy decisions.

  8. Creating a spatial multi-criteria decision support system for energy related integrated environmental impact assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Wanderer, Thomas Herle, Stefan

    2015-04-15

    By their spatially very distributed nature, profitability and impacts of renewable energy resources are highly correlated with the geographic locations of power plant deployments. A web-based Spatial Decision Support System (SDSS) based on a Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) approach has been implemented for identifying preferable locations for solar power plants based on user preferences. The designated areas found serve for the input scenario development for a subsequent integrated Environmental Impact Assessment. The capabilities of the SDSS service get showcased for Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plants in the region of Andalusia, Spain. The resulting spatial patterns of possible power plant sites are an important input to the procedural chain of assessing impacts of renewable energies in an integrated effort. The applied methodology and the implemented SDSS are applicable for other renewable technologies as well. - Highlights: • The proposed tool facilitates well-founded CSP plant siting decisions. • Spatial MCDA methods are implemented in a WebGIS environment. • GIS-based SDSS can contribute to a modern integrated impact assessment workflow. • The conducted case study proves the suitability of the methodology.

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

    PubMed Central

    Mehrazmay, Alireza; Karambakhsh, Alireza; Salesi, Mahmood

    2015-01-01

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

  10. The Effect of Structured Decision-Making Techniques and Gender on Student Reaction and Quality of Written Documents.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Neal, Joan; Echternacht, Lonnie

    1995-01-01

    Experimental groups used four decision-making techniques--reverse brainstorming (RS), dialectical inquiry (DI), devil's advocacy (DA), and consensus--in evaluating writing assignments. Control group produced a better quality document. Student reaction to negative features of RS, DI, and DA were not significant. (SK)

  11. Prediction versus management models relevant to risk assessment: the importance of legal decision-making context.

    PubMed

    Heilbrun, K

    1997-08-01

    Most of the theoretical and empirical literature on violence risk to date has focused on the task of predicting who will behave violently. In the present article, it is argued that at least two models of risk assessment may be applied to the varying legal decisions in which violence risk is a consideration: prediction (with an emphasis on overall accuracy) and management (with an emphasis on risk reduction). These two models are described, and discussed in the contexts of the literatures on forensic assessment and therapeutic jurisprudence. The implications for research, policy, and practice are considered.

  12. Assessment of providers' referral decisions in Rural Burkina Faso: a retrospective analysis of medical records

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background A well-functioning referral system is fundamental to primary health care delivery. Understanding the providers' referral decision-making process becomes critical. This study's aim was to assess the correctness of diagnoses and appropriateness of the providers' referral decisions from health centers (HCs) to district hospitals (DHs) among patients with severe malaria and pneumonia. Methods A record review of twelve months of consultations was conducted covering eight randomly selected HCs to identify severe malaria (SM) cases among children under five and pneumonia cases among adults. The correctness of the diagnosis and appropriateness of providers' referral decisions were determined using the National Clinical Guidebook as a 'gold standard'. Results Among the 457 SM cases affecting children under five, only 66 cases (14.4%) were correctly diagnosed and of those 66 correctly diagnosed cases, 40 cases (60.6%) received an appropriate referral decision from their providers. Within these 66 correctly diagnosed SM cases, only 60.6% were appropriately referred. Among the adult pneumonia cases, 5.9% (79/1331) of the diagnoses were correctly diagnosed; however, the appropriateness rate of the provider's referral decision was 98.7% (78/79). There was only one case that should not have been referred but was referred. Conclusions The adherence to the National Guidelines among the health center providers when making a diagnosis was low for both severe malaria cases and pneumonia cases. The appropriateness of the referral decisions was particularly poor for children with severe malaria. Health center providers need to be better trained in the diagnostic process and in disease management in order to improve the performance of the referral system in rural Burkina Faso. PMID:22397326

  13. Supporting Policy and Program Decisions: Recommendations for Conducting High Quality Systematic Evidence Reviews. Issue Brief

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., 2012

    2012-01-01

    Policy and program decisions typically involve selecting one choice from among a set of options, and research about the effect of those options can help inform the decision process. However, for the research to be useful, decision makers need a way of drawing accurate lessons from what often can be a large assortment of relevant studies.…

  14. Quality of Feedback Following Performance Assessments: Does Assessor Expertise Matter?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Govaerts, Marjan J. B.; van de Wiel, Margje W. J.; van der Vleuten, Cees P. M.

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: This study aims to investigate quality of feedback as offered by supervisor-assessors with varying levels of assessor expertise following assessment of performance in residency training in a health care setting. It furthermore investigates if and how different levels of assessor expertise influence feedback characteristics.…

  15. Quality Control Charts in Large-Scale Assessment Programs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schafer, William D.; Coverdale, Bradley J.; Luxenberg, Harlan; Jin, Ying

    2011-01-01

    There are relatively few examples of quantitative approaches to quality control in educational assessment and accountability contexts. Among the several techniques that are used in other fields, Shewart charts have been found in a few instances to be applicable in educational settings. This paper describes Shewart charts and gives examples of how…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Evans, Margaret Kinnell

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

  17. Algorithm for automatic forced spirometry quality assessment: technological developments.

    PubMed

    Melia, Umberto; Burgos, Felip; Vallverdú, Montserrat; Velickovski, Filip; Lluch-Ariet, Magí; Roca, Josep; Caminal, Pere

    2014-01-01

    We hypothesized that the implementation of automatic real-time assessment of quality of forced spirometry (FS) may significantly enhance the potential for extensive deployment of a FS program in the community. Recent studies have demonstrated that the application of quality criteria defined by the ATS/ERS (American Thoracic Society/European Respiratory Society) in commercially available equipment with automatic quality assessment can be markedly improved. To this end, an algorithm for assessing quality of FS automatically was reported. The current research describes the mathematical developments of the algorithm. An innovative analysis of the shape of the spirometric curve, adding 23 new metrics to the traditional 4 recommended by ATS/ERS, was done. The algorithm was created through a two-step iterative process including: (1) an initial version using the standard FS curves recommended by the ATS; and, (2) a refined version using curves from patients. In each of these steps the results were assessed against one expert's opinion. Finally, an independent set of FS curves from 291 patients was used for validation purposes. The novel mathematical approach to characterize the FS curves led to appropriate FS classification with high specificity (95%) and sensitivity (96%). The results constitute the basis for a successful transfer of FS testing to non-specialized professionals in the community.

  18. Feedback Effects of Teaching Quality Assessment: Macro and Micro Evidence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bianchini, Stefano

    2014-01-01

    This study investigates the feedback effects of teaching quality assessment. Previous literature looked separately at the evolution of individual and aggregate scores to understand whether instructors and university performance depends on its past evaluation. I propose a new quantitative-based methodology, combining statistical distributions and…

  19. Quality Assured Assessment Processes: Evaluating Staff Response to Change

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Malau-Aduli, Bunmi S.; Zimitat, Craig; Malau-Aduli, Aduli E. O.

    2011-01-01

    Medical education is not exempt from the increasing societal expectations of accountability and this is evidenced by an increasing number of litigation cases by students who are dissatisfied with their assessment. The time and monetary costs of student appeals makes it imperative that medical schools adopt robust quality assured assessment…

  20. Parameters of Higher School Internationalization and Quality Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Juknyte-Petreikiene, Inga

    2006-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2001-01-01

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

  2. Quality Assessment Parameters for Student Support at Higher Education Institutions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sajiene, Laima; Tamuliene, Rasa

    2012-01-01

    The research presented in this article aims to validate quality assessment parameters for student support at higher education institutions. Student support is discussed as the system of services provided by a higher education institution which helps to develop student-centred curriculum and fulfils students' emotional, academic, social needs, and…

  3. Incorporating Contaminant Bioavailability into Sediment Quality Assessment Frameworks

    EPA Science Inventory

    The recently adopted sediment quality assessment framework for evaluating bay and estuarine sediments in the State of California incorporates bulk sediment chemistry as a key line of evidence(LOE) but does not address the bioavailability of measured contaminants. Thus, the chemis...

  4. A research review of quality assessment for software

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1991-01-01

    Measures were recommended to assess the quality of software submitted to the AdaNet program. The quality factors that are important to software reuse are explored and methods of evaluating those factors are discussed. Quality factors important to software reuse are: correctness, reliability, verifiability, understandability, modifiability, and certifiability. Certifiability is included because the documentation of many factors about a software component such as its efficiency, portability, and development history, constitute a class for factors important to some users, not important at all to other, and impossible for AdaNet to distinguish between a priori. The quality factors may be assessed in different ways. There are a few quantitative measures which have been shown to indicate software quality. However, it is believed that there exists many factors that indicate quality and have not been empirically validated due to their subjective nature. These subjective factors are characterized by the way in which they support the software engineering principles of abstraction, information hiding, modularity, localization, confirmability, uniformity, and completeness.

  5. Assessing local resources and culture before instituting quality improvement projects.

    PubMed

    Hawkins, C Matthew

    2014-12-01

    The planning phases of quality improvement projects are commonly overlooked. Disorganized planning and implementation can escalate chaos, intensify resistance to change, and increase the likelihood of failure. Two important steps in the planning phase are (1) assessing local resources available to aid in the quality improvement project and (2) evaluating the culture in which the desired change is to be implemented. Assessing local resources includes identifying and engaging key stakeholders and evaluating if appropriate expertise is available for the scope of the project. This process also involves engaging informaticists and gathering available IT tools to plan and automate (to the extent possible) the data-gathering, analysis, and feedback steps. Culture in a department is influenced by the ability and willingness to manage resistance to change, build consensus, span boundaries between stakeholders, and become a learning organization. Allotting appropriate time to perform these preparatory steps will increase the odds of successfully performing a quality improvement project and implementing change. PMID:25467724

  6. The Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP): a national scale natural resources and conservation needs assessment and decision support tool

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, M.-V. V.; Norfleet, M. L.; Atwood, J. D.; Behrman, K. D.; Kiniry, J. R.; Arnold, J. G.; White, M. J.; Williams, J.

    2015-07-01

    The Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) was initiated to quantify the impacts of agricultural conservation practices at the watershed, regional, and national scales across the United States. Representative cropland acres in all major U.S. watersheds were surveyed in 2003-2006 as part of the seminal CEAP Cropland National Assessment. Two process-based models, the Agricultural Policy Environmental eXtender(APEX) and the Soil Water Assessment Tool (SWAT), were applied to the survey data to provide a quantitative assessment of current conservation practice impacts, establish a benchmark against which future conservation trends and efforts could be measured, and identify outstanding conservation concerns. The flexibility of these models and the unprecedented amount of data on current conservation practices across the country enabled Cropland CEAP to meet its Congressional mandate of quantifying the value of current conservation practices. It also enabled scientifically grounded exploration of a variety of conservation scenarios, empowering CEAP to not only inform on past successes and additional needs, but to also provide a decision support tool to help guide future policy development and conservation practice decision making. The CEAP effort will repeat the national survey in 2015-2016, enabling CEAP to provide analyses of emergent conservation trends, outstanding needs, and potential costs and benefits of pursuing various treatment scenarios for all agricultural watersheds across the United States.

  7. Water Quality Assessment of Ayeyarwady River in Myanmar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thatoe Nwe Win, Thanda; Bogaard, Thom; van de Giesen, Nick

    2015-04-01

    Myanmar's socio-economic activities, urbanisation, industrial operations and agricultural production have increased rapidly in recent years. With the increase of socio-economic development and climate change impacts, there is an increasing threat on quantity and quality of water resources. In Myanmar, some of the drinking water coverage still comes from unimproved sources including rivers. The Ayeyarwady River is the main river in Myanmar draining most of the country's area. The use of chemical fertilizer in the agriculture, the mining activities in the catchment area, wastewater effluents from the industries and communities and other development activities generate pollutants of different nature. Therefore water quality monitoring is of utmost importance. In Myanmar, there are many government organizations linked to water quality management. Each water organization monitors water quality for their own purposes. The monitoring is haphazard, short term and based on individual interest and the available equipment. The monitoring is not properly coordinated and a quality assurance programme is not incorporated in most of the work. As a result, comprehensive data on the water quality of rivers in Myanmar is not available. To provide basic information, action is needed at all management levels. The need for comprehensive and accurate assessments of trends in water quality has been recognized. For such an assessment, reliable monitoring data are essential. The objective of our work is to set-up a multi-objective surface water quality monitoring programme. The need for a scientifically designed network to monitor the Ayeyarwady river water quality is obvious as only limited and scattered data on water quality is available. However, the set-up should also take into account the current socio-economic situation and should be flexible to adjust after first years of monitoring. Additionally, a state-of-the-art baseline river water quality sampling program is required which

  8. ASSESSMENT OF UPPER EXTREMITY IMPAIRMENT, FUNCTION, AND ACTIVITY FOLLOWING STROKE: FOUNDATIONS FOR CLINICAL DECISION MAKING

    PubMed Central

    Lang, Catherine E.; Bland, Marghuretta D.; Bailey, Ryan R.; Schaefer, Sydney Y.; Birkenmeier, Rebecca L.

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this review is to provide a comprehensive approach for assessing the upper extremity (UE) after stroke. First, common upper extremity impairments and how to assess them are briefly discussed. While multiple UE impairments are typically present after stroke, the severity of one impairment, paresis, is the primary determinant of UE functional loss. Second, UE function is operationally defined and a number of clinical measures are discussed. It is important to consider how impairment and loss of function affect UE activity outside of the clinical environment. Thus, this review also identifies accelerometry as an objective method for assessing UE activity in daily life. Finally, the role that each of these levels of assessment should play in clinical decision making is discussed in order to optimize the provision of stroke rehabilitation services. PMID:22975740

  9. Integrating Data-Based Decision Making, Assessment for Learning and Diagnostic Testing in Formative Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Van der Kleij, Fabienne M.; Vermeulen, Jorine A.; Schildkamp, Kim; Eggen, Theo J. H .M.

    2015-01-01

    Recent research has highlighted the lack of a uniform definition of formative assessment, although its effectiveness is widely acknowledged. This paper addresses the theoretical differences and similarities amongst three approaches to formative assessment that are currently most frequently discussed in educational research literature: data-based…

  10. Impact of Psychometric Decisions on Assessment Outcomes in an Alternate Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rao, Vasanthi

    2012-01-01

    In 1997, based on the amendments to Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), all states were faced with a statutory requirement to develop and implement alternate assessments for students with disabilities unable to participate in the statewide large-scale assessment. States were given the challenge of creating, implementing, and…

  11. The impact of perceived quality on online buying decisions: an event-related potentials perspective.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jing; Han, Weiwei

    2014-10-01

    Consumer neuroscience can provide useful insights into the neural foundations of consumer decisions, such as perceived quality. One of the applications is to guide attribute configuration of products to fit consumers' expectations on the basis of individual preferences. In this study, we required 20 participants to decide whether to buy the product provided in the stimuli and to respond as soon as possible. According to their reports of expectations after the experiment, we subdivided the stimuli into two conditions. Condition 1 contained the stimuli that fit individual preferences, whereas Condition 2 contained the other stimuli. An essential component of event-related potentials (ERPs), the P300, was elicited in the two conditions and distributed over almost all parietal and occipital regions. Products in Condition 1 induced a higher P300 amplitude than those in Condition 2. The results show that evaluating product attributes is a cognitive process that modulates attention in the aforementioned regions. When participants evaluate the alternatives, categorical processing occurred on the basis of similarity judgment. The situation in Condition 1 produced a similarity overlap between the product and the expectation and resulted in a higher P300. Otherwise, there was no overlap, leading to a smaller P300. Hence, the P300 may be a useful neural endogenous indicator for measuring consumers' evaluations of products in marketing research. PMID:25037004

  12. Evaluating the Role of Content in Subjective Video Quality Assessment

    PubMed Central

    Vrgovic, Petar

    2014-01-01

    Video quality as perceived by human observers is the ground truth when Video Quality Assessment (VQA) is in question. It is dependent on many variables, one of them being the content of the video that is being evaluated. Despite the evidence that content has an impact on the quality score the sequence receives from human evaluators, currently available VQA databases mostly comprise of sequences which fail to take this into account. In this paper, we aim to identify and analyze differences between human cognitive, affective, and conative responses to a set of videos commonly used for VQA and a set of videos specifically chosen to include video content which might affect the judgment of evaluators when perceived video quality is in question. Our findings indicate that considerable differences exist between the two sets on selected factors, which leads us to conclude that videos starring a different type of content than the currently employed ones might be more appropriate for VQA. PMID:24523643

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

    PubMed

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

    1996-01-01

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

  14. Reduced-reference image quality assessment using moment method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-10-01

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

  15. Effort-Based Decision Making: A Novel Approach for Assessing Motivation in Schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Green, Michael F; Horan, William P; Barch, Deanna M; Gold, James M

    2015-09-01

    Because negative symptoms, including motivational deficits, are a critical unmet need in schizophrenia, there are many ongoing efforts to develop new pharmacological and psychosocial interventions for these impairments. A common challenge of these studies involves how to evaluate and select optimal endpoints. Currently, all studies of negative symptoms in schizophrenia depend on ratings from clinician-conducted interviews. Effort-based decision-making tasks may provide a more objective, and perhaps more sensitive, endpoint for trials of motivational negative symptoms. These tasks assess how much effort a person is willing to exert for a given level of reward. This area has been well-studied with animal models of effort and motivation, and effort-based decision-making tasks have been adapted for use in humans. Very recently, several studies have examined physical and cognitive types of effort-based decision-making tasks in cross-sectional studies of schizophrenia, providing evidence for effort-related impairment in this illness. This article covers the theoretical background on effort-based decision-making tasks to provide a context for the subsequent articles in this theme section. In addition, we review the existing literature of studies using these tasks in schizophrenia, consider some practical challenges in adapting them for use in clinical trials in schizophrenia, and discuss interpretive challenges that are central to these types of tasks. PMID:26089350

  16. GRADE: Assessing the quality of evidence in environmental and occupational health.

    PubMed

    Morgan, Rebecca L; Thayer, Kristina A; Bero, Lisa; Bruce, Nigel; Falck-Ytter, Yngve; Ghersi, Davina; Guyatt, Gordon; Hooijmans, Carlijn; Langendam, Miranda; Mandrioli, Daniele; Mustafa, Reem A; Rehfuess, Eva A; Rooney, Andrew A; Shea, Beverley; Silbergeld, Ellen K; Sutton, Patrice; Wolfe, Mary S; Woodruff, Tracey J; Verbeek, Jos H; Holloway, Alison C; Santesso, Nancy; Schünemann, Holger J

    2016-01-01

    There is high demand in environmental health for adoption of a structured process that evaluates and integrates evidence while making decisions and recommendations transparent. The Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) framework holds promise to address this demand. For over a decade, GRADE has been applied successfully to areas of clinical medicine, public health, and health policy, but experience with GRADE in environmental and occupational health is just beginning. Environmental and occupational health questions focus on understanding whether an exposure is a potential health hazard or risk, assessing the exposure to understand the extent and magnitude of risk, and exploring interventions to mitigate exposure or risk. Although GRADE offers many advantages, including its flexibility and methodological rigor, there are features of the different sources of evidence used in environmental and occupational health that will require further consideration to assess the need for method refinement. An issue that requires particular attention is the evaluation and integration of evidence from human, animal, in vitro, and in silico (computer modeling) studies when determining whether an environmental factor represents a potential health hazard or risk. Assessment of the hazard of exposures can produce analyses for use in the GRADE evidence-to-decision (EtD) framework to inform risk-management decisions about removing harmful exposures or mitigating risks. The EtD framework allows for grading the strength of the recommendations based on judgments of the certainty in the evidence (also known as quality of the evidence), as well as other factors that inform recommendations such as social values and preferences, resource implications, and benefits. GRADE represents an untapped opportunity for environmental and occupational health to make evidence-based recommendations in a systematic and transparent manner. The objectives of this article are

  17. Taking the Next Step: Using Water Quality Data in a Decision Support System for County, State, and Federal Land Managers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raby, K. S.; Williams, M. W.

    2004-12-01

    Each passing year amplifies the demands placed on communities across the US in terms of population growth, increased tourism, and stresses resulting from escalated use. The conflicting concerns of recreational users, local citizens, environmentalists, and traditional economic interests cause land managers to contend with controversial decisions regarding development and protection of watersheds. Local history and culture, politics, economic goals, and science are all influential factors in land use decision making. Here we report on a scientific study to determine the sensitivity of alpine areas, and the adaptation of this study into a decision support framework. We use water quality data as an indicator of ecosystem health across a variety of alpine and subalpine landscapes, and input this information into a spatially-based decision support tool that planners can use to make informed land use decisions. We develop this tool in a case study in San Juan County, Colorado, a site chosen because its largest town, Silverton, is a small mountain community experiencing a recent surge in tourism and development, and its fragile high elevation locale makes it more sensitive to environmental changes. Extensive field surveys were conducted in priority drainages throughout the county to map the spatial distribution and aerial extent of landscape types during the summers of 2003 and 2004. Surface water samples were collected and analyzed for inorganic and organic solutes, and water quality values were associated with different land covers to enable sensitivity analysis at the landscape scale. Water quality results for each watershed were entered into a module linked to a geographic information system (GIS), which displays maps of sensitive areas based on criteria selected by the user. The decision support system initially incorporates two major water quality parameters: acid neutralizing capacity (ANC) and nitrate (NO3-) concentration, and several categories of sensitivity were

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

    PubMed

    Panagiotakos, Demosthenes B; Yfantopoulos, John N

    2011-10-01

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

  19. No-reference quality assessment based on visual perception

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-11-01

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

  20. Water quality success stories: Integrated assessments from the IOOS regional associations and national water quality monitoring network

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ragsdale, Rob; Vowinkel, Eric; Porter, Dwayne; Hamilton, Pixie; Morrison, Ru; Kohut, Josh; Connell, Bob; Kelsey, Heath; Trowbridge, Phil

    2011-01-01

    The Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS®) Regional Associations and Interagency Partners hosted a water quality workshop in January 2010 to discuss issues of nutrient enrichment and dissolved oxygen depletion (hypoxia), harmful algal blooms (HABs), and beach water quality. In 2007, the National Water Quality Monitoring Council piloted demonstration projects as part of the National Water Quality Monitoring Network (Network) for U.S. Coastal Waters and their Tributaries in three IOOS Regional Associations, and these projects are ongoing. Examples of integrated science-based solutions to water quality issues of major concern from the IOOS regions and Network demonstration projects are explored in this article. These examples illustrate instances where management decisions have benefited from decision-support tools that make use of interoperable data. Gaps, challenges, and outcomes are identified, and a proposal is made for future work toward a multiregional water quality project for beach water quality.

  1. An extreme events laboratory to provide network centric collaborative situation assessment and decision making

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Panulla, Brian J.; More, Loretta D.; Shumaker, Wade R.; Jones, Michael D.; Hooper, Robert; Vernon, Jeffrey M.; Aungst, Stanley G.

    2009-05-01

    Rapid improvements in communications infrastructure and sophistication of commercial hand-held devices provide a major new source of information for assessing extreme situations such as environmental crises. In particular, ad hoc collections of humans can act as "soft sensors" to augment data collected by traditional sensors in a net-centric environment (in effect, "crowd-sourcing" observational data). A need exists to understand how to task such soft sensors, characterize their performance and fuse the data with traditional data sources. In order to quantitatively study such situations, as well as study distributed decision-making, we have developed an Extreme Events Laboratory (EEL) at The Pennsylvania State University. This facility provides a network-centric, collaborative situation assessment and decision-making capability by supporting experiments involving human observers, distributed decision making and cognition, and crisis management. The EEL spans the information chain from energy detection via sensors, human observations, signal and image processing, pattern recognition, statistical estimation, multi-sensor data fusion, visualization and analytics, and modeling and simulation. The EEL command center combines COTS and custom collaboration tools in innovative ways, providing capabilities such as geo-spatial visualization and dynamic mash-ups of multiple data sources. This paper describes the EEL and several on-going human-in-the-loop experiments aimed at understanding the new collective observation and analysis landscape.

  2. Using multi-criteria decision analysis to assess the vulnerability of drinking water utilities.

    PubMed

    Joerin, Florent; Cool, Geneviève; Rodriguez, Manuel J; Gignac, Marc; Bouchard, Christian

    2010-07-01

    Outbreaks of microbiological waterborne disease have increased governmental concern regarding the importance of drinking water safety. Considering the multi-barrier approach to safe drinking water may improve management decisions to reduce contamination risks. However, the application of this approach must consider numerous and diverse kinds of information simultaneously. This makes it difficult for authorities to apply the approach to decision making. For this reason, multi-criteria decision analysis can be helpful in applying the multi-barrier approach to vulnerability assessment. The goal of this study is to propose an approach based on a multi-criteria analysis method in order to rank drinking water systems (DWUs) based on their vulnerability to microbiological contamination. This approach is illustrated with an application carried out on 28 DWUs supplied by groundwater in the Province of Québec, Canada. The multi-criteria analysis method chosen is measuring attractiveness by a categorical based evaluation technique methodology allowing the assessment of a microbiological vulnerability indicator (MVI) for each DWU. Results are presented on a scale ranking DWUs from less vulnerable to most vulnerable to contamination. MVI results are tested using a sensitivity analysis on barrier weights and they are also compared with historical data on contamination at the utilities. The investigation demonstrates that MVI provides a good representation of the vulnerability of DWUs to microbiological contamination.

  3. Assessment of three approaches for regulatory decision making on pesticides with endocrine disrupting properties.

    PubMed

    Marx-Stoelting, P; Niemann, L; Ritz, V; Ulbrich, B; Gall, A; Hirsch-Ernst, K I; Pfeil, R; Solecki, R

    2014-12-01

    Recent EU legislation has introduced endocrine disrupting properties as a hazard-based "cut-off" criterion for the approval of active substances as pesticides and biocides. Currently, no specific science-based approach for the assessment of substances with endocrine disrupting properties has been agreed upon, although this new legislation provides interim criteria based on classification and labelling. Different proposals for decision making on potential endocrine disrupting properties in human health risk assessment have been developed by the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) and other regulatory bodies. All these frameworks, although differing with regard to hazard characterisation, include a toxicological assessment of adversity of the effects, the evaluation of underlying modes/mechanisms of action in animals and considerations concerning the relevance of effects to humans. Three options for regulatory decision making were tested upon 39 pesticides for their applicability and to analyze their potential impact on the regulatory status of active substances that are currently approved for use in Europe: Option 1, based purely on hazard identification (adversity, mode of action, and the plausibility that both are related); Option 2, based on hazard identification and additional elements of hazard characterisation (severity and potency); Option 3, based on the interim criteria laid down in the recent EU pesticides legislation. Additionally, the data analysed in this study were used to address the questions, which parts of the endocrine system were affected, which studies were the most sensitive and whether no observed adverse effect levels were observed for substance with ED properties. The results of this exercise represent preliminary categorisations and must not be used as a basis for definitive regulatory decisions. They demonstrate that a combination of criteria for hazard identification with additional criteria of hazard characterisation

  4. The Integrated Medical Model: A Risk Assessment and Decision Support Tool for Space Flight Medical Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kerstman, Eric; Minard, Charles; Saile, Lynn; deCarvalho, Mary Freire; Myers, Jerry; Walton, Marlei; Butler, Douglas; Iyengar, Sriram; Johnson-Throop, Kathy; Baumann, David

    2009-01-01

    The Integrated Medical Model (IMM) is a decision support tool that is useful to mission planners and medical system designers in assessing risks and designing medical systems for space flight missions. The IMM provides an evidence based approach for optimizing medical resources and minimizing risks within space flight operational constraints. The mathematical relationships among mission and crew profiles, medical condition incidence data, in-flight medical resources, potential crew functional impairments, and clinical end-states are established to determine probable mission outcomes. Stochastic computational methods are used to forecast probability distributions of crew health and medical resource utilization, as well as estimates of medical evacuation and loss of crew life. The IMM has been used in support of the International Space Station (ISS) medical kit redesign, the medical component of the ISS Probabilistic Risk Assessment, and the development of the Constellation Medical Conditions List. The IMM also will be used to refine medical requirements for the Constellation program. The IMM outputs for ISS and Constellation design reference missions will be presented to demonstrate the potential of the IMM in assessing risks, planning missions, and designing medical systems. The implementation of the IMM verification and validation plan will be reviewed. Additional planned capabilities of the IMM, including optimization techniques and the inclusion of a mission timeline, will be discussed. Given the space flight constraints of mass, volume, and crew medical training, the IMM is a valuable risk assessment and decision support tool for medical system design and mission planning.

  5. LCA-IWM: a decision support tool for sustainability assessment of waste management systems.

    PubMed

    den Boer, J; den Boer, E; Jager, J

    2007-01-01

    The paper outlines the most significant result of the project 'The use of life cycle assessment tools for the development of integrated waste management strategies for cities and regions with rapid growing economies', which was the development of two decision-support tools: a municipal waste prognostic tool and a waste management system assessment tool. The article focuses on the assessment tool, which supports the adequate decision making in the planning of urban waste management systems by allowing the creation and comparison of different scenarios, considering three basic subsystems: (i) temporary storage; (ii) collection and transport and (iii) treatment, disposal and recycling. The design and analysis options, as well as the assumptions made for each subsystem, are shortly introduced, providing an overview of the applied methodologies and technologies. The sustainability assessment methodology used in the project to support the selection of the most adequate scenario is presented with a brief explanation of the procedures, criteria and indicators applied on the evaluation of each of the three sustainability pillars. PMID:17428653

  6. LCA-IWM: A decision support tool for sustainability assessment of waste management systems

    SciTech Connect

    Boer, J. den Boer, E. den; Jager, J.

    2007-07-01

    The paper outlines the most significant result of the project 'The use of life cycle assessment tools for the development of integrated waste management strategies for cities and regions with rapid growing economies', which was the development of two decision-support tools: a municipal waste prognostic tool and a waste management system assessment tool. The article focuses on the assessment tool, which supports the adequate decision making in the planning of urban waste management systems by allowing the creation and comparison of different scenarios, considering three basic subsystems: (i) temporary storage; (ii) collection and transport and (iii) treatment, disposal and recycling. The design and analysis options, as well as the assumptions made for each subsystem, are shortly introduced, providing an overview of the applied methodologies and technologies. The sustainability assessment methodology used in the project to support the selection of the most adequate scenario is presented with a brief explanation of the procedures, criteria and indicators applied on the evaluation of each of the three sustainability pillars.

  7. Using direct clinical observation to assess the quality of cesarean delivery in Afghanistan: an exploratory study

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background As part of a National Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care (EmONC) Needs Assessment, a special study was undertaken in July 2010 to examine the quality of cesarean deliveries in Afghanistan and examine the utility of direct clinical observation as an assessment method in low-resource settings. Methods This cross-sectional assessment of the quality of cesareans at 14 facilities in Afghanistan included a survey of surgeons regarding their routine cesarean practices, direct observation of 29 cesarean deliveries and comparison of observations with facility records for 34 additional cesareans conducted during the 3 days prior to the observation period at each facility. For both observed cases and record reviews, we assessed time intervals between specified points of care-arrival to the ward, first evaluation, detection of a complication, decision for cesarean, incision, and birth. Results All time intervals with the exception of “decision to skin incision” were longer in the record reviews than in observed cases. Prior cesarean was the most common primary indication for all cases. All mothers in both groups observed survived through one hour postpartum. Among newborns there were two stillbirths (7%) in observed births and seven (21%) record reviews. Although our sample is too small to show statistical significance, the difference is noteworthy. In six of the reviewed cesareans resulting in stillbirth, a fetal heart rate was recorded in the operating theater, although four were recorded as macerated. For the two fresh stillbirths, the cesarean surgeries were recorded as scheduled and not urgent. Conclusions Direct observation of cesarean deliveries enabled us to assess a number of preoperative, postoperative, and intraoperative procedures that are often not described in medical records in low resource settings. Comparison of observations with findings from provider interviews and facility records allowed us to infer whether observed practices were typical

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

    PubMed

    Holcík, J; Koupilová, I

    1999-11-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cordy, Gail E.

    1994-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Moraschini, V; Barboza, E Dos S P

    2016-09-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Underwood, Simeon

    2000-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Land, Larry F.

    1991-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Domagalski, Joseph L.; Brown, Larry R.

    1994-01-01

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

  14. The hydrological impact assessment in the decision support of nuclear emergency response.

    PubMed

    Vamanu, Dan V; Slavnicu, Dan S; Gheorghiu, Dorina; Acasandrei, Valentin T; Slavnicu, Elena

    2010-07-01

    The paper presents several aspects believed to be relevant for the integration in the decision support systems for the management of radiological emergencies, of assessment tools addressing surface water contamination. Three exemplary cases are discussed in the context-the CONVEX 2005 international alert exercise, AXIOPOLIS 09, a national drill targeting a CANDU reactor at Cernavoda nuclear power plant in Romania, and Oltenia 07-a nation-wide drill around a scenario, involving trans-border effects of a virtual accident at a VVER reactor at Kozloduy, Bulgaria. The capability of different analytic tools were tested, including public deliverables like real-time, online decision support system's HDM module and model-based computerised system for management support to identify optimal remedial strategies for restoring radionuclide-contaminated aquatic ecosystems and drainage areas, as well as research-grade, home-made facilities, in order to identify and sort out merits and issues of interest in steering their effective utilisation.

  15. A multi-criteria decision analysis assessment of waste paper management options.

    PubMed

    Hanan, Deirdre; Burnley, Stephen; Cooke, David

    2013-03-01

    The use of Multi-criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) was investigated in an exercise using a panel of local residents and stakeholders to assess the options for managing waste paper on the Isle of Wight. Seven recycling, recovery and disposal options were considered by the panel who evaluated each option against seven environmental, financial and social criteria. The panel preferred options where the waste was managed on the island with gasification and recycling achieving the highest scores. Exporting the waste to the English mainland for incineration or landfill proved to be the least preferred options. This research has demonstrated that MCDA is an effective way of involving community groups in waste management decision making.

  16. Is it the time to rethink clinical decision-making strategies? From a single clinical outcome evaluation to a Clinical Multi-criteria Decision Assessment (CMDA).

    PubMed

    Migliore, Alberto; Integlia, Davide; Bizzi, Emanuele; Piaggio, Tomaso

    2015-10-01

    There are plenty of different clinical, organizational and economic parameters to consider in order having a complete assessment of the total impact of a pharmaceutical treatment. In the attempt to follow, a holistic approach aimed to provide an evaluation embracing all clinical parameters in order to choose the best treatments, it is necessary to compare and weight multiple criteria. Therefore, a change is required: we need to move from a decision-making context based on the assessment of one single criteria towards a transparent and systematic framework enabling decision makers to assess all relevant parameters simultaneously in order to choose the best treatment to use. In order to apply the MCDA methodology to clinical decision making the best pharmaceutical treatment (or medical devices) to use to treat a specific pathology, we suggest a specific application of the Multiple Criteria Decision Analysis for the purpose, like a Clinical Multi-criteria Decision Assessment CMDA. In CMDA, results from both meta-analysis and observational studies are used by a clinical consensus after attributing weights to specific domains and related parameters. The decision will result from a related comparison of all consequences (i.e., efficacy, safety, adherence, administration route) existing behind the choice to use a specific pharmacological treatment. The match will yield a score (in absolute value) that link each parameter with a specific intervention, and then a final score for each treatment. The higher is the final score; the most appropriate is the intervention to treat disease considering all criteria (domain an parameters). The results will allow the physician to evaluate the best clinical treatment for his patients considering at the same time all relevant criteria such as clinical effectiveness for all parameters and administration route. The use of CMDA model will yield a clear and complete indication of the best pharmaceutical treatment to use for patients

  17. A framework establishing clear decision criteria for the assessment of drug efficacy.

    PubMed

    Huster, W J; Enas, G G

    Much has been published on various aspects of data analysis and reporting from clinical trials within the biopharmaceutical environment. This ranges from regulatory guidelines on the format and content of registration dossiers to recommendations on data presentation and the statistical methodologies that are appropriate for the diverse types of data one observes in clinical trials. Little has been written about designing a clinical trial analysis and reporting package that focuses on the decisions that must be made throughout the drug development process. Pharmaceutical companies today are under enormous pressure to develop drugs quickly and (cost-) efficiently. Because of this, drugs often move into the later phases of drug development before evidence from prior phases is completely understood. This provides a challenge to clinical trialists to design and execute a clinical trial programme which can expedite drug development. The statistician, as a clinical trialist, must strive to determine the optimum analytical methodology that facilitates decision making for this clinical trial programme. This paper proposes a new framework for the assessment of efficacy in drug development called the 'one programme, one p-value' framework. This framework will accelerate drug development by providing clear criteria for the decisions which must be made along the way. The 'one programme, one p-value' framework is based on the notion that the clinical trial programme comprises exploratory and confirmatory phases. The use of the likelihood function in the exploratory phase facilitates the decision whether (or when) to move into the confirmatory phase. The confirmatory phase consists of one confirmatory trial with a single hypothesis test of the drug's efficacy; hence 'one p-value'. Sponsor interaction with regulatory agencies is necessary at each decision point. Finally, the paper considers how analysis and reporting of efficacy data can be accomplished from a clinical trial

  18. Developing and Validating a Tool to Assess Ethical Decision-Making Ability of Nursing Students, Using Rubrics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Indhraratana, Apinya; Kaemkate, Wannee

    2012-01-01

    The aim of this paper is to develop a reliable and valid tool to assess ethical decision-making ability of nursing students using rubrics. A proposed ethical decision making process, from reviewing related literature was used as a framework for developing the rubrics. Participants included purposive sample of 86 nursing students from the Royal…

  19. Assessing the Need for Decision-Making Capacity Education in Hospitals and Long Term Care (LTC) Settings

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shreve-Neiger, Andrea K.; Houston, Christi M.; Christensen, Kimberly A.; Kier, Frederick J.

    2008-01-01

    Clinicians are often asked to evaluate older individuals for their capacity to make decisions regarding their medical care, often referred to as "medical decision-making capacity" (MDMC). However, the degree to which clinicians have the necessary knowledge to properly evaluate MDMC is uncertain. To assess the level of training and knowledge that…

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-08-01

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