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Inderscience



This New Articles Channel contents the latest articles published in Inderscience's distinguished academic, scientific and professional journals.



 



A real-time non-linear vehicle preview model
Vehicle accident statistics indicate that fatalities due to rollover of sport utility vehicles (SUVs) are of international concern. Soft suspension, combined with high centre-of-gravity, increase SUV rollover propensity. Control strategies for prevention or mitigation of rollover, based on the current state of the vehicle, exist but most experience a delay in switching, due to response times of the controllers and actuators used to control vehicles dynamics. This paper proposes a real-time non-linear vehicle preview model (VPM) capable of accurately predicting future vehicle states based on current states. The preview model is developed and experimentally validated on a SUV. Results indicate that important vehicle states, including roll angle and lateral acceleration, can be accurately predicted up to more than 0.25 s into the future. Vehicle dynamics controllers can use the previewed states instead of the measured states to eliminate delays and make the strategies proactive instead of reactive.



Assessment of ground vehicle tankers interacting with liquid sloshing dynamics
This paper presents an assessment of the problems encountered with the design, dynamics and stability of road tankers. Generally, the research activities pertaining to these problems may be classified into three groups, liquid sloshing dynamics in moving containers, trucks dynamics carrying solids, and dynamic coupling of liquid-vehicle systems. The modal analysis of liquid free surface for circular, elliptic and generic cross-section geometries is presented together with the corresponding equivalent mechanical models. Considering popularity of horizontal elliptic cross-section tanks, the trammel equivalent pendulum received extensive research activities and the main results are discussed. Design optimisation of the liquid container cross-section and the passive and active control of liquid sloshing approaches are used by engineers to minimise rollover problem. The most difficult problem of road tankers is the coupling dynamics of liquid and vehicle dynamics under different conditions such as braking and lateral acceleration; in this view, computer numerical simulations have been developed.



Stability of long combination vehicles
In general, long combination vehicles (LCVs) show poor performance with regard to stability, and this has been the focus of many studies around the world. Some characteristics such as the suspension topology, tyres, chassis and fifth wheel have been analysed, separately, to determine their influence on the vehicle stability calculation. Most vehicle stability models are developed in two dimensions, and they do not consider the longitudinal aspects of the vehicle and the road such as the stiffness of the chassis, the gravity centre location and the longitudinal slope angle of the road. In this context, the aim of this study was to develop a three-dimensional mechanism model of the trailer to represent all of these characteristics and their influence on the lateral stability.



International decision processes within SMEs: the influence of biological sex and stereotypical gender roles
This study examines the influence of decision-makers' characteristics, such as biological sex and stereotypical gender roles, on the international decision process within a small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME), with particular attention to the strategic decision-making process (SDMP). We tested our hypotheses on a sample of 188 Italian SMEs using hierarchical multiple regression. The results reveal that women have a greater ability than men to involve the organisation members in making decisions, regardless of the degree of formalisation of the process and the level of decentralisation of the responsibilities within the company. Moreover, as regard stereotypical gender roles, only masculinity showed a relationship with the SDMP dimensions, especially with the levels of formalisation and hierarchical decentralisation of decisions. This paper provides a combination of analyses of biological sex, stereotypical gender roles and SDMP dimensions. It is also one of the few studies of this kind in the field of international strategy.



Exploring social customer relationship management in Australian small and medium enterprises
Social customer relationship management (SCRM) is a new business concept and strategy that utilises and integrates social networking with 'traditional' CRM processes and strategies in order to bring about superior engagement with customers. There is a paucity of scholarly empirical research into SCRM in small and medium enterprises (SMEs). This paper describes the first large-scale survey-based study in Australia that explores the role and nature of SCRM in SMEs. Using a sample of 967 Australian SMEs (comprising 540 SCRM adopters and 427 SCRM non-adopters) and employing both descriptive and simple inferential statistics, we investigate the current level of SCRM adoption, types of social networking sites used with SCRM, business objectives for SCRM engagement, methods of sourcing or implementing a SCRM system, SCRM implementation-related activities, as well as the benefits and barriers related to SCRM implementation. The study results reveal that SCRM adoption by Australian SMEs has been relatively ad hoc, superficial (even primitive) and usually not supported by a formal integrated strategy and policy framework. Although SMEs that have adopted SCRM did so with the expectation of benefits, particularly in terms of building brand and establishing customer loyalty/intention, the study shows that SCRM benefits are often not immediately apparent in the short term; the results also indicate that lack of time and knowledge of how to implement SCRM effectively are critical barriers to successful SCRM adoption by SMEs. Our findings suggest further research is needed in this area.



Financial structure effects on export intensity and diversification: the case of Portuguese industrial firms
The objective of this paper is to empirically examine the relationship between a set of financial variables and export performance. Although many empirical papers studied the impact of financial structure on firms' performance its effect on firms' export performance has been less studied. The primary objective of our paper is to fill that gap, particularly for the case of Portugal, focusing on small and medium enterprises (SMEs), where agency problems and lack of resources could impact more on export performance. Using a panel data methodology and considering a sample of 3164 Portuguese manufacturing SMEs for the period 2011-2014 our results indicate that SMEs with less debt, higher profitability and of greater size tend to present higher export intensity and diversification. This exploratory paper gives a contribution to clarify which are the main financial determinants of an export-oriented firm, which is an important issue not only for managers but for all the stakeholders, particularly policy makers aiming to promote outward orientation of domestic firms.



Changes in the international wine market competitiveness
This study offers a contribution to understanding the complexity of the international wine trade analysing the specialisation patterns of 14 among the most important wine world actors in the period 2007-2016, in order to verify if the patterns of comparative advantages for the trade of this countries have experienced significant changes. Using the Lafay index, as a comparative advantage measure, our results reveal deep changes in the global wine market exchange. Our result constitutes a base element for the future development of the competitive scenario and provides some both theoretical and practical implications. In the baseline projection, the maintenance of the competitive position is closely linked to the needs to know the specificities, the differences, the sizes and the economic opportunities for each of the countries target, in order to undertake targeted actions and effective strategies.



Checkpointing distributed application running on mobile ad hoc networks
Mobile ad hoc network (MANET) is a type of wireless network consisting of a set of self-configured mobile hosts that can communicate with each other using wireless links without the assistance of any fixed infrastructure. This has made it possible for us to create distributed mobile computing applications and has also brought several new challenges in the field of distributed algorithm design. Checkpointing is a well explored fault tolerance technique for the wired and cellular mobile networks. However, it is not directly applicable to MANET owing to its dynamic topology, limited availability of stable storage, partitioning and the absence of fixed infrastructure. In this paper, we propose an adaptive, coordinated and non-blocking checkpointing algorithm to provide fault tolerance in cluster-based MANET, where only a minimum number of mobile hosts in the cluster should take checkpoints. The performance analysis and simulation results show that the proposed scheme requires less coordinating-message cost and performs well compared to the related previous works.



Compact UWB BPF with notch-band using SIR and DGS
This paper presents a novel ultra wideband (UWB) bandpass filter (BPF) with a notch-band at specified frequency. Moreover, its equivalent circuit model (ECM) is also investigated. The proposed filter consists of a stepped impedance resonator (SIR), a parallel coupled feed line on the top and a rectangular shaped defected ground structure (DGS) on the bottom of the structure. The notch band can be shifted to any other desired frequency by tuning the length of the parallel coupled feed line. Good performances in terms of wide stop-band rejection, low insertion loss, high return loss and more compact size (7.99 × 6 mm2) than those reported in literature are achieved. In addition, simulation results accomplished by ECM are in good agreement with the full-wave EM.



Cluster-based routing protocol using traffic information
In recent years, VANET has gained much attention from researchers and the different actors in the field of transport, because of its crucial role in intervehicular communication and road safety. However, VANET still faces many challenges in terms of implementation. Furthermore, the routing in VANET is the most critical issue, because of its major role in the communication between vehicles. So the routing strategy must consider the periodic change in the topology and other characteristics of VANET. Moreover, the method adopted in the routing must provide the best flow of data in view of various performance metrics. In this paper, we propose a cluster-based routing protocol using the road traffic information to ensure the packet transmission in the most reliable manner and in record time. The proposal routing protocol is simulated in city environment, and the experimental result show that our protocol is very effective.



Detection and mitigation of pulse-delay attacks in pairwise-secured wireless sensor networks
With the advances in technology, there has been an increasing interest in the use of wireless sensor networks (WSNs). WSNs are vulnerable to a wide class of attacks among which pulse-delay attack puts severe threats to the dependability of such networks. This paper proposes a distributed approach to detect and mitigate such attacks in pairwise-secured WSNs. It provides a lower bound on the radio range under which the distributed approach can be performed. Our simulation experiments validate the correctness and efficiency of the proposed approach.



PSCAR: a proactive-optimal-path selection with coordinator agents assisted routing for vehicular ad hoc networks
In this paper, we propose the proactive-optimal-path selection with coordinator agents assisted routing (PSCAR) protocol for VANETs. The main idea of PSCAR is to contribute static nodes as coordinator agents placed at each intersection. Since the coordinator agents are static nodes, each one knows all the paths to any other coordinator agent in the network. Thus, instead of searching an optimal path toward the destination, PSCAR will determine an optimal path to the nearest coordinator agent to the destination so as to better anticipate any change of the destination's position. The optimal path is selected according to two criteria: the total physical distance and the vehicle density on the path. To evaluate the performance of PSCAR, we used the Network Simulator 2 (ns-2) and the mobility simulator SUMO. We compare our scheme with some existing solutions at the aim of showing its effectiveness, in terms of packet delivery ratio, end-to-end delay, and network overhead.



EAHKM+: energy-aware secure clustering scheme in wireless sensor networks
The effective technique to save energy in wireless sensor networks (WSNs) is clustering. However, organising WSNs into clusters securely is a challenging task in regard to the vulnerabilities of these networks. In this paper, we provide a secured cluster formation by proposing a new symmetric key management scheme for hierarchical WSNs (HWSNs). The new scheme is called EAHKM+ (energy aware hierarchical key management in WSNs). Only three keys are pre-distributed in each sensor node before deployment. EAHKM+ assures the establishment of a pairwise key between each sensor node and its cluster head, thus the establishment of a broadcast key in each cluster in the network. Through comparison with other proposed key management schemes in hierarchical WSNs, we show that EAHKM+ is an energy-efficient, flexible, robust and scalable solution to the key management problem in clustered WSNs.



RPSE - reenactment of data using polynomial-variant cryptographic scheme in sensor environment
Sensor environment relieves the hassle by monitoring the environment under study and providing results to the investigator in time. The users have to only endeavour about the whereabouts of the installations of these tiny elements in the environment under study. Such networks without any management and control can be intruded by the adversary. As a precautionary measure, encryption can be adopted. These encrypted messages are self-insured from being exposed unless the intruders have acquired the decryption keys. In this study, polynomial-variant is generated and used to encrypt the transmitted data. The variant is calculated using various properties of the nodes deployed. Adopting this protocol helps the base station to originate the manipulated data. The study preserves backward and forward secrecy. The work minimises wormhole attack and sinkhole attack in the network.



Design trees: providing roots for revision in design-based research
This paper introduces design trees as a methodological tool to facilitate design-based research. Traditionally, design-based research is conceptualised as a bridge between theory and practice. Yet, theory rarely specifies practice directly, so this makes documenting revision through design a challenge. In contrast, design trees consider theory and practice as two interwoven strands through five levels of specification: 1) frameworks; 2) principles; 3) conjectures; 4) instruction; 5) assessment. Each general level constrains, but does not determine, the more-specific levels. As such, researchers need to be explicit about the decisions they make in prospect (i.e., the path they choose along the tree), so that they can follow the path in retrospect in analysis. This supports researchers to contribute to theory and practice systematically. Two case studies, knowledge integration and complex instruction are used to illustrate design trees.



Action-effect mappings in tangible interaction for children with intellectual disabilities
Children with intellectual disabilities have difficulties in responding effectively to the environment and present a strong dependence on physical materials. While the debate over the effectiveness of these materials remains, tangible technologies introduce new interactional and representational possibilities for mappings between physical actions and their effects, enhancing processes of exploration and laying the basis for learning through experience. However, the benefits of the educational opportunities created by these modes of interaction and feedback need further research. Based on qualitative analysis of empirical data from children using four tangible systems, this work indicates temporal and spatial contiguity, and simple causality, as key design characteristics for supporting construction of action-effect mappings in tangible environments by children with intellectual disabilities. In conjunction with previous work, findings suggest that actions must lead to consistent effects, with a clear and single cause, and given through visual representations immediately subsequent to action, co-located in space.



A new method to measure efficiency in learning by doing environment: a case study of assembly line simulation
Lean is a set of techniques used to manage a work environment by eliminating waste, organising workplace, streamlining procedures and establishing visual standards. This paper presents a lean laboratory learning experience based on physical parts assembling simulation, which could be used for both students and professionals. Lean laboratory simulation simplifies understanding of practical lean advantages on manufacturing process. The purposes of this paper are to measure the difference between theoretical learning and learning by doing, and also to propose a new lean manufacturing teaching model. Principal results of the presented case study are centred on three pillars, developing training efficiency, evolving trainee's ability to propose real time process improvements and proposing a new training efficiency measurement tool. Further researches could experiment proposed training model with other complicated products in different environment.



Virtual learning environments: adoption without progression
Despite widespread deployment of virtual learning environments, understanding of instructors' actual use of these systems or the reasons behind the observed patterns of behaviour is still limited. Using a qualitative approach, our work seeks to better understand staff perspectives and motivations and to generate themes for further investigation. As the initial step, we have conducted in-depth interviews with Moodle support staff from two different universities, gathering rich data on platform use and staff attitudes. The data was analysed using a coding and categorisation process to identify emergent themes. Our findings indicate a lack of progression of use and reveal several conceptual and pedagogic challenges acting as barriers to adoption or to deeper use of the environment's functionality. Exploiting further the affordances of the system is likely to necessitate reappraisal, both of current pedagogy and of one's conceptualisation of being a teacher. Themes for further exploration with teaching staff are proposed.



Investigating drivers of user acceptance of electronic treasury: a case study
Using information technology to increase efficiency and transparency in public expenditure management can have a great impact on production, collection, processing and providing reliable reports for policy-makers. Thus, it is very important to identify factors which impact the adoption of this technology. The conceptual model of this study is based on the trust and risk model in electronic government (e-government) adoption. In this study, the constructs of perceived ease of use from technology acceptance model (TAM) and optimism bias have been added to the trust and risk model. Using a 'descriptive-survey' method, a sample of 36 top budget managers has been examined. A questionnaire was used to collect the required data. Structural equation modelling using partial least squares was used to test the model. Based on the results, disposition to trust, trust of the e-treasury system, perceived ease of use and optimism bias explained the adoption of electronic treasury system among top budget managers. Disposition to trust and perceived ease of use also affected trust positively.



Developing and validating a comprehensive model of factors influencing consumer acceptance of SMS advertising: empirical evidence using SEM-PLS
This study examined consumers' acceptance of SMS advertising, as one of the mobile marketing instruments that is increasingly popular in accessing consumers through their mobile devices, by empirically investigating the factors that influence consumers' attitudes towards and acceptance of SMS advertising. A comprehensive model was developed and tested with a sample size of 321 Jordanian mobile phone users, and analysed quantitatively using structural equation modelling-partial least squares (SEM-PLS) method. The findings indicated that SMS advertising values (entertainment and credibility) and SMS content (clarity and relevancy) as well as subjective norm and consumer control have a positive significant influence on consumer attitude and acceptance of SMS advertising. The results represent novel findings that hold important implications and recommendations for future marketing research and practice.



The influence of technological factors on individual's intention towards knowledge sharing practice
Knowledge sharing has been receiving the highest concern among knowledge management processes. In fact, the practice of knowledge sharing in an organisation is influenced by employees' intention for sharing knowledge. This paper investigates the influence of knowledge sharing systems and Web 2.0 on the individual's intention for knowledge sharing. Likewise, this paper examines the impact of knowledge sharing intention on the practice of knowledge sharing in organisations, particularly in oil and gas industry. Accordingly, a model was proposed, and research hypotheses were developed. Data were collected using a survey method. Measurements were verified through reliability analysis. Preliminary statistical analysis were completed. Then, structural equation modelling approach was used to evaluate the research model and test the hypotheses. The findings indicated that both knowledge sharing systems and Web 2.0 platform positively influence knowledge sharing intention. Besides, the intention to share knowledge has a positive influence on the knowledge sharing practice within organisations.



New local sedec pattern descriptor for improving the retrieval efficiency in content-based image retrieval
In this paper, a novel content-based image retrieval (CBIR) method is proposed using the local sedec pattern (LScP). The local binary pattern (LBP) and the local ternary pattern (LTP), encode the relationship between the referenced pixel and its surrounding pixels, by computing gray-level difference, but in a different way. The proposed methods encode the relationship between the centre pixel and its neighbours, based on directions such as vertical, horizontal and diagonal. Calculation based on first order derivatives is used here. Second order derivative is also applied to obtain LScP. The performance of the proposed method is compared with the LTrP and other local pattern (LBP, LDP and LTP) which results are obtained using benchmark image databases viz., Corel 1000 database (DB1), Brodatz texture database (DB2). Performance of the LScP shows improvement in retrieval from 75.9%/48.7% to 86.52%/54.4% in DB1, for average precision/average recall as compared with LTrP and other local patterns. A similar comparison shows improvement from 85.30% to 91.5% in terms of average retrieval rate on database DB2.



Optimal sentence clustering for web database using hierarchical fuzzy relational clustering integrated with artificial bee colony algorithm
Sentence clustering plays a vital role in text mining and text processing activities. The proposed work is a novel hierarchical fuzzy relational clustering algorithm (HFRECA) capable of identifying sub clusters. It has features of both hierarchical clustering and fuzzy clustering in which it uses page rank to form multiple clusters present in text documents containing hierarchical structure. To enhance the quality of the clusters formed, an optimisation algorithm which is called artificial bee colony (ABC) algorithm is used along with it. The proposed algorithm identifies the sub clusters and finely tunes the cluster to show a better optimised result.



Internet banking in Pakistan: an extended technology acceptance perspective
The growing attractiveness of internet banking is contributing well in the success and growth process of banking sector around the world (Xu et al., 2009). This study examines the integrative framework of internet banking (IB) in Pakistan using technology acceptance model (TAM) with the integration of several risk dimensions and initial trust model. The techniques of both exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses are employed to assess the reliability and validity of the measurement model. The structural equation modelling method was also applied to investigate the hypothetical framework with the help of literature's recommended goodness-of-fit measurements. The findings of the study found significant contribution of personal propensity to trust, structural assurance, and familiarity with bank in influencing initial trust of people to accept IB. The findings are beneficial for banks that are pursuing IB in formulating strategies of enhancing user's acceptance of internet banking in Pakistan.



Designers' own emotions and the practice of designing: a literature review and preliminary research agenda
There has been growing research attention to the role that users' emotions may have in design, but little work has been done on how designers' own emotions may influence design cognition, action, and outcomes. This article explores the topic by first considering psychological research on emotion and creativity (which is a close correlate with design activity from a design thinking position). Available research studies on designers and their emotional states is then discussed. While there are consistencies between the two lines of inquiry, the professional design context requires original research separate from the psychological literature to understand how emotions differentially influence designers in real-world contexts. Finally, considerations for future research on designers' own emotions are outlined and explored.



Developing 14 animated characters for non-verbal self-report of categorical emotions
Graphical self-report tools are increasingly used to collect data on users' emotional responses to products, yet most of these tools have only undergone minimal validation. A systematic set of animations was developed to allow participants in design research and other fields to report their feelings without relying on the nuances of a particular language's affective lexicon. The animations were revised based on eight studies across four countries (total N = 826). The set includes well-recognised animations representing desire/love, satisfaction/approval, pride/self-esteem, hope/optimism, interest/curiosity, surprise/excitement, disgust/aversion, embarrassment/shyness, fear/shock and boredom/dullness. Two other emotions (joy/happiness and contempt/disrespect) were recognised by about half of the participants in the final study.



Design for sustainability in companies: two case studies from Turkey
This study investigates how companies practice design for sustainability in Turkey, where the conditions for its practice are cited as insufficient. By studying one large and one small best practice company through in-depth case studies, this research focuses on how these companies apply design for sustainability despite inadequate legislation and market demand, how they collaborate with third parties on sustainability and how they apply design for sustainability into the product development processes to achieve innovation. The study examines both management and design-related factors in the new product development process.



Human-centred design practice and challenges in four Finnish organisational information system development projects
The objective of this study was to recognise challenges that designers face when they are applying a human-centred design approach into organisational information system development projects. Participant-observation during the years 2004-2013 and inductive analysis were used to gain an understanding of designers' everyday work practices and real-life obstacles. Analysis led to the four categories of human-centred design work barriers: contract limitations, contradictory expectations, technological disinterest and isolation of designers. These barriers indicate that the designer's role in development projects is still vague and unclear, which makes it harder to work productively and affect usability related decisions.



A design-driven innovation process for the exploration of organisational scenarios: action research conducted in a manufacturing company
Design is essential to any organisation. As a method of innovation, it can significantly contribute in many areas of commercial activity and not only in the development of new products. This paper analyses and discusses design-driven innovation processes which explore organisational scenarios, allow for an evolving understanding of a company and foster organisational learning. In these processes, broad design networks are developed across various departments, thus integrating organisations both horizontally and vertically and often connecting them to external actors. This paper presents an action research study conducted in a security door company that focused on scenario building and the concept generation. This study reveals how design contributes to innovation and strategy development in companies. A deeper consideration of this experience results in proposing design as a special form of reasoning that is helpful in exploring a variety of possible scenarios and outcomes.



Design for alternative ways of doing - explorations in the context of thermal comfort
To address seemingly non-negotiable resource-reliant behaviours where feedback is ineffective, we explored the possibility of enabling alternative ways of doing through design solutions and investigated how people engage with them. Focusing on residents' need for thermal comfort, a technology probe with alternative tools for staying warm was assembled. How people engaged with these tools was then evaluated in-situ with 18 households. In follow-up interviews, most of the participants who used the tools with some regularity reported that they had increased their awareness, developed new heating strategies and/or carried out some kind of action concerning the heating system. The findings suggest that offering new ways of interacting with a system, such as a heating system, can lead to people changing the ways in which they fulfil everyday needs.



EmotionPrism: a design tool that communicates 25 pleasurable human-product interactions
The range of positive emotions experienced in human-product interactions is multifarious. Differentiating positive emotions (e.g., joy, love, hope, and interest) and having an awareness of associated expressive interaction qualities (e.g., playful, careful, persistent and focused interaction) can support designers to influence users' interactions in a favourable way. This paper introduces the development and application of EmotionPrism, a tool for designers to gain a better understanding specific positive emotions and related expressive interaction qualities. EmotionPrism is a collection of movie-sets that represents 25 different positive emotions in dynamic hand-object interactions, combined with theoretical descriptions of the emotions. Designers can use the tool to envision and discuss what kinds of interactions would be appropriate or desirable to incite and to select a set of relevant positive emotions accordingly by referring to the set of information as a repertoire to choose from. The paper first describes characteristics of positive emotions with a focus on expressive behaviour and then discusses considerations for the tool development. The second section reports the process of developing the tool. Thirdly, we present the results of a design workshop in which the tool was used and evaluated.



A process for developing an e-health standards selection method artefact using design science research
The use of design science research (DSR) as a paradigm of choice among information systems (IS) researchers is growing. While there is an apparent increase in the number of DSR artefacts of the method form, very few research publications provide details of the process followed to create such method artefacts in and of itself. Even rarer is the use of the DSR paradigm in e-health research. In this paper, we present the process followed to develop a DSR method artefact, called the standards selection method for e-health interoperability (SMeHI). SMeHI is a generic method that guides the selection of e-health standards to support interoperability between healthcare IS. The development of the method was motivated by the World Health Organisation's (WHO's) call in 2014 for guidance to lower and middle income countries, many of which are African countries, on how to decide on standards to adopt at national level.



Accelerate innovation towards sustainable living: exploring the potential of Living Labs in a recently completed case
The built environment accounts for over one-third of both global final energy use and CO2 emissions. This sector is, however, particularly prone to 'lock-in' with many strong barriers hindering the market uptake of sustainable innovations. Additionally, various studies have shown that user behaviour may outweigh efficiency improvements achieved through technological innovations in buildings. The emerging area of Living Labs has been proposed as a means to accelerate the development of innovations in the building sector. This paper elaborates on challenges for sustainable living from a wide perspective and explores the potential of Living Labs to address some of these challenges in order to accelerate innovation. The research environment for the study is a newly built Living Lab located in the south-west region of Sweden.



Research on indirect detection of rotor position for switched reluctance motor starting operation
The initial rotor position information of the switched reluctance motor (SRM) is the most critical problem to be solved for motor starting operation. The initial turn-on phase can be determined by pulse injection method, but cannot realise the accurate positioning of the initial position angle. In this paper, a method combining pulse injection with inductance model is proposed to estimate the rotor position angle. The method is to inject high frequency excitation pulse into phase winding and indirectly calculate phase inductance by response current. Based on the inherent relationship between phase inductance and rotor position, the initial position angle is accurately located by phase inductance model, and the continuous rotor position information can be estimated when the motor runs at low speed. Finally, the feasibility of the method is proved by theoretical analysis and experimental study, which can effectively improve the starting effect of SRM.



Study on the vertical and lateral coupling dynamics control of the in-wheel motor-driven electric vehicles under multi-excitation
To study the coupling dynamics control in the vertical and lateral directions of the in-wheel motor (IWM)-driven electric vehicles under the steering input, road and electromagnetic excitation, a verified 16-degrees-of-freedom coupling dynamic model is given. To improve the vehicle coupling dynamics, a dynamics controller is designed based on the active suspension, active front steering (AFS) and direct yaw control (DYC) system. The dynamics controller includes a supervisory coordination layer controller and the above sub-system controller with different control algorithms, respectively. Finally, comparative analysis is carried out to verify the validity of the controller designed in this paper. The results show that, whether the road has a high or low adhesion coefficient, the controller developed in this paper is highly effective for the coupling dynamics of the IWM-driven vehicle. Especially, on a road with low adhesion coefficient, the control effect on the vehicle running stability and path track capacity is more obvious.



Design and simulations of dual clutch transmission for hybrid electric vehicles
Dual clutch transmissions (DCTs) refer to the double friction clutches; they are designed and operated fully automated in vehicle shift gearbox. The biggest advantage of the DCTs is the improvement of the fuel economy because the power flow from the engine to the transmission is always has a very high friction coefficient and is not interrupted. The current six-speed DCTs can provide more than 10% better fuel economy compared to the conventional six-speed automatic gearbox. This paper develops three vehicle models: conventional dual clutch transmission (DCT); conventional hybrid electric vehicle (HEV); hybrid dual clutch transition (HDCT). They are simulated on different drive-cycles. HEV and HDCT proved the superiority on fuel savings in low speeds. HDCT shows a little bit higher energy saving over HEV due to the higher efficiency of clutches to torque converters. Conclusions and recommendations for the development of DCT, HEV, and HDCT are also outlined.



Analysis of the effect of driving motor on electric vehicle dynamic performance
Dynamic performance is the most essential and important performance for vehicles. To find influencing rules on electric vehicle (EV) dynamic performance, this paper tests and analyses the effect of driving motor system and transmission gear selection on EV dynamic performance. By taking an AC asynchronous motor with rated power of 32 kW as the research object, tests are performed to analyse the effect of motor torque in a high-speed flux-weakening range, as well as the effect of motor temperature and bus voltage on motor driving torque. Tests are performed to analyse the effect of motor driving torque limit on dynamic performance. Additionally, real vehicle tests are taken to analyse the influence of transmission gear selection on EV dynamic performance. The above-mentioned research could provide the basis for the matching among EV powertrain key parts, and the basis for the optimised control of EV dynamic performance.



Factors affecting the intention to buy electric vehicles: empirical evidence from Thailand
This study used partial least squares structural equation modelling (PLS-SEM) to test the relationships between the five factors (financial factors, infrastructure, performance, environmental concern, and price-premium) and intention to buy electric vehicles (EVs) in Thailand. Our findings suggest that the Thai car buyers pay attention to the performance factor of EVs (e.g., driving range, speed, safety) whilst not being concerned much with the infrastructure (e.g., charging facilities) and the financial factors (purchase price, operation and maintenance costs, resale price) of EVs. Moreover, the individuals' environmental concerns affect the decision to own EVs and Thai customers are willing to pay for a price-premium for EVs. However, price-premium factor could negatively moderate the relationship between the environmental concern and intention to buy EVs. That is, if the price-premium of EVs becomes too high, people with a pro-environmental ethos may be less likely to adopt EVs.



Solution algorithms to minimise the total family tardiness for job shop scheduling with job families
This study addresses a job shop scheduling problem in which jobs are grouped into job families, but they are processed individually using their distinct routings. Unlike the previous studies, we consider a due-date-based objective of minimising the total family tardiness, i.e., sum of positive deviations between the due-dates and the completion times of job families. A mixed integer programming model is developed to represent the problem mathematically. Then, an optimal algorithm is proposed using the branch and bound technique while developing a job family-based lower bound. For practical applications up to large sized instances, two types of heuristics, modified shifting bottleneck and priority scheduling algorithms, are also proposed. To test the performances of the three types of solution algorithms, computational experiments were done on a number of test instances and the results are reported. [Received: 10 September 2016; Revised: 28 February 2017; Revised: 6 June 2017; Accepted: 22 August 2017]



PSO and simulated annealing for the two-machine flowshop scheduling problem with coupled-operations
In this paper, we proposed an hybrid algorithm combining particle swarm optimisation with the simulated annealing (PSO-SA) to solve the flowshop problem with coupled-operations in the presence of the time lags. The criterion to minimise is the makespan. To verify the performance of the hybridised algorithm, computational experiments are performed and the obtained results are compared with the simulated annealing and PSO algorithms. However, the experimental results show that the PSO-SA performs better than the others approaches. [Received: 6 May 2017; Revised: 20 July 2017; Revised: 17 September 2017; Accepted: 16 September 2017]



Development of a knowledge-based intelligent decision support system for operational risk management of global supply chains
This paper proposes a knowledge-based intelligent decision support system for operational risk management of global supply chains (DSSRMG), a full-phase system not yet treated in the literature. DSSRMG predicts the supply chain performance using the enhanced artificial neural network combined with particle swarm optimisation, infers the core risk source using a method based on principle component analysis, and evaluates risk mitigation alternatives using the digraph-matrix approach combined with principle component analysis. A methodology using an adaptive-network-based fuzzy inference system is suggested to construct the knowledge base for mitigation alternatives. An industrial example is used to illustrate the performance of DSSRMG. Computational experiments show that the techniques used for DSSRMG are excellent. Especially, the algorithm for selecting the useful operation indicators improves the performance prediction accuracy by 7.1% on average. DSSRMG provides supply chain managers with a practical tool to accurately predict and effectively control the operational risk. [Received: 9 March 2017; Revised: 22 July 2017; Accepted: 2 October 2017]



A branch and bound algorithm for solving large-scale single-machine scheduling problems with non-identical release dates
In this paper, we have examined minimising the total completion times in a single-machine scheduling problem with non-identical job release dates. This problem is known to be strongly NP-hard. We have proposed an effective lower bound-based. Also, a near optimal heuristic has been presented that has an average gap of less than 0.077% from the optimum solution. Additionally, in 18% of the problem instances with up to 60 jobs, the upper bound value is equal to the lower bound value. Then we provide two dominance properties. Subsequently, the proposed lower bound, upper bound and dominance properties have been applied in the branch and bound method and have been tested in a wide range of instances. Computational experiments demonstrate the ability of the proposed method to solve hard and large-size problems with up to 130 jobs within a reasonable time. [Received 19 June 2015; Revised 26 November 2016; Revised 24 January 2017; Accepted 5 September 2017]



Complexity in manufacturing systems and its measures: a literature review
Complexity in manufacturing systems still remains a challenge and leads to operational issues and increased production cost. In this paper, drivers of complexity and typical symptoms of complex manufacturing systems are identified. A comprehensive review of studies published within the last two decades to assess manufacturing system complexity are presented. The key contributions of this review are: 1) a classification of complexity assessment methods based on perceived complexity symptoms; 2) a comprehensive review of assessment methods with cross-evaluation to identify appropriate use based on available data; 3) recommendations for the wider academic and industrial community, based on research trends identified in the literature, as to how complexity assessment should be addressed in the future. It is concluded that the assessment of complexity is necessary so that it can be controlled effectively, however the industry suffers from a lack of practical tools to support in this endeavour. [Received 23 December 2016; Revised 18 August, 14 October 2017; Accepted 22 October, 2017]



The impact of online sales on centralised and decentralised dual-channel supply chains
This paper studies a supply chain structure featuring two different types of distribution channels through which manufacturers sell products. The centralised and decentralised distribution channels considered in this study are affected by online sales outside the structured channels. In the centralised distribution channel, two retail stores located in geographically distinct markets are operated by a single owner. In the decentralised distribution channel, two retailers independently operate two retail stores. In the non-cooperative scenario, the manufacturer always prefers the decentralised distribution channel irrespective of whether an online channel is used. To achieve channel coordination, a revenue-sharing contract is applied, but it can be used to coordinate only the decentralised distribution system. Therefore, a modified revenue-sharing contract is proposed to coordinate the centralised distribution system. The analytical study reveals that without coordination among the channel members, the manufacturer always earns maximum profit in decentralised distribution systems. However, if the supply chain is coordinated, then the manufacturer receives more benefits from using the centralised distribution systems under certain conditions. Propositions are presented to describe the characteristics of distribution structures, and to provide meaningful management guidelines for coordinating them. Extensive numerical investigations are also presented. [Received 20 January 2016; Revised 13 December 2016, 9 March, 4 August 2017; Accepted 25 September 2017]



Exploring the effects of ethnocentrism and country familiarity in consumer preference and brand recognition
This paper aims to explore the effects of ethnocentrism in consumer preference of domestic versus foreign products. In addition, the paper also aims to explore country-of-origin familiarity in international products/brands recognition. The study departs from the theoretical assumption that country image is a driving factor for brand internationalisation. A quantitative study was carried out on a sample of 177 consumers. Findings suggest that, although country familiarity is an important factor for international brand recognition, consumer product associations are more effective on brand preference and purchase decision. Results also indicate that ethnocentrism seems to act as a barrier for foreign brands, as consumers tend to remember and prefer their own domestic brands.



Determinants of high-growth firms during the financial crisis: evidence from Catalonia
This study profiles and provides an economic and financial analysis of high-growth Catalan firms during the period 2008-2013, identified from an objective search using the SABI database. The firms experienced a minimum 10% increase in sales between the years 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013, a 5% minimum ROA in 2013, and a 2% minimum ROE in 2013. The aim of this study is to profile the Catalan firms with the strongest growth and determine their financial and economic health during the period 2008-2013, identifying sectors and regions which experienced the most growth. The methodology consists of an economic and financial analysis of the short-term balance sheet (with emphasis on liquid assets directly related to the cash flow statement), of the long-term balance sheet, of profit or loss of changes in equity, and collections and payments, in order to reach results and conclusions which enable these firms to position themselves at an economic and financial level, and identify future challenges in order to maintain their competitiveness.



Foreign monopoly and local disappointment in a small-scale tourism community: the case of Las Peñitas, Nicaragua
This article describes how small entrepreneurs in the tourism industry of Las Peñitas, Nicaragua, try to cope with contextual changes caused by the development of tourism. The research method for this article is ethnographic. During the fieldwork in Las Peñitas, multi-qualitative research methods have been used, like participant observation and interviews. Hoping to obtain a substantial share of the income-growth derived from the new industry, part of the local population shifted from their previous jobs to professions in the tourism industry. Most local entrepreneurs, however, are hesitant to change industry from mainly fishing to tourism. Due to their economic and cultural advantage, some foreign entrepreneurs appear to quickly achieve monopoly positions in the local tourism industry. This increases frustration among local entrepreneurs about stagnating local economic growth, while watching foreign entrepreneurs run more successful businesses. Previous studies showed that tourism is booming in Nicaragua, but the actual impact on the local economy lacks empirical support. The case study of Las Peñitas is used to explore the impact of tourism on the cultural change of small tourism entrepreneurs and tell the stories of what happens behind the successful appearance of global tourism growth figures.



An empirical analysis of the need for achievement motivation in predicting entrepreneurial persistence in Bumiputra entrepreneurs in Terengganu, Malaysia
The Malaysian Government employed initiatives to stimulate a robust entrepreneurial climate, improved distribution of income and economic growth for the Bumiputras. The government's support though had not strengthened their entrepreneurial culture, competitiveness and achievement. Instead, the treatment made the Chinese became more persistent, resilient and competitive entrepreneurially. Therefore, this study analysed the correlation between need for achievement motivation and entrepreneurial persistence of Bumiputra entrepreneurs in Malaysia. About 171 questionnaires were self-administered to micro Bumiputra entrepreneurs. The results from the Pearson correlation revealed a positive upward linear relationship between motivation and entrepreneurial persistence with fairly strong correlation. The finding asserted that the Bumiputras would have been energised by need for achievement to strive for success, in order to meet the decades long awaited 30% equity ownership targeted by 2020. And this target achievement would equally complement the government's efforts with the current Malaysia's aspiration to join the developed nations by year 2020.



Participatory meaning making of environmental and cultural changes in reindeer herding in the northernmost border area of Sweden and Finland
This paper explores the adaptation possibilities of reindeer herding regarding environmental changes at the Northernmost Swedish-Finnish border region. Four herding communities of Könkämäeno-Muonionjoki River Valley were chosen due to the cultural and environmental diversity of the region and the similarities of livelihood challenges. The objective is to conduct vulnerability assessment on the relations between reindeer herding and various environmental changes creating pressure for change. By such participatory assessment, we explored the interplay between cultural resilience and transformation as perceived by reindeer herders and whether the changes are considered as fair enabling the renewal of the livelihood or unjust imposed from outside. Our approach is based on interviews and workshop during which a scenario exercise was used for opening up critical discussions of potential transformative changes of herding. Results emphasise the multidimensional complexities of adaptation from the local point of view and the prominent role of cultural continuity within reindeer husbandry.



Historic constructions of the early multinational: on power, politics and culture in Pan Am narratives
This paper examines how Pan American World Airways (Pan Am) - an early incarnation of a multinational enterprise (MNE) - developed its image as an international company. In particular, we examine how the company developed and managed potentially conflicting narratives, including the modernising US company and the airline of 'the Americas' (specifically South America); the carrier of US national interests and the politically neutral actor serving to unify cultures; the purveyor of exotic experiences and the pioneer of modernism. Through a focus on organisational narratives, we reveal the powerful influence of such story telling (through design and serendipity) on images of the peoples and countries where the MNE operates. In contributing to the narrative turn in business history we argue for a relational approach to narrative analysis.