In the age of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Web and the Internet have changed significantly the way applications are developed, deployed and used. One of recent trends is modern design of web-applications based on SOA. This process is based on the composition of existing web services into a single scenario from the point of view of a particular user or client. This allows IT companies to shorten the product-time to market process. On the other hand, it raises questions about the quality of the application, trade-offs between quality factors and attributes and measurements of these. Services are usually hosted and executed in an environment managed by its provider that assures the quality attributes such as availability or throughput. Therefore, in this paper an attempt has been made to perform quality measurements towards the creation of efficient, dependable and user-oriented Web applications. First, the process of designing service-based applications is described. Next, metrics for subsequent measurements of efficiency, dependability and usability of distributed applications are presented. These metrics will assess the efforts and trade-offs in a Web-based application development. As examples, we describe a pair of multimedia applications which we have developed in our department and executed in a cluster-based environment. One of them runs in the BeesyCluster middleware and the second one in the Kaskada platform. For these applications we present results of measurements and conclude about relations between quality attributes in the presented application development model. This knowledge can be used to reason about such relations for new similar applications and be used in rapid and quality development of the latter.
The basic resource of urban planning is space, which as a result of transformation has a direct impact on socio-economic development and quality of life. The author’s purpose was to define planning solutions for urban spatial policy, which can raise the quality of living, especially in the residential environment. In connection with the above, the literature of the subject was analysed and examples of good spatial policy and urban development in the living environment were shown. Particular attention was paid to the planning solutions in Paris and Vienna, as well as to the examples of the new living environment creation in some Scandinavian cities.
Speech enhancement is fundamental for various real time speech applications and it is a challenging task in the case of a single channel because practically only one data channel is available. We have proposed a supervised single channel speech enhancement algorithm in this paper based on a deep neural network (DNN) and less aggressive Wiener filtering as additional DNN layer. During the training stage the network learns and predicts the magnitude spectrums of the clean and noise signals from input noisy speech acoustic features. Relative spectral transform-perceptual linear prediction (RASTA-PLP) is used in the proposed method to extract the acoustic features at the frame level. Autoregressive moving average (ARMA) filter is applied to smooth the temporal curves of extracted features. The trained network predicts the coefficients to construct a ratio mask based on mean square error (MSE) objective cost function. The less aggressive Wiener filter is placed as an additional layer on the top of a DNN to produce an enhanced magnitude spectrum. Finally, the noisy speech phase is used to reconstruct the enhanced speech. The experimental results demonstrate that the proposed DNN framework with less aggressive Wiener filtering outperforms the competing speech enhancement methods in terms of the speech quality and intelligibility.
The study makes an attempt to model a complete vibrating guitar including its non-linear features, specifically the tension-compression of truss rod and tension of strings. The purpose of such a model is to examine the influence of design parameters on tone. Most experimental studies are flawed by uncertainties introduced by materials and assembly of an instrument. Since numerical modelling of instruments allows for deterministic control over design parameters, a detailed numerical model of folk guitar was analysed and an experimental study was performed in order to simulate the excitation and measurement of guitar vibration. The virtual guitar was set up like a real guitar in a series of geometrically non-linear analyses. Balancing of strings and truss rod tension resulted in a realistic initial state of deformation, which affected the subsequent spectral analyses carried out after dynamic simulations. Design parameters of the guitar were freely manipulated without introducing unwanted uncertainties typical for experimental studies. The study highlights the importance of acoustic medium in numerical models.
In the text the author makes a critical assessment of legal solutions regulating the education of teachers in Poland. In the realms of argument, he refers to his own experiences as a member of the Polish Accreditation Committee. The presentation of those experiences reveals areas of omissions, irregularities, and even pathologies in the process of conferring teaching qualifications on graduates of schools of higher education. The author derives the sources of the status quo from imperfections or contradictions in the documents regulating the same areas of education, as well as from the struggle of schools of higher education to survive in the market, leading to a dramatic reduction in the quality of education. The text ends in demands for necessary modifications of the standards of teacher education and changes in legislation.
The work assessed the diversity of the natural potential in communes of Szczecin Metropolitan Area with particular emphasis on the areas of natural and valuable nature, protected area, forests and green areas. Established links between natural resources of municipalities and their valorisation using the SWOT analysis method (included in development strategies) and planned development goals. The basic method of use of the natural potential of the municipality are: to improve the quality of life of residents and tourism development. The impact of the natural potential on the quality of life is noticed primarily by urban centres, where a large share of green areas is noticed. The commune with a dominant share of protected areas (include Natura 2000) draws attention to the development of tourism based on natural potential. This is particularly evident in the communities that are characterized by a favourable location in relation to watercourses and reservoirs (freshwater and marine). However, in the socio-economic development, the natural potential is used in both these directions: to improve the quality of life and the development of tourism. In local strategic documents, it can be noticed that the transport system based on bicycle, pedestrian and water routes related to the natural potential can be eff ectively used in building cooperation between the central and other municipalities associated in Szczecin Metropolitan Area.
Quality evaluation is very important for haptic rendering. In this paper, an objective evaluation method for a haptic rendering system based on haptic perception features is proposed. In the method, the haptic rendering process is compared to the real world perception process in a simple standardized procedure based on feature extraction and data analysis. A complete evaluation process for a simple haptic rendering task of pressing a virtual spring is presented as an example to explain the method in detail. Compared with the traditional objective method based on error statistics, the method is more concerned about the consistency of human subjective feelings rather than physical parameters, which makes the evaluation process more consistent with the haptic perception mechanism. The results of comparative analysis show that the method presented in this paper is simple, gives reliable results reflecting the consistency with subjective feeling and has a better discrimination ability for different kinds of devices and algorithms compared with the traditional evaluation methods.
The paper presents the correlation between the CRI (Coke Reactivity Index), CSR (Coke Strength after Reaction) and the remaining 36 quality parameters of coking coal from the Pniówek deposit (SW part of the USCB). The test results were obtained for a region of fundamental importance to the Polish reserves of coking coal, characterized by highly variable coalification and quality parameters. The tests related to the determination of relationships of the CRI and CSR indices to other parameters were based on 25 channel samples acquired from active workings. The characteristics of the variability of the CRI and CSR indices were analyzed using statistical methods. The dependencies between the CRI and CSR indices and the parameters having an impact on their values were determined using linear correlation. An attempt was also made to determine the correlations between the concerned parameters using the multiple correlation method. The obtained results have been presented and compared to the results of globally conducted experiments in the form of charts presented by (North et al. 2018b). No clear dependence of the CRI and CSR indices was exhibited in case of most of the analyzed quality parameters, which is supported by low correlation coefficients of r < 0.5. The statistical analysis exhibited only 9 cases of correlation between CRI and CSR with other quality parameters, where the correlation coefficient was r ≥ 0.5, that is: Ht a, Na2O, Al2O3 and SiO2, Mn3O4, da a and dr a. This confirms the different characteristics of coal from the studied area, exhibited multiple times, that should be related to the specific coalification process, especially the occurrence of thermal metamorphism.
In this paper, a modified sound quality evaluation (SQE) model is developed based on combination of an optimized artificial neural network (ANN) and the wavelet packet transform (WPT). The presented SQE model is a signal processing technique, which can be implemented in current microphones for predicting the sound quality. The proposed method extracts objective psychoacoustic metrics including loudness, sharpness, roughness, and tonality from sound samples, by using a special selection of multi-level nodes of the WPT combined with a trained ANN. The model is optimized using the particle swarm optimization (PSO) and the back propagation (BP) algorithms. The obtained results reveal that the proposed model shows the lowest mean square error and the highest correlation with human perception while it has the lowest computational cost compared to those of the other models and software.
Ablation casting is a technological process in which the increased cooling rate causes microstructure refinement, resulting in improved mechanical properties of the final product. This technology is particularly suitable for the manufacture of castings with intricate shapes and thin walls. Currently, the ablation casting process is not used in the Polish industry. This article presents the results of strength tests carried out on moulding sands based on hydrated sodium silicate hardened in the Floster S technology, intended for ablation casting of the AlSi7Mg (AK7) aluminium alloy. When testing the bending and tensile strengths of sands, parameters such as binder and hardener content were taken into account. The sand mixtures were tested after 24h hardening at room temperature. The next stage of the study describes the course of the ablation casting process, starting with the manufacture of foundry mould from the selected moulding mixture and ending in tests carried out on the ready casting to check the surface quality, structure and mechanical properties. The results were compared with the parallel results obtained on a casting gravity poured into the sand mould and solidifying in a traditional way at ambient temperature.
The uncontrolled power flow in the AC power system caused by renewable energy sources (restless sources, distributed energy sources), dynamic loads, etc., is one of many causes of voltage perturbation, along with others, such as switching effects, faults, and adverse weather conditions. This paper presents a three-phase voltage and power flow controller, based on direct PWM AC/AC converters. The proposed solution is intended to protect sensitive loads against voltage fluctuation and problems with power flow control in an AC power system. In comparison to other solutions, such as DVR, UPFC, the presented solution is based on bipolar matrix choppers and operates without a DC energy storage unit or DC link. The proposed solution is able to compensate 50% voltage sags, in the case of three-phase symmetrical voltage perturbation, and single phase voltage interruptions. Additionally, by means of a voltage phase control with a range of #6;60◦ in each phase, it is possible to control the power flow in an AC power system. The paper presents an operational description, a theoretical analysis based on the averaged state space method and four terminal descriptions, and the experimental test results from a 1 kVA laboratory model operating under active load.
The two chosen estates, Garnizon and Wiszace Ogrody have evolved during the last decade or so in Gdańsk. Both developed with the idea of balanced functionality and New Urbanism despite very diff erent locations. The aim was to combine apartment buildings with shops, other services, hotels, offi ce buildings and cultural venues. Numerous interesting and inviting public spaces were also high on the agenda. It was intended to create an interesting, multifunctional space, to maximise the use of the space throughout the day, also making it eco friendly by minimising the use of cars. That`s how an interesting, beautifull space impacts the energy. The centrally located Garnizon has been quite successful, whereas the more peripherally placed Wiszące Ogrody has not quite succeeded due to fi nancial restrictions and is mainly a housing estate at the moment. The hope is that it will grow into a similar entity with new development and helped by the new rail link.
The major aim of the research is to analyse the type and complexity of emotions which adolescent musicians experience before giving a solo music performance. Another aim is to explore the function of these emotions for performance quality. Just before a school concert, students filled out The UWIST Mood Adjective Checklist (UMACL). Right after the performance, both the performing students and competent referees used The Performance Evaluation Scale. The results show that musicians’ pre -performance emotional state is dominated by ambivalent emotions of hope and sadness, as well as joy and anxiety. As a result of a cluster analysis, six clusters were obtained which defined emotional states before the performance: high music performance anxiety, moderate music performance anxiety, calm, mixed emotions, joy with background fatigue, and excitement. The findings show the functional significance of positive emotions and mixed emotions for performance quality.
The purpose of the paper is to present the author’s reflections on the origin and popularity of various approaches to maintenance and improvement of production processes, their terminological consistency, understanding, and practical application of their principles. The author’s reflections are based on his observations made over his many years of activity as a lecturer and consultant in the area of production engineering and management. It was shown that there is a need to make scientists and practitioners aware of the relatively large degree of freedom in defining the scope and way of application of strategies of continuous improvement. The author’s proposal is to refer to all approaches to maintenance and improvement of production processes with the title “Strategies of Efficient Action” and all supporting methods as “Practices of Efficient Action”. Considerations presented in the paper can be useful in more and more efficiently applying the power of TQM, Six Sigma, Lean Manufacturing and other strategies of processes maintenance and improvement in the daily activities of companies.
Effect of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in splicing site of the LPAR1 (lysophosphatidic acid receptor 1) gene on selected quality traits was investigated in frozen-thawed semen of Holstein-Friesian bulls. Splicing mutation A/G in the LPAR1 gene (rs43581860) was identified in 120 Holstein-Friesian bulls using PCR-RFLP technique (Hph I). Heterozygotes AG were the most frequent (37.5%) compared with AA (30.8%) and GG (31.7%) homozygotes. Observed differences in total motility (TM), sperm membrane integrity (SYBR-14/PI) and ATP content were significant between homozygotes AA or GG and heterozygotes AG. For all three traits disadvantageous effect of heterozygotes AG was detected. This means that LPAR1 splicing mutation has significant effect on semen quality and should be considered as a new marker of semen quality in Holstein-Friesian bulls.
This paper presents an example of practical use of Prony's method for monitoring of power waveform fundamental harmonic fluctuations, which is required for the analysis of window synchronizations in frequency analyses in power monitoring systems. The example presented offers verification of the authors' theoretical considerations published earlier in articles about Prony's method and its opportunities for practical use for real life signals. The investigations shown are based on the least squares Prony's method, which, in connection with digital filtrations, enables estimations of fundamental frequency at the rate of even tens of times per one fundamental harmonic period.
The article presents a new modification of the the least squares Prony method. The so-called variable-frequency Prony method can be a useful tool for estimating parameters of sinusoidal components, which, in the analyzed signal, are characterized by time-dependent frequencies. The authors propose use of the presented method for testing the quality of electric energy. It allows observation of phenomena which, when using traditional methods, are averaged in the analysis window. The proposed modification of least squares Prony method is based on introduction and specific selection of a frequency matrix. This matrix represents frequencies of estimated components and their variability in time.
The work presents a comparison of some sound attributes perceived at a multichannel and stereo playback of musical recordings. The width of the virtual source, coherence impression, total size of sound scene, general quality and balance were the subjects of interest after the format reduction in accordance with the ITU recommendation. The results showed that evaluation of these attributes depends on the way the original audiosphere has been created in the surround system, for example, for a narrow virtual source the mix-down process causes only a small change in its size but for a broad source the observed degradation is significant. In addition, different ways of conversion from the multichannel to stereo format have been tested for compatibility.
The aim of the present theme issue was to study the influence of ultrasound enhancement on the kinetics of osmotic dehydration and the effect of convective drying from the point of view of drying time and quality of dried products. Apple fruit was used as the experimental material. The kinetics of osmotic dehydration with (UAOD) and without (OD) ultrasound enhancement were examined for 40% fructose and sorbitol solutions. The effective dehydration time of osmotic process was determined. Preliminary dehydrated samples with OD and UAOD were next dried convectively with (CVUS) and without (CV) ultrasound assistance. The influence of OD and UAOD on the kinetics of CV and CVUS drying was analysed. The parameters of water activity and colour change were measured for the assessment of product quality after drying process.
The paper presents a proposal of using additional statistical parameters such as: standard deviation, variance, maximum and minimum increases of the observed value that were determined during measurements of temperature fields created on the surface of the tested electrochemical capacitor. The measurements were carried out using thermographic methods in order to support assessment of the condition of electrochemical capacitor under classic durability tests based on methods of determination of capacity and equivalent series resistance. The possibility of using some statistical parameters in assessment of the electrochemical capacitor quality was illustrated. The applied measurement methodology and the results of research associated with the classic methods of supercapacitors’ assessment are presented. The obtained results indicate that the variability of some statistical parameters of temperature fields can be directly related to changing the values of standard parameters describing electrochemical capacitor, which are capacitance and equivalent series resistance.
Acoustic quality of a classroom is a term proposed to describe acoustic properties that contribute to a subjective impression received by a human, such as speech intelligibility, external noise, or vocal effort. It is especially important in classrooms, where suitable conditions should be provided to convey verbal content to students, taking into account their age. The article presents a method for assessing the acoustic quality of classrooms based on a single number global index and taking into account a number of factors affecting the outcome of the assessment. Partial indices are presented and their weights are proposed based on an analysis of factors determining whether a room meets applicable acoustic requirements. Results of the assessment of the acoustic quality carried out with the use of the developed method in selected classrooms are also presented.
The aim of this study was to measure the NO level in boar semen held in a liquid state and to determine its putative relation to spermatozoa motility, plasma membrane integrity, mitochondrial membrane potential and ATP content. Generally, the percentage of spermatozoa which generated nitric oxide gradually increased, while NO level in the surrounding medium declined during the liquid preservation. NO generation in semen preserved in BTS was higher as compared to those in Androhep®Plus. We demonstrated the positive correlation between the NO level in fresh spermatozoa and their quality. We also showed negative correlation between nitric oxide level in spermatozoa preserved in BTS and sperm cells motility as well as plasma membrane integrity. Results obtained in this study confirm that NO may affect sperm physiology in a dualistic manner.
The rebuilding technologies are used to develop surface of ladle. Among many welding methods currently used to obtain surface layer without defects one of the most effective way of rebuilding is using metal arc welding. This additional material gives more possibilities to make expected quality of rebuild surface. Chemical composition, property and economic factors allow to use metal wire. Because of these reasons, solid wire gives opportunity to be wildly used as material to rebuild or repair the surface in different sectors of industry. The paper shows a few ways to rebuild the surface in the massive cast with the use of metal active gas welding for repair. The work presents studies of defect in the massive cast. It contains the pictures of microstructures and defects. The method of removing defects and the results of checking by visual and penetrant testing methods are shown. The paper describes the methodology of repair the ladle with metal active gas welding, preheating process and standards nondestructive testing method.