• 3D scene creation using story-based descriptions

      Zeng, Xin; Mehdi, Qasim; Gough, Norman (University of Wolverhampton, School of Computing and Information Technology, 2005)
      Developments in the creation of 3D virtual environments have made this a popular approach in a variety of applications. However, creating 3D scenes still requires professionals to spend an enormous amount of effort and time on it. In this paper, we present a fully implemented prototype system called 3DSV (3D Story Visualiser) that generates a virtual scene by using simplified story-based descriptions. This prototype system is based on the integration of advances in computer graphics and text-tovisualization technology to generate 3D virtual environment. This makes it easier and faster for nonprofessionals to create 3D environments compared to using traditional 3D design packages.
    • A case study of joint procurement and provision of legal services to a group of a universities in the midlands

      Charlson, Jennifer; Chinyio, Ezekiel A. (ARCOM, 2013-09-02)
      A Group of 5 UK Universities in the Midlands undertook a joint procurement process for the provision of Legal Services. The objective was to put in place common Framework Agreements. The Legal Services procured were divided into six lots and one of these was 'Property and Construction'. The lots were assembled into three packages and the contract for each package was awarded to one or more Service Providers. Albeit a service provider is to work for all the collaborating Universities. A competitive 'restricted' two-stage tender process was administered in accordance with the Public Contracts Regulations 2006, SI 2006/5. The Framework Agreements were awarded in 2012 to the most economically advantageous Solicitors' Practices. The participating Universities are being interviewed about the reasons for the joint procurement exercise, any challenges faced in its implementation and lessons learnt so far. Two interviews have been conducted so far and evaluated via content analysis to reveal that advantages to be gained from 'economy of scale' were the main impetus for the collaborative procurement. The negotiations between the Universities which led to the establishment of the collaboration and its subsequent sustenance have been friendly. The challenge identified so far concerns how to distribute work more fairly to legal services providers.
    • A case study on the microstructure of fibrous peat (West Lake, China)

      Wilkinson, Stephen; Zhao, Chaofa; Yang, Zhongxuam; Kun, Pan; Shakoor, Abdul; Cato, Kerry (Springer, 2018-09-21)
      The classification of peat soils generates a very large number of different types, from a descriptive perspective this is useful, however such a system generates too many options for engineering purposes. The behaviour of organic soils varies based on the quantity and type of organic material present within the soil. The effects of fibre content are particularly important. The West Lake in Hangzhou has been dredged many times during its history to allow it to maintain its beauty. During the most recent dredging the sludge from the lake was transported via a 4km pipeline and deposited inside the Jiangyangfan Reservoir. The organic soil situated in Jiangyangfan Ecopark is a particularly interesting peaty material. The organic sludge was mixed and homogenised during the transportation process, and then would have settled out within the reservoir. This resulted in a more than 20m thick peat layer deposited with an uneven surface. The Ecopark buildings were then constructed on top of this in 2008. A combined electron microscope and mechanical study of the microstructure and behaviour of the peat has been used to identify the engineering impact of the presence of relatively small numbers of fibres within the soil matrix. The fibres within the peat modify its behaviour such that it can no longer be understood within the typical critical state framework for soils. The peat starts to plastically deform from very small levels of applied stress, in addition it does not display a tension cut-off failure, and ultimately fails in shear.
    • A review of potential techniques for the creation of intelligent agents in virtual environments

      Davies, N.P.; Mehdi, Qasim; Gough, Norman; Anderson, Don; Jacobi, Dennis; von Borries, Vance (University of Wolverhampton, School of Computing and Information Technology, 2004)
      This paper presents a review of potential architectures and tools for the production of Virtual Environments with Integrated Intelligent Characters. Initial research was carried out into the production of a real-time system for the creation of graphically realistic scenes for crime scene reconstruction in Davies et al (2004). The system was capable of rendering scenes produced via a graphical interface, and characters with pregenerated animation sequences could be placed and oriented in the scenes to act out crime events. It is proposed that these characters would be more beneficial if they were endowed with intelligent qualities so they could act in an autonomous manner when presented with a scenario. It is anticipated that this would produce a diverse set of actions and resulting scene disturbance which would be of benefit to forensic crime investigation students, who could theories about the events performed in the scene, and evaluate their responses against the actual events.
    • A.I. Techniques for Modelling Anger in Emotional Agents

      Slater, Stuart; Moreton, Robert; Buckley, Kevan (University of Wolverhampton, School of Computing and Information Technology, 2008)
      The research presented here, attempts to review a range of techniques commonly categorized under the umbrella of artificial intelligence (A.I.) that could be applied when developing agents with emotions in a range of applications. The paper focuses on anger (and its related emotions), an emotion strongly linked with aggression which of course forms the basis of many computer games where killing or attacking other players or in-game agents is often central to the game’s purpose. The paper begins with a psychology focused review of anger and its related emotions, before presenting techniques to encode some of these elements using Finite State Machines and Fuzzy Logic.
    • Activating transcription factor ATF2 negatively regulates the expression of endothelial notch ligands

      Olivares, Ivonne; Kalyanakrishnan, Krithika; Ahmed, Suhail; Murcott, Clare; Wilkinson, Robert N; Cotton, James; Breitwieser, Wolfgang; Morris, Mark R; Armesilla, Angel L (BMJ Publishing Group Ltd and British Cardiovascular Society, 2019-05-01)
    • The adoption of big data concepts for sustainable practices implementation in the construction industry

      Reyes, Paola; Suresh, Subashini; Renukappa, Suresh (IEEE, 2018-12-17)
      The global construction business is on a point of a paradigm shift. The exponential growth of digital technologies, the increasing impacts of climate change, impending Brexit and looming social and environmental pressures are driving change to the construction industry. Increasingly policies press for the adoption of sustainability and construction organisations are realising that small sustainable impacts are no longer enough. Therefore, measurement is one of the keys to the implementation of sustainable construction strategies. Advances in data gathering, computing power and connectivity mean that construction organisations have more information and data than ever before. Collecting, analysing and understanding those large volumes of available data, known as Big Data, about how an organisation operates sustainably leads to knowledge that can improve decision making, refine goals and focus efforts. However, when it comes to sustainability the great thing about big data is that it is unlocking the ability of businesses to understand and act on what is typically their biggest sustainable (i.e. economic, social and environmental) impacts - the ones outside their control. Measuring and understanding how doing business really does affect the natural world will open new opportunities for bringing sustainability inside an organisation: creating change, cutting costs and boosting long-term profitability in a resource-constrained world. Still, there are issues and challenges around gathering sustainability-related data, as well as in analysing and interpreting of data points. Therefore, the aim of this research is to explore the barriers to adopting big data related to sustainable strategies. The relationship between Policy Making, Big Data and sustainability is still in early stages, but already several applications can be mention to the environment, health and construction, such as biodiversity loss monitoring, pollution zones Identification, endangered species location, smart energy management, cost reduction or investment assessment. In the same way, barriers and opportunities were identified, for instance: the lack of financial resources and business case, skills and training, unequal opportunity and security and disclosure issues among the barriers, and partnership, emerging and accessible technology, personalization of the environment among the opportunities. Finally, the biggest challenge presented by the implementation of Big Data is concept standardization, since there are many areas in which one way or another is making use of this technology without being recognized as such. In the same way, the greatest asset that represents the use of Big Data for sustainability is the identification of the future causes and consequences of climate change and its subsequent prevention or mitigation in time.
    • AdPExT: designing a tool to assess information gleaned from browsers by online advertising platforms

      Woensdregt, Joseph; Al-Khateeb, Haider; Epiphaniou, Gregory; Jahankhani, Hamid (IEEE, 2019-04-11)
      The world of online advertising is directly dependent on data collection of the online browsing habits of individuals to enable effective advertisement targeting and retargeting. However, these data collection practices can cause leakage of private data belonging to website visitors (end-users) without their knowledge. The growing privacy concern of end-users is amplified by a lack of trust and understanding of what and how advertisement trackers are collecting and using their data. This paper presents an investigation to restore the trust or validate the concerns. We aim to facilitate the assessment of the actual end-user related data being collected by advertising platforms (APs) by means of a critical discussion but also the development of a new tool, AdPExT (Advertising Parameter Extraction Tool), which can be used to extract third-party parameter key-value pairs at an individual key-value level. Furthermore, we conduct a survey covering mostly United Kingdom-based frequent internet users to gather the perceived sensitivity sentiment for various representative tracking parameters. End-users have a definite concern with regards to advertisement tracking of sensitive data by global dominating platforms such as Facebook and Google.
    • Advancing lean implementation within a construction supply chain

      Saini, Mandeep; Arif, Mohammed (University of Wolverhampton, 2018-12-19)
      This investigation leads to critical recommendations for advancing the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) for lean implementation within a Construction Supply Chain (CSC). The findings suggest that implementing Lean within a CSC requires a similar effort at different levels (Organisational and Process) of Supply Chain. This study presents essential recommendations that would ensure smooth flow of Lean implementation at all levels of a CSC. This paper draws upon relevant literature, sixty-three surveys and interviews with four professionals working on the frontlines and emphasises on the issues that hinder the SMEs engagement and contribution to Lean within Construction Supply Chain. Moreover, this involved respondents from Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3 of a CSC that includes clients, executives, consultants, and other managers, who are directly involved in the Lean implementation in construction projects. This paper adds value to the existing knowledge of Lean implementation in a CSC and SMEs. This study is original in terms of establishing the recommendation to lean implementation in a CSC.
    • Agro-environmental sustainability of the Yuanyang rice terraces of Yunnan (China): lessons for Europe.

      Fullen, Michael A. (2009)
      The Hani minority people of Yunnan Province (south-west China) have developed a complex and sustainable agro-environmental system of terraced rice paddy fields in Yuanyang (22°49’-23°19’N, 102°27-103°13’E). The Hani people have maintained this intricate and elaborate system for over 1500 years, with some 3,000 terraces covering about 11,000 hectares. Hence, during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), the Emperor awarded the Hani people the title of ‘Magic Mountain Sculptors.’ However, geographic isolation and proximity to the, until recently, politically-sensitive border with Vietnam, has meant the Yuanyang terraces have attracted scant scientific attention. If we can understand how this system is sustained, we can learn lessons which hopefully can be applied more generally. The sustainability of the system seems to be the result of complex interplays between cultural, agronomic and environmental factors. These include the cultural and spiritual beliefs of the Hani people, a hydrogeological system which provides ample water resources, the maintenance of genetic diversity within the dominant rice cropping agro-ecosystem and the operation of complex fertigation practises. Distilling and understanding the ‘secrets’ of the Hani people and their terraces should enable broader application and dissemination of the principles of sustainability. Currently a joint Chinese-European team are working towards a greater understanding of these lessons. The research team postulate that these lessons will have some applicability for agro-environmental sustainability in Europe. Identified lessons relate to resource optimization, landscape multifunctionality and cultural attitudes. Landuse within Yuanyang is zoned on the basis of ecological principles. Upland grassland progresses downslope into forest and then in a downslope sequence into tea plantations, bamboo woodland and rice terraces. Grasslands are used for the grazing of water buffalo, while wooded areas provide timber (deciduous, pine and bamboo) and food (mushrooms, wild vegetables and honey). The local Yunnan pine (Pinus yunnanensis) provides an excellent source of timber. Furthermore, the forest is very effective in conserving soil and water and releases high quality water from the upper to lower slopes. Besides providing rice, the perennially wet paddy fields provide food for domestic consumption (carp, eels, mudfish, ducks, frogs and snails) and weeds for pig-feed. Thus, there is multifunctional use of each eco-agricultural zone, which ensures optimum use of resources, effective recycling of materials and minimal waste. Often, the net waste from these subsystems is virtually zero. The Hani people have a unique cultural system that reveres the land. The Hani religion embraces polytheism and the worship of nature. They pay particular devotion to the ‘forest god,’ which is perceived as the source of life-giving water. Deforestation is considered a religious violation and the Hani people actively teach their children to respect the forest. This concept significantly contributes to forest conservation and ecosystem stability. In Europe, we can learn much from these positive environmental attitudes, in terms of improving public understanding and appreciation of land resources (land literacy) and agro-environmental education at multiple levels (school, college and university)
    • An Electron Microscope Study of Biomineralisation for Geotechnical Engineering Purposes

      Wilkinson, Stephen; Rajasekar, Adharsh (Springer, 2018-08-26)
    • An Interactive Educational Game For Children in Education

      Mehdi, Qasim; Salim, Aly; Walters, Kristy (University of Wolverhampton, School of Computing and Information Technology, 2008)
      This paper presents an interactive educational game for Primary School children studying KEY Stage Two History. This game is designed specifically for children to support their continuing studies and to enhance their knowledge and memory retention. The work involves the investigation into Multimedia Design Methodologies and Instructional Systems Design (ISD) Models to support the development of the Instructional Multimedia Model (IMM) in order to provide a structured approach to the development of Interactive Educational Games. In this work, the development process of the interactive educational game will be outlined together with examples. This development is based on a model tailored for an educational multimedia application development which combines ISD and multimedia disciplines contributes to the success of the resulting application. The paper will discuss how each phase has an influence upon the next and the pedagogical factors which the model takes into account work in line with those required for Multimedia Design.
    • An analysis of diversity management in the construction industry: a case study of a main contractor

      Ramesh, Marasini; Daniel, Emmanuel; Haizelden, Julia (Association of Researchers in Construction Management, 2019-09-02)
      In recent times there is an increasing argument for diversity and inclusivity in work places. Although the construction industry is moving forward to improve diversity, there is still a long way to create a more inclusive workforce. Not only are there legal requirements that organisations must adhere to following the release of the Equality Act 2010, there is also a moral and business case for managing diversity. It has been speculated that improving diversity and reaching out to wider talent pools could help improve the skills shortage that is currently affecting the industry. However, there is limited evidence to substantiate this claim in the construction industry context. The aim of this study is to establish a theoretical perspective on how diversity management would improve the construction industry and evaluate whether main contractors are managing diversity effectively. A theoretical framework was developed through the review of the literature to monitor the effectiveness of the DM strategies. A case study of one of the top ten major contractors in the United Kingdom has been carried out to see the extent to which the company is applying the diversity management requirements. The data were collected using semi-structured interviews with senior management mainly Director, Project Manager and Diversity Manager to understand their current approach to manage diversity, document analysis and observations. Following these interviews, a questionnaire was issued to all employees of the company to identify if the approach taken from senior management is working. The case study findings highlight that there are policies and tools in place to comply equality legislation and to improve and enhance diversity. There is a positive attitude to implement and maintain steps to improve diversity with some incentives. However, the results of the questionnaire survey reveal that the main contractor lacks diverse workforce as the employment of women or ethnic minorities; majority of women in the organisation are on lower level positions. There is limited evidence to quantify the productivity improvements, nevertheless majority of the respondents believed that diverse workforce enhances productivity.
    • Applying Markov decision processes to 2D real time games

      Hartley, Thomas; Mehdi, Qasim; Gough, Norman (University of Wolverhampton, School of Computing and Information Technology, 2004)
      This paper presents the outcomes of a research project into the field of artificial intelligence (AI) and computer game AI. The project considered the problem of applying AI techniques to computer games. Current commercial computer games tend to use complex scripts to control AI opponents. This can result in poor and predictable gameplay. The use of academic AI techniques is a possible solution to overcome these shortcomings. This paper describes the process of applying Markov decision processes (MDPs) using the value iteration algorithm to a 2D real time computer game. We also introduce a new stopping criterion for value iteration, which has been designed for use in computer games and we discuss results from experiments conducted on the MDPs AI engine. This paper also outlines conclusions about how successful MDPs are in relation to a real computer game AI engine and how useful they might be to computer games developers.
    • Arabic text classification methods: Systematic literature review of primary studies

      Alabbas, Waleed; al-Khateeb, Haider M.; Mansour, Ali (IEEE, 2017-01-05)
      Recent research on Big Data proposed and evaluated a number of advanced techniques to gain meaningful information from the complex and large volume of data available on the World Wide Web. To achieve accurate text analysis, a process is usually initiated with a Text Classification (TC) method. Reviewing the very recent literature in this area shows that most studies are focused on English (and other scripts) while attempts on classifying Arabic texts remain relatively very limited. Hence, we intend to contribute the first Systematic Literature Review (SLR) utilizing a search protocol strictly to summarize key characteristics of the different TC techniques and methods used to classify Arabic text, this work also aims to identify and share a scientific evidence of the gap in current literature to help suggesting areas for further research. Our SLR explicitly investigates empirical evidence as a decision factor to include studies, then conclude which classifier produced more accurate results. Further, our findings identify the lack of standardized corpuses for Arabic text; authors compile their own, and most of the work is focused on Modern Arabic with very little done on Colloquial Arabic despite its wide use in Social Media Networks such as Twitter. In total, 1464 papers were surveyed from which 48 primary studies were included and analyzed.
    • Are young adults encouraged to join the construction industry?

      Stride, Mark; Chung, Sammy; Subashini, Suresh (University of Wolverhampton, 2018-12-19)
      The construction industry is currently suffering from a lack of skilled workers, from builders and plumbers, to quantity surveyors and architects. Reasons for this include the recession and that the retiring workforce is not being replaced by younger generations. This is having a huge impact on the country’s ability to keep up with the demand for houses that need building; consequently meaning there is a shortage in homes in the country also. The research question addressed in the paper is: What can be done to encourage young adults (14-16 years old) to join the construction industry? The research question is answered through a critical literature review and analysis of questionnaire responses. The results show that there is little education on the construction industry to encourage young adults, and that it is perceived to be a dirty and low status industry to work in. On this basis, it is recommended that the Government and professional bodies need to do more to educate children in schools on what the construction industry truly is, and what opportunities it has for a good career. An initiative that was introduced in 2017 was the apprenticeship levy, which persuades companies to employ apprentices and up skill current employees subsequently encouraging school children to move directly into the construction industry. By schools, universities, colleges and businesses supporting each other it allows longevity and sustainability of the construction industry to be strengthened.
    • Athena SWAN in Higher Education Sector - a Built Environment Perspective

      Suresh, Subashini; Abdul-Aziz, Abdul-Rashid; Renukappa, Suresh (University of Wolverhampton, 2018-12-19)
      Higher education tends to recognise gender equality in terms of representation, progression and success for students and staff. Athena SWAN is a Charter which addresses gender equality. This paper is based on critical review of literature and secondary data analysis. A thorough literature review explores the best practices adopted by Universities in UK who were awarded Gold, Silver and Bronze. In doing so, 39 Universities were identified from the CHOBE members (Council of Heads of the Built Environment Heads of Department of Construction, Property and Surveying) in the year 2017 who have built environment students and staff. The results revealed that none of the Universities had gold award of Athena SWAN whereas 26 Universities had bronze awards. From the secondary data analysis of three years data from Equality in higher education, statistical reports on student and staff shows areas of concern for built environment where the female percent of student and staff are in the lower end of the spectrum. Therefore, initiatives and lessons learnt from other successful awarded Universities will be discussed in this paper so that awareness and adoption of the best practices by the built environment sector is encouraged.
    • Atmin modulates PKHD1 expression and through altered non-canonical wnt/planar cell polarity (pcp) signalling mediates ARPKD severity

      Goggolidou, Paraskevi; Richards, Taylor; Modarage, Kavindiya; Dean, Charlotte; Norman, Jill; Wilson, Patricia (Oxford Academic, 2018-05-18)
      INTRODUCTION AND AIMS: ARPKD is a genetic disorder with an incidence of ~1:20,000 that can lead to perinatal mortality. In the ~60% of ARPKD patients who survive the neonatal period, there is a range of disease severity, however, little is known about the genetic mechanisms that regulate ARPKD. ARPKD is caused by mutations in PKHD1 which encodes the large membrane protein, fibrocystin, required for normal branching morphogenesis of the ureteric bud during embryonic renal development. The range of disease severity observed in ARPKD suggests that besides PKHD1 that when mutated causes ARPKD, other genes might also play a role in ARPKD, acting as modifiers of disease severity.
    • BDI for Intelligent Agents in Computer Games

      Davies, N.P.; Mehdi, Qasim (The University of Wolverhampton, School of Computing and Information Technology, 2006)
      With the emergence of complex computer games and advanced gaming hardware, possibilities for overcoming some of the deficiencies in traditional game AI are becoming feasible. These deficiencies include repetitive, predictable, and inhuman behaviour are caused by the reliance on simple reactive AI techniques. By using more sophisticated AI and agent techniques, we intend to overcome some of these problem areas. The aim of our research is to create new forms of intelligent characters (agents) that will exhibit human-like intelligence and provide more challenging and entertaining virtual opponents and team mates for computer games. We present here our prototype application that implements a BDI agent system within the 3D computer game Unreal Tournament via GameBots and JavaBots technology.