Research Title: New data-hiding algorithm based on adaptive neural networks with modified particle swarm optimization
Author: Nameer N. EL-Emam, Published Year: 2015
Faculty: Faculty of Information Technology

Abstract: A new steganography algorithm based on five protection layers has been suggested in this paper for embedding a large amount of secret messaging in a color image, as represented in the spatial domain. The suggested hiding algorithm employs an impressive image segmentation algorithm that uses two levels of adaptive non-uniform segmentation (TLANUS) to embed data randomly instead of sequentially. For each byte and for each color in a cover image, a non-uniform number of bits to be replaced by secret bits is imposed, depending on the byte characteristic’s assessment using a weighting factor (ω) that is created from a cipher key (ck) to damp the difference in the surrounding twelve high bytes for the current byte (b). A learning machine has been proposed to adjust a pixel’s value; this machine is based on an adaptive neural network (ANN) with modified particle swarm optimization (MPSO). However, the PSO modification has been introduced using a second-order differential equation (SODE); this approach is applied to optimize the positions of the particles, where the adaptive finite-element method (AFEM) is used to find the approximate solution of the SODE. The experimental results have been discussed regarding different performance measures; these measures have demonstrated the effectiveness of the proposed steganography algorithm with the machine learning ANN_MPSO in terms of its embedding capacity and imperceptible level. Comparisons between the proposed approach and the wide spectrum of steganographic schemes have been implemented. The results confirm that the stegoimage with high imperceptibility has been reached even if the stego-image holds a large amount of data that reaches twelve bits per pixels (12-bpp) at certain bytes. In addition, it is confirmed that the proposed algorithm can embed secret data efficiently with better visual quality and working under rich image models to confirm that the present approach is resistant to attacks.

Keywords: Steganography High payload Adaptive neural network PSO Finite elements

Research Title: Waste-to-Energy Technologies: a Literature Review
Author: Mohammad younes, Published Year: 2018
The Journal of Solid Waste Technology and Management , 44 (4)
Faculty: Faculty of Engineering

Abstract: Rapid economic development and urbanization has caused rapid increase of waste generation worldwide. The Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) generation is expected to double by 2025. This rapid increase needs to be tackled to reduce the generation rates along with the environmental impacts it imposes. Disposal of waste in landfills results in the generation of huge amounts of Greenhouse Gases (GHG), negative impacts on human health, air and water pollution. Solid waste generation increments, rising demand for energy and preservation of fossil fuels, caused an increase in the popularity of Waste-to-Energy (WTE) technologies as the solution for waste managing problems and energy demands. Waste-to-Energy technologies convert the waste into energy and minimize the amount of waste sent to landfills. The aim of this paper is to present the process and specific aspects of WTE technologies along with their advantages and disadvantages. It illustrates that the waste and process must be closely matched to achieve proper conversion of waste and better efficiency of a WTE technology. This study also highlighted some thermochemical WTE facilities which can recover both energy and materials from waste. The continuous developments being made in process efficiency and process control of WTE facilities are expected to enhance the commercial feasibility of these conversion processes in the near future.


Research Title: Evaluation and forecasting of solar radiation using time series adaptive neuro-fuzzy inference system: Seoul city as a case study
Author: Mohammad younes, Published Year: 2019
IET Renewable Power Generation, 2019
Faculty: Faculty of Engineering

Abstract: Given that solar radiation is unpredictable, an accurate solar energy prediction model must be developed. This study aimed to evaluate the changes in solar radiation over the past 37 years in Seoul city. The capability of the adaptive neuro-fuzzy inference system (ANFIS) to forecast solar radiation using chaotic time series inputs was analysed. Results demonstrate the capability of ANFIS to provide a relatively good monthly solar prediction model with a normalised root mean square error of 0.22%, a root mean square error of 55.4, and a coefficient of determination of 0.8. The Jarque–Bera test was implemented as well to test the null hypothesis for the normal distribution of standardised residual. Results support the null hypothesis with P-value = 0.222, which indicates the normal distribution of the standardised residual and its goodness. The standardised residual shows that the model can effectively predict solar radiation on a monthly basis.

Keywords: regression analysis; normal distribution; solar power; mean square error methods; fuzzy neural nets; fuzzy reasoning; time series; solar radiation; power engineering computing

Research Title: Time Series ARIMA Model for Prediction of Daily and Monthly Average Global Solar Radiation: The Case Study of Seoul, South Korea
Author: Mohammad younes, Published Year: 2019
Symmetry, 11 no (2)
Faculty: Faculty of Engineering

Abstract: Forecasting solar radiation has recently become the focus of numerous researchers due to the growing interest in green energy. This study aims to develop a seasonal auto-regressive integrated moving average (SARIMA) model to predict the daily and monthly solar radiation in Seoul, South Korea based on the hourly solar radiation data obtained from the Korean Meteorological Administration over 37 years (1981–2017). The goodness of fit of the model was tested against standardized residuals, the autocorrelation function, and the partial autocorrelation function for residuals. Then, model performance was compared with Monte Carlo simulations by using root mean square errors and coefficient of determination (R2) for evaluation. In addition, forecasting was conducted by using the best models with historical data on average monthly and daily solar radiation. The contributions of this study can be summarized as follows: (i) a time series SARIMA model is implemented to forecast the daily and monthly solar radiation of Seoul, South Korea in consideration of the accuracy, suitability, adequacy, and timeliness of the collected data; (ii) the reliability, accuracy, suitability, and performance of the model are investigated relative to those of established tests, standardized residual, autocorrelation function (ACF), and partial autocorrelation function (PACF), and the results are compared with those forecasted by the Monte Carlo method; and (iii) the trend of monthly solar radiation in Seoul for the coming years is analyzed and compared on the basis of the solar radiation data obtained from KMS over 37 years. The results indicate that (1,1,2) the ARIMA model can be used to represent daily solar radiation, while the seasonal ARIMA (4,1,1) of 12 lags for both auto-regressive and moving average parts can be used to represent monthly solar radiation. According to the findings, the expected average monthly solar radiation ranges from 176 to 377 Wh/m2.

Keywords: Forecasting; Time series modelling; ARIMA; SARIMA; Solar energy; Green energy; Photovoltaic systems; South Korea; Seoul

Research Title: Modelling of traffic Emissions Using Modified SYNCHRO-ANFIS Integrated Model on Traffic Signals
Author: Mohammad younes, Published Year: 2018
Fresenius Environmental Bulletin, 27
Faculty: Faculty of Engineering

Abstract: Transportation is the main contributor for air pollution especially in large and crowded cities. Vehicle emissions are affected by various traffic factors.In this study, an evaluation of the most influencing factors on air pollution due delay at signalized intersections will be conducted in a systematic way and by the help of Adaptive Neural Fuzzy Inference System (ANFIS). The model performance has been performed using Root Mean Square Error (RMSE). The results show that the best inputs to model CO are delay, percentage of passenger car and percentage of turning left vehicles. While for NOX modelling the optimum inputs are volume over capacity ratio and percentage of passenger car. The structure of ANFIS was modified to enhance the model and reduce the complexity. However, such systematic approach may be applied for various environmental and transportation applications to determine the most influencing factors and thus properly manage it.

Keywords: Air Pollution, Transportation Emissions, Air Quality Index, ANFIS, Traffic Congestion

Research Title: The perceptions of palestinian health professionals toward factors facilitating or impeding the prevention of home injuries among young children: A qualitative study
Author: Intima Rimawi, Carol Hall, Micheal Watson, Maha Atout. , Published Year: 2019
PULSUS, , Abu Dhabi, UAE
Faculty: Faculty of Nursing

Abstract: Background: Childhood unintentional injury is an important global health problem that causes considerable mortality, morbidity and disability among children. These injuries are most common among under-fives and form a significant burden on healthcare systems, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. Potentially, health professionals, especially doctors and nurses, have a pivotal role in the prevention of home injuries. In Palestine there is a paucity of research in this area. The aim of this study was to explore health professionals’ perceptions regarding the prevention of home injuries among children aged under-five years in Ramallah district in Palestine. Methods: A qualitative approach was adopted; whereby semi-structured interviews were undertaken with twenty-four health professionals (doctors and nurses) who worked with children in a primary health care setting. The derived data were analysed using thematic analysis. Findings: Three types of factors that facilitated or impeded the prevention of home injuries emerged. First, health professional related factors included lack of training, workload and lack of collaborations. Second, parental related factors included low economic status, level of education, lack of awareness and mothers’ employment status. Finally, the environmental factors which included home size and structure, lack of data, low priority for policy makers, lack of funds and the political situation. Conclusion: The continuous education and specialised training for professionals are imperative in activate their pivotal roles in increasing the awareness of parents and children toward prevention of home injuries in the healthcare settings with limited resources such as Palestine. It is also recommended that policy makers activate the role of many parties, including media, health professionals, and other professionals in minimizing the unintentional home injuries among young children.

Keywords: Home injuries, Palestinian, children, healthcare professionals

Research Title: Views and experiences of using advanced technologies in higher education of health care professionals: A mixed method systematic review
Author: Maha Atout, Sylivia Nalubega , Published Year: 2019
New Communication Technologies and their Impact on Effective Learning Societies, Philadelphia University
Faculty: Faculty of Nursing

Abstract: The teaching of healthcare professionals has shifted from conventional teaching methods, and has almost fully embraced the use of technology-based learning instead. It is thought that the use of sophisticated technology in a healthcare training setting has been successful, on account of the value and experience it adds to both the teaching and learning processes, as well as its widespread use within healthcare practice. Since this widespread use of technology is a relatively recent occurrence in the realm of healthcare higher education, there exists a need for the evaluation of how it is experienced, used and viewed. This review synthesises both qualitative and quantitative data regarding user views and experience of technology within healthcare higher education, in an attempt to gather useful insights into how use of such technologies can be improved. Methods: Both quantitative and qualitative data was used for this mixed-method review. The data was combined into a single synthesis, using an integrated approach. The review took note of relevant papers concerning the use of advanced technology among healthcare professionals within higher education, and included the views of both students and lecturers from healthcare related courses such as; nursing, medicine (MBChB), dentistry, medical laboratory science/technology and pharmacy. Eight databases were searched in October 2018, followed by hand searching of related reference lists. The Mixed-Method Appraisal Tool (MMAT – Version 2011) was used to assess the methodological quality of the review. Results: In total, 13 papers were used for the review – ten quantitative, two mixed-method and one qualitative study. Nine of these studied focussed on the experiences of nurses, two on medical doctors, one on pharmacy students, and one on dentistry. The two synthesised findings that were generated are explained below. Facilitators of using advanced technology: It was indicated that technology is an indispensable tool in healthcare education. Many benefits associated with its use were revealed, which included; improved clinical competency, improved overall quality of education, improved patient outcomes, improved research and evidence-based practice skills, improved peer networking, co-working and collaboration, improved learning experience and outputs, and an enhanced understanding of self-directed learning. The results revealed that in order to fully utilise advanced technologies, the provision of adequate resources, as well as access to technical support and mentorship, is required. Challenges of using advanced technology: There were numerous factors which hindered the widespread adoption of advanced technology in healthcare education. These factors included; the high costs involved, a lack of relevant or adequate equipment, a lack of knowledge or understanding in such technology, a dearth of technical support, failure of technology, heavy workloads combined with time constrains, users having a negative attitude towards the use of technology, as well as a more generalised aversion to change. Conclusions: While the use of advanced technology for the training of healthcare professionals is generally embraced, it is not without problems. It is necessary for institutions to offer relevant and accessible support to both students and teachers, in order to improve the use of such technology in teaching and learning practice. Research in future should seek to understand the influence of advanced technology on the education and training of professionals within the healthcare sector.

Keywords: Healthcare professionals, experiences, higher education, systematic review

Research Title: Using Advanced Technology in Nursing Education in Palestine
Author: Intima Alrimawi, Maha Atout , Mu’taz M. Dreidi, Maram Jaghama , Imad Abu Briliya Devadas , Published Year: 2019
New Communication Technologies and their Impact on Effective Learning Societies, Philadelphia University
Faculty: Faculty of Nursing

Abstract: Technology has been shown to have a profound effect on education in the 21st century. Using technology in nursing education has become indispensable, due to the need to link theoretical courses with hospital-based practice. Therefore, nursing educators and students must possess high levels of competency in communication and information technology. There has been little research in the Middle East regarding the use of technology in education. Most research on this subject has been carried out in Western countries. Palestine is an example of a developing country with many political issues that can affect its educational environment. However, few studies have been conducted in Palestine that investigate this issue from robust perspectives. Consequently, the present study investigates the experiences of using advanced technology in nursing education from the perspectives of lecturers, students, administrators, and lab technicians at two Palestinian universities. Methodology: This study employed a mixed method of research design. It was conducted in two Palestinian universities and employed several data collection methods: participant observation, semi-structured interviews, and curriculum analysis. A purposeful sampling strategy was adopted to recruit the participants. Maximum variation sampling was employed in order to include participants with different characteristics, which will improve the transferability of the findings to a broader setting. Within-case and cross-case data analysis was undertaken in accordance with Stake’s (2006) recommendations. Findings: Six interviews have been collected to date: assistant professor (n=3) and lecturers (n=3). The initial findings revealed several facilitators and challenges regarding the use of advanced technology in nursing education in Palestine. Although using technology was perceived to be time-consuming initially, lecturers pointed out that technology facilitated their work after they mastered its usage. Technology saved time and effort, for example by providing an accurate grading system for exams. Additionally, some educators reported that they encouraged adopting different technological means by their students who demonstrated advanced technological capabilities. Using technology enabled educators to communicate with students, especially during difficult political circumstances. However, educators reported several challenges pertaining to the use and sustainability of technology in the classroom. The high cost, especially as a part of the university’s budget, was one of the most prominent obstacles to adopting technology. Lack of skills in using technology was another obstacle faced by Palestinian professors. The resistance of some faculty members to the change represented by the adoption of technology was a third obstacle. Finally, educators reported that while it was very important to adopt advanced technology in education, some students could use it negatively, such as to cheat on exams. Conclusion: The study findings reveal several facilitators and challenges faced by Palestinian nursing educators in the use of technology. Continuous training of educators is imperative for increasing the use of communication and technology in nursing education. There is a need for updated policies to avoid advanced technology’s perceived negative consequences and maximize its benefits.

Keywords: Advanced technology, nursing, education, Palestine

Research Title: The relationship between physical activity and diet, and overweight and obesity, in young people
Author: Abdul-Monim Batiha, Published Year: 2018
nursing children and young people, 31(2)
Faculty: Faculty of Nursing

Abstract: Background Childhood obesity has a worldwide association with serious health problems and complications that increase the risk of illness and death. Aim To identify and assess the factors contributing to overweight and obesity among school students in north Jordan. Method A descriptive cross-sectional study involving 1,554 students was conducted between October 2014 and February 2015. Results More than two thirds (70%) of participants were normal weight (5th percentile-<85th percentile), while 12% were overweight and 13% were obese. The prevalence of obesity was high (20%) among those eating snacks three times per day. The prevalence of overweight was high (12%) among those who followed no regular physical activity programme. Conclusion Collaboration is required between policymakers, healthcare professionals, business and community leaders, schools and local organisations to create suitable environments that support healthy lifestyles for children and young people.

Keywords: adolescents, child health, obesity, overweight, public health, school nurses

Research Title: Exploring communication in the care for children with cancer in Palestine: an ethnographic qualitative case study approach
Author: Maha Atout, Bernie Carter, Ibrahim Bashayreh, Published Year: 2019
The LANCET, 393
Faculty: Faculty of Nursing

Abstract: Background There has been little research in the Middle East regarding communication in the care for children with cancer. Findings of studies undertaken in diverse cultural settings show that health-care providers report being poorly prepared to communicate with children with cancer and feel inadequately prepared to support families facing loss. The Arab culture differs in numerous ways from western culture (eg, with regard to disclosing prognosis information to children). Therefore, this study explores the experiences of children, families, and health professionals in communication in the care of children with cancer in Palestine. Methods This study used an ethnographic qualitative case study approach. It was conducted in one oncology unit based in the West Bank. Two data collection methods were employed: participant observation and semi-structured interviews. Ethics approval was obtained from the hospital ethical review board. Informed written consent was obtained from all participants (or legal guardians, in the case of children). Findings 70 hours of observation were undertaken and 35 interviews were conducted, involving five physicians, 11 nurses, six children aged 6–18 years, seven mothers, and six grandmothers. Although a few parents completely hid the diagnosis of leukaemia from their children, others tried to relieve the situation by informing their children of different diagnoses, such as a blood infection. The term cancer was avoided in the discussion of the disease by health-care providers and parents to ameliorate the negative effect of this term. The observational data showed that the children were not involved in discussions relating to their disease, and most communication about their illness was between their parents and physicians. Interpretation The findings reveal the challenges that physicians, nurses, grandmothers, and mothers face in communicating with children with cancer. Each group reported a need to improve their communication skills with children with cancer. Strategies are needed to involve children in communication regarding their disease and their prognosis.

Keywords: Communication; cancer; children; Palestine; Physician