ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0412.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Geography, Planning And Development Keywords: Walkability; Central Kolkata; Accessibility, Universal Mobility; Architectural Planning Research; Accessibility Audit
Online: 24 December 2021 (23:22:11 CET)
In this research, the accessibility in the footpath-level walkability condition of old core cities of India has been assessed, considering Central Kolkata, India as a case. Post-2015, after the implementation of Goal Number 11 of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (i.e. Sustainable Cities and Communities), the significance of universal mobility has globally manifolded in the walkability sector. This research has been done in theoretical, ideological, and methodological patterns using Architectural Planning Research for promoting Universal Mobility in old Indian cities. The variables (categorical) used in this research are related to pedestrian infrastructure. The categorical variables are: 1) Building Typology of Stretch, 2) Footpath Dimensions, 3) Temporary Encroachment, 4) Permanent Encroachment, 5) Bus Stop, 6) Metro Rail Entrance, 7) Railings, 8) Storm Water Drains, 9) Public Toilet, 10) Trash Bins, 11) Street Lights, 12) Flooring, 13) Manholes, 14) Kerb, 15) Pedestrian Crossing, 16) Street Furniture, 17) Safety and Security, and 18) Additional Inclusive Features like signage. This research shows that the footpath stretches in Central Kolkata, India are inadequate in terms of ideal accessibility. In addition to this, the result of this research portrays complexities in the adaptability of accessible walkability-related considerations; thereby suggesting a new accessibility audit format for old core Indian cities for achieving Universal Mobility standards in the future. The authors also propose quantitative methods to conduct future research in the same domain.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0047.v1
Online: 2 August 2022 (08:04:43 CEST)
The paper will analyze the pressures and vulnerabilities of the consolidated city from two perspectives: technical and social. Some design and pragmatic experiences conducted by the author in his teaching and research experience first at the Department of Urbanism of TUDelft in the Netherlands and currently at the PDTA Department of La Sapienza University of Rome will be introduced and analyzed. In the first research activity, whose case study is Rotterdam, all urban vulnerabilities related to climate change will be analyzed while in the second one, conducted in Viterbo, the vulnerability related to the hull of social inclusion, poor accessibility and psycho-social stress that plague our established cities will be treated. The two areas of study, different in size and spatial governance tools, are comparable because they allow deciphering the city's risks through lines of intervention that could serve as best practices and serve the urban planning disciplinary update also allowing to define a reflection on morphology and fabrics and on the shape of the city itself. Both teaching and research activities in which the author is involved allow the topic of urban vulnerability to be addressed with a broad exploratory scope that, in the final stage, hypothesizes design intervention on the neighborhood scale, identified as the most appropriate to provide plausible climate and social adaptation and mitigation responses.
CONCEPT PAPER | doi:10.20944/preprints202001.0176.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Computer Science Keywords: community cyberinfrastructure; accessibility; reproducibility; interoperability; models
Online: 17 January 2020 (04:28:34 CET)
In an era of rapid global change, our ability to understand and predict Earth's natural systems is lagging behind our ability to monitor and measure changes in the biosphere. Bottlenecks in our ability to process information have reduced our capacity to fully exploit the growing volume and variety of data. Here, we take a critical look at the information infrastructure that connects modeling and measurement efforts, and propose a roadmap that accelerates production of new knowledge. We propose that community cyberinfrastructure tools can help mend the divisions between empirical research and modeling, and accelerate the pace of discovery. A new era of data-model integration requires investment in accessible, scalable, transparent tools that integrate the expertise of the whole community, not just a clique of ‘modelers’. This roadmap focuses on five key opportunities for community tools: the underlying backbone to community cyberinfrastructure; data ingest; calibration of models to data; model-data benchmarking; and data assimilation and ecological forecasting. This community-driven approach is key to meeting the pressing needs of science and society in the 21st century.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201903.0150.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Urban Studies And Planning Keywords: bus rapid transit; employment; accessibility; equity
Online: 14 March 2019 (07:12:12 CET)
Investments in public transit infrastructure in Latin America and the Caribbean often aim to reduce spatial and social inequalities by improving accessibility to jobs and other opportunities for vulnerable populations. The Metropolitano, Lima’s Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project had as one of its central goals to connect low-income populations living in the peripheries to jobs in the city center. We examine the contribution of Lima’s BRT system to accessibility to employment in the city, particularly for low-income public transit users. Building on secondary datasets of employment, household socio-demographics and Origin-Destination surveys before and after the BRT began operations, we assess its effects on potential accessibility to employment, comparing impacts amongst lower versus higher income populations. Findings suggest that the BRT line reduced travel times to reach jobs, in comparison with traditional public transport in the city, amongst populations living within walking distance of the system. However, we also find that the coverage of the BRT declines in areas with high concentrations of poor and extreme poor populations, limiting the equitability of the accessibility improvements. We analyze the distributional effects of BRT infrastructure and services, discussing policy avenues that can improve the prospects for BRT system investments to include the poor in their mobility benefits.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.0031.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Surgery Keywords: global cardiac surgery; global surgery; surgical accessibility
Online: 2 October 2023 (03:56:38 CEST)
Cardiac surgery is a modern science in the history of medicine. The impact in cardiac disease, in term of treatment and prognosis, has made this discipline indispensable in the global health. In recent decades, the greatest investment has been dispensed in technological and material improvement, for increase the life expectancy. This surgery must address different epidemiological aspects dictated by the geography and economic-social conditions of the global populations. For this reason, it is progressively important to address the cardiac surgery accessibility disparity. Many scientific paper and international meetings have studied how cardiac surgery can increase accessibility in various countries around the world. In this review we analyze all the challenges, solutions and suggestions to make this surgery accessible to the entire global population, with the purpose to reducing the disparity across the all seven continents. For a long time, high-income countries have invested in technological capabilities and experimental advancement, not caring about unequal access in the rest of the world. We believe that it is time to reverse the growth trajectory, placing – as a priority – the accessibility and distribution of a surgical science, too significant for the right to health of all the people of the world. This is the real new challenge in cardiosurgery.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0501.v2
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Immunology And Microbiology Keywords: Antigen Selection; Epitope Selection; Antibody Targeting; Epitope Accessibility; Antibody Engineering; Protein Engineering; Drug Targeting; Model-Informed Drug Discovery and Development
Online: 3 November 2021 (08:26:47 CET)
The target of an antibody plays a significant role in the success of antibody-based therapeutics and diagnostics, and to an extent, that of vaccine development. This importance is focussed on the target binding site – epitope, where epitope selection as a part of design thinking beyond traditional antigen selection using whole cell or whole protein immunisation can positively impact success. With purified recombinant protein production and peptide synthesis to display limited/selected epitopes, intrinsic factors that can affect the functioning of resulting antibodies can be more easily selected for. Many of these factors stem from the location of the epitope that can affect accessibility of the antibody to the epitope at a cellular or molecular level, direct inhibition of target antigen activity, conservation of function despite escape mutations, and even non-competitive inhibition sites. Through the incorporation of novel computational methods for predicting antigen changes to model-informed drug discovery and development, superior vaccines and antibody-based therapeutics or diagnostics can now be more easily designed to mitigate failures. With detailed examples, this review highlights the new opportunities, factors and methods of predicting antigenic changes for consideration in sagacious epitope selection.
Subject: Social Sciences, Education Keywords: e-learning; online teaching; Galaxy; TIaaS; accessibility; scalability
Online: 18 December 2020 (16:30:25 CET)
The COVID-19 pandemic is shifting teaching to an online setting all over the world. The Galaxy framework facilitates the online learning process and makes it accessible by providing a library of high-quality community-curated training materials, enabling easy access to data and tools, and facilitates sharing achievements and progress between students and instructors. By combining Galaxy with robust communication channels, effective instruction can be designed inclusively, regardless of the students' environments.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202010.0548.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Anthropology Keywords: Gated Communities; Opening Scenarios; Accessibility Benefits; Evaluation; Shanghai
Online: 27 October 2020 (11:36:59 CET)
Opening gated-communities (GCs) has been widely discussed for urban inclusion and revitalization. With the policies of opening GCs being promoted in China, quantitative and comprehensive evaluation of the potential benefits is heavily needed. Taking Shanghai as an example, this study quantifies and analyzes the accessibility benefits and risks of opening GCs with factors including GC types, opening levels, travel modes, and travel destinations considered. We found that (1) opening GCs can bring 50m+ accessibility gains to 17% and 52% of the residents in Moderately Opening (MO) and Completely Opening (CO) scenarios, respectively. (2) Cycling benefits more than walking in all cases and scenarios. (3) For different GCs, conventional GCs have fewer benefits in MO but more in CO than the newly-established one. For different facilities, trips to bus stations demonstrate the largest accessibility gains. (4) The accessibility benefit of a residential building is highly determined by its closeness to the gates and relative location in the block. (5) Only 1% and 5-7% of external trips may penetrate the opened communities in MO and CO scenarios, respectively, which are far less than both expectation and the benefits. These findings precipitate at least two policy implications in China.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.1660.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Water Science And Technology Keywords: water; water accessibility; water system; resilient; coping strategies; households.
Online: 25 September 2023 (08:15:25 CEST)
Calabar is a city where 65 per cent of people are living in poverty in informal settlements with low and decreasing access to improved water. In the low-income informal areas of the city, residents are being made responsible for securing their own water supply through several coping strategies. This paper explores the decreasing access to water and coping strategies to shortage in Calabar, Nigeria. It analyses two complementary pieces of data: (i) the households’ coping strategies and (ii) satisfaction with improved water services. A mixed method was introduced and data was collected via fieldwork at three settlements in Calabar. A household survey of 360 respondents, 27 in-depth interviews and 2 focus groups were conducted. Findings show that households engaged in different coping strategies to access water, including conservation (changing routine/reusing), purchasing (spent a significant proportion of their income on buying water) and pumping as a coping strategy. The household's tenure, socioeconomic status and water accessibility determines their decision to move if services are not provided. A crucial differentiation exists between a larger population being granted less access to water versus certain individuals receiving access to a greater quantity of water.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.0165.v1
Subject: Engineering, Architecture, Building And Construction Keywords: public open space; satisfaction survey; accessibility; quantitative evaluation; shenzhen
Online: 4 September 2023 (10:58:54 CEST)
As an important carrier of urban residents' public life, urban public open space plays an indispensable role in improving the quality of life of urban residents. Accessibility is an important indicator to characterize the publicity and service level of a public open space. This study optimized the GIS-based, Gaussian two-part mobile search method to quantitatively calculate and evaluate the accessibility of public open space within a 5-minute walking distance for residents in Nanshan District, Shenzhen. On this basis, social survey methods, including the questionnaire survey method via a field survey and the interview method, were used to conduct field research on residents' accessibility satisfaction. Comparing the results of the survey on residents' accessibility satisfaction to the GIS quantitative evaluation results of accessibility, the results of the field research show that current residents of Nanshan are more satisfied with the accessibility of public open space. In view of the similarities and differences between the two sets of results, the influencing factors of public open space accessibility were analyzed, corresponding countermeasures were proposed for the construction of public open spaces in the future.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.0146.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Business And Management Keywords: information society; digital accessibility of administration; electronic public services
Online: 2 August 2023 (10:06:21 CEST)
The Covid-19 pandemic has forced the transfer of local government public ser-vices to the virtual world. Remote handling of matters in government offices has be-come the norm rather than the exception. The 2016 EU directive on public sector web-sites and mobile applications and the 2019 European Digital Accessibility Act made it mandatory that these services be provided electronically and accessible to people with disabilities. The purpose of the study conducted by the authors was to determine whether the Covid-19 pandemic resulted in the implementation of European solutions in the Polish legal order and whether this implementation resulted in the actual adap-tation of digital activities of local government units (LGUs) to the needs of people with disabilities. The research was conducted in Q4 2022 in two trial formats: 1. In the form of a survey (about 250 LGUs), which covered compliance with for-mal requirements, the level of readiness of the officials to create digitally accessible documents and content, and organizational readiness of the offices. 2. In the form of an analysis of the source code of the websites of 66 Polish cities with county rights - due to the availability of results of the same sample from 2015. The completed research showed that the LGUs in Poland: 1. met the formal and organizational requirements for digital accessibility, 2. did not make the necessary efforts to prepare employees to create digitally ac-cessible documents and content, 3. the surveyed websites had inferior source code in terms of meeting the WCAG standard in 2022 than in 2015. It seems reasonable to conclude that the Covid-19 pandemic had a formal, rather than real, impact on the digital accessibility of services provided by Polish LGUs.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202210.0461.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Obstetrics And Gynaecology Keywords: water security; geographic accessibility; maternal health; climate change; Sahel
Online: 31 October 2022 (02:04:37 CET)
Adequate access to drinking water for hydration and hygiene depends on many factors, such as water quality, accessibility, continuity of supply, and available quantity. We developed the Drinking Water Security Index (DWSI) to assess relative multifactorial drinking water security at different spatial and temporal scales. We apply this new index in Sudan to assess historical and future drinking water security at state, local, and maternity levels. State-level analyses found that the Red Sea and River Nile states are most vulnerable, with the lowest DWSI for both historical and future periods. The 1 km2 pixel level analysis shows large differences in water security within the major states. Analyses at maternity level showed that nearly 18.97 million people are affected by the 10% of maternities with lowest DWSI, a number projected to increase by 60% by 2030. Current and future water security indexes of maternities providing Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care, were assessed to identify those where urgent action is needed to ensure quality health care in water secure conditions. This work provides useful information for stakeholders in the health and drinking water sectors in Sudan, to improve public health, reduce preventable mortality, and make the population more resilient to projected environmental changes.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201912.0138.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Computer Science Keywords: Quality of Service; Cloud Computing; Virtualization; Data Accessibility; Challenges
Online: 10 December 2019 (15:45:46 CET)
Quality of Service (QoS) has a significant role in the provision of resources within service oriented distributed systems. In Quality of Service, cloud computing creates new challenges for improvements using the concept of virtualization. Currently, Cloud Computing is very emerging technology in every field of data storage and resource distribution over the network. Considering this new emerging technology, for the ease of data accessibility, price, resource use, restoration, response time and number of constraints the quality performance measures need to be upgraded. The paper highlights the research gap in providing a solution to achieve a Quality of Services in Cloud Computing. We also review the issues and challenges arising in cloud computing to guarantee quality.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.1006.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Tourism, Leisure, Sport And Hospitality Keywords: accessibility; culture heritage; inclusive tourism; museum; people with disabilities; Krakow
Online: 16 November 2023 (02:55:02 CET)
The aim of the paper is to assess the accessibility for people with disabilities of flagship cultural attractions, that is museums located in Krakow, a city with a rich historical heritage entered onto the UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage List and distinguished by the Access City Award. The research shows to what degree the museums have been adapted to receive visitors with disabilities. Assessment was also conducted of access to the museums’ websites, and the possibility for virtual tours of their collections. The research results indicate that Krakow museums are well-prepared for receiving people with physical disabilities and seniors, but are less well adapted to receiving visually impaired and blind people, and hearing impaired and deaf people. Analysis of the museums’ websites shows that they are well-prepared in terms of compatibility and comprehensibility, but that they received a worse assessment for their perceivability and functionality. Visitors to the museums are principally adults, adolescents and seniors. People with disabilities make up 10% of all visitors.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.0226.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Geography, Planning And Development Keywords: Airbnb, Urban Housing Markets, Housing Accessibility, Renting Economy, Sharing 14
Online: 4 October 2023 (10:55:57 CEST)
The phenomenon of Airbnb has significantly permeated the urban housing markets of major U.S. cities. This qualitative analysis meticulously examines its wide-ranging impacts, exploring Airbnb’s operational model, regulatory challenges, and its influence on housing availability, prices, and neighborhood dynamics. The research aggregates insights from various sources, including academic articles, web-based resources, and case studies, providing a nuanced understanding of the intricate balance cities are endeavoring to achieve between the economic opportunities Airbnb presents and the potential strains it places on local housing markets. The paper also scrutinizes the evolving policy frameworks and their effectiveness in mitigating the impacts of short-term rental platforms. Furthermore, it deliberates on future trends in the short-term rental market and the wider implications for the sharing economy. Concluding, the paper acknowledges the limitations of the qualitative method and suggests areas for future in-depth research, aiming to offer insightful contributions to policymakers, researchers, and urban planners engaged in urban housing discourse in the United States.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.0054.v1
Subject: Chemistry And Materials Science, Polymers And Plastics Keywords: Tactile images; 3D printing; Additive manufacturing; Accessibility; Visually impaired people
Online: 4 July 2023 (08:50:11 CEST)
This research focused on the perception of visually impaired individuals regarding tactile image creation using 3D printing. We developed and applied an experiment with 28 participants with visual impairments. They performed tasks based on skills whose foundations are needed and used in their daily lives, such as scanning, tactile discrimination, picture and spatial comprehension. The tactile images used in this study were developed by additive manufacturing and printed over 180 g/m² sulphite paper. The best performances were obtained when (1) the tactile image contour line heights were between 0.2 mm and 0.4 mm; and (2) the texture presented densities between 10% and 50%, when alone, or between 10% and 90%, when combined with another texture. The tested line widths (0.8 mm and 1.2 mm) did not present statistically significant differences in the results. Vision status (low vision or blindness) and moment of vision loss (congenital or late blind) did not influence the results. Schooling affected the activities of identifying objects and locating their copies. In the Conclusion section, there is a detailed recommendation list for the production and application of tactile materials, which range from simplifying forms to encouraging the use of both hands during content assimilation.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0621.v1
Subject: Engineering, Automotive Engineering Keywords: Accessibility; Guiding Methods; Immersive Media; Subtitling; Virtual Reality; 360º video
Online: 28 July 2021 (10:28:27 CEST)
Every (multimedia) service needs to be accessible. Accessibility for multimedia content is typically provided by means of access services, of which subtitling is likely the most widespread one. Up to date, many recommendations and solutions for subtitling classical 2D audiovisual services are available. Likewise, recent efforts have been devoted to devising adequate subtitling solutions for VR360 video content. This paper, for the first time, goes a step beyond, by exploring two key requirements to fulfill remaining challenges towards efficiently subtitling 3D Virtual Reality (VR) content: presentation modes, and guiding methods. By leveraging insights from earlier work on VR360 content, the paper proposes novel presentation modes and guiding methods to not only deal with the freedom to explore the omnidirectional scenes, but also with additional specificities of 3D VR compared to VR360 content: depth, 6 Degrees of Freedom (6DoF), and viewing perspectives. The obtained results prove that always-visible and a novel proposed comic-style presentation mode are far more appropriate than state-of-the-art fixed-positioned subtitles, mainly in terms of immersion, ease and comfort of reading, and identification of speakers, when applied to professional pieces of content with limited displacement of speakers and with limited 6DoF (i.e. users are not expected to largely navigate around the virtual environment). Likewise, even in such limited movement scenarios, the results show that the use of indicators (arrows), as guiding methods, is well received. Overall, the paper provides relevant insights and paves the way toward efficiently subtitling 3D VR content.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0218.v1
Subject: Engineering, Automotive Engineering Keywords: Image accessibility; touchscreen; nonvisual feedback; blind; visual impairment; systematic review
Online: 8 March 2021 (13:41:50 CET)
A number of studies have been conducted to improve the accessibility of images using touchscreen devices for screen reader users. In this study, we conducted a systematic review of 33 papers to get a holistic understanding of existing approaches and to suggest a research road map given identified gaps. As a result, we identified types of images, visual information, input device and feedback modalities that were studied for improving image accessibility using touchscreen devices. Findings also revealed that little has studied how to automate the generation of image-related information, and that screen reader users play important roles during the evaluation but the design process. Then we introduce two of our recent studies on the accessibility of artwork and comics, AccessArt and AccessComics respectively. Based on the identified key challenges, we suggest a research agenda for improving image accessibility for screen reader users.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0059.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Business And Management Keywords: Connected healthcare; ageing society; health accessibility; e-health; telemedicine; telehealth; telecare
Online: 4 March 2020 (10:29:39 CET)
Background: The evolution of names, from “medical informatics” to “connected health”, implies that the evolvement of technology in health care has been shifted from technology-oriented to healthcare-oriented implementation. Connected healthcare, a healthcare platform of remote monitoring and self-management through technological measures, is suggested to contribute to the efficiency, cost effectiveness, and satisfaction of healthcare recipient enhancement. However, limited understanding of related connected health (CH) terminology may constrain its implementation. Whether CH is a Buzzword only or a practice that can contribute to an ageing society is controversial. Objective: This study aims to distinguish CH-related terminology and to identify the trend of CH through reviewing its definition, initiation, development, and evolvement, in order to offer management insights and implications. The objective is to understand what is connected and who is cared about in the connected health model, so that better applications can be addressed for the benefit of society. Method: This study reviews the evolution of names, from “medical informatics” in the 1970s to “connected health” after 2000, as well as relevant literature of CH, including e-health, telemedicine, telehealth, telecare, and m-health, to discover the trend of technology-related healthcare implementation. The current status and issues facing CH will be presented and its future trends will be explored through reviewing how changes in healthcare are managed, in addition to its operation and practice. Issues of accessibility, quality, and cost will be discussed, as well as its market status. Results: Preconditions and requirements for implementing CH are identified to select a typical case to study. Areas with a complete business ecosystem, including advanced technology and medical services, a payment system, an ageing population, geographic isolation, integrated health, and social care, are prevalent. These findings may be beneficial to designing and establishing comprehensive CH implantation and environments. Conclusion: The evidence and tendency of technological convergence create a demand for innovation and partnering with start-up companies that offer a competitive advantage in innovation. Specifically, it is necessary to innovate both the public and private operation model of the CH ecosystem. This focus will be further explored in future work.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202002.0101.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Decision Sciences Keywords: accessibility; food service facilities; grocery retailers; city logistics; last-mile delivery
Online: 8 February 2020 (05:48:17 CET)
Access to food systems is essential to sustain urban life. In this paper, we discuss the differences concerning accessibility levels to food systems among potential consumers in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. The goal was to characterize spatial mismatches regarding food opportunities and identify suitable areas for sustainable food mile solutions, such as non-motorized home delivery and purchase trips. For this, we have spatially related: (i) the population concentration; (ii) the income of households; and (iii) accessibility measures considering both the spatial structure of food retailers and the distance between households and stores, considering the food mile. We have then used spatial statistics and spatial analysis methods to determine the spatial pattern of variables and the cumulative opportunity measure for households. There is great spatial differentiation regarding the accessibility levels of food retailers and the results can be considered to support the development of policy and land use regulation that can stimulate non-motorized and collaborative delivery as an effective last-mile solution.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0576.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Finance Keywords: Micro Small and Medium Enterprises, Transaction costs, Small businesses, Credit accessibility
Online: 24 October 2018 (12:05:42 CEST)
This study investigated the roles of transactions cost in MSMEs access to finance. This was done by investigating the impact of transactions cost on access to credit from both MSMEs and financial institutions (commercial banks and microfinance banks). From the MSMEs’ side, borrowing experience, decision lag, firm size and borrowers’ distance to the loan office were investigated. On the financial institution’s side, the costs of information gathering, loan administration, monitoring and loan enforcement were investigated. We used the questionnaire survey method, in-depth interviews and case studies, as well as the annual financial statements of the banks. We identified interest rate and collateral value as constraints to access to finance for MSMEs. We also found financial institutions’ attitude to MSMEs access to credit was not friendly. Financial institutions need to do more to bring down transaction cost of lending. This hopefully can be achieved by investing more in agent banking which would lower operating costs, as well as spreading risk, and ultimately increase credit intermediation to small businesses.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201701.0079.v1
Subject: Engineering, Electrical And Electronic Engineering Keywords: accessibility; offshore; operation and maintenance; weather condition; Markov chain; data visualization
Online: 17 January 2017 (11:17:32 CET)
For offshore wind power generation, accessibility is one of the main factors that has great impact on operation and maintenance due to constraints on weather conditions for marine transportation. This paper presents a framework to explore the accessibility of an offshore site. At first, several maintenance types are defined and taken into account. Next, a data visualization procedure is introduced to provide an insight into the distribution of access periods over time. Then, a rigorous mathematical method based on finite state Markov chain is proposed to assess the accessibility of an offshore site from the maintenance perspective. A five-year weather data of a marine site is used to demonstrate the applicability and the outcomes of the proposed method. The main findings show that the proposed framework is effective in investigating the accessibility for different time scales and is able to catch the patterns of the distribution of the access periods. Moreover, based on the developed Markov chain, the average waiting time for a certain access period can be estimated. With more information on the maintenance of an offshore wind farm, the expected production loss due to time delay can be calculated.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.1003.v1
Subject: Engineering, Marine Engineering Keywords: Offshore Renewable Energies; Operation and Maintenance; Accessibility; Visibility; Metocean conditions; Weather Window.
Online: 14 July 2023 (11:20:27 CEST)
Despite the important role of offshore renewable energies in the energy transition, the economical viability is still unclear. Therefore, an appropriate site selection is crucial. Besides the energy potential, the impact of operation and maintenance (O&M) aspects on the location can be critical. Traditional accessibility assessment metrics do not allow a comprehensive evaluation. Therefore, the present paper suggests a novel, technology-informed metric, incorporating the overall set of most critical aspects, i.e. metocean conditions, visibility due to sunlight and sea fog, system failures, and O&M logistics. Among the different aspects, limited visibility is shown to be highly relevant with a reduction of up to 60% in accessibility. The study assesses accessibility in 5 different locations across Europe. On the one hand, accessibility is shown to be less sensitive to long-term resource variations with a reduction of 5% in the last 6 decades. On the other hand, accessibility is shown to be inversely proportional to the energy potential overall, meaning that as energy potential increases, accessibility is reduced, increasing downtime, reducing final energy generation and increasing the final cost of energy. As a consequence, site selection should combine energy potential and accessibility assessments, which is enabled by the technology-informed metric presented here.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0022.v2
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Econometrics And Statistics Keywords: Heckit models; spatial effects; local spatial autocorrelation; SLX model; education accessibility; Chile
Online: 20 December 2021 (10:47:44 CET)
This study contributes to the debate on accessibility of higher education in Chile, focusing on both socioeconomic and geospatial dimensions of access to university study. The central question we address in this paper is the following: Does geography (physical distance and neighborhood effects) play a significant role in determining accessibility of higher education in Chile? We use Heckman probit-type (Heckit) models to adjust for selection in the process of completing the trajectory towards higher education – that is, pre-selection, application to study at university, and ultimately admission (or denial) to a higher education institution. The results shows that the geospatial elements have a significant local effect on the student’s application and access to Chilean universities.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0568.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Accounting And Taxation Keywords: service accessibility; dementia knowledge; affordability; carer role strain; self-criticism; negative emotions
Online: 27 January 2021 (16:15:14 CET)
Because of an often complicated and difficult-to-access care system, help-seeking for people with suspected dementia can be stressful. Difficulty in help-seeking may contribute to carer burden, in addition to other known stressors in dementia care. This study examined the relationship between perceived help-seeking difficulty and carer burden, and the barriers contributing to perceived difficulty. We interviewed 110 carers accessing a community-based dementia assessment service for suspected dementia of a family member for their perceived difficulty, delays, and barriers in help-seeking, and carers burden in terms of role strain, self-criticism, and negative emotions. Linear regression models showed that perceived help-seeking difficulty is associated with carer self-criticism, while carer role strain and negative emotions are associated with symptom severity of the person with dementia but not help-seeking difficulty. Inadequate knowledge about symptoms, service accessibility, and affordability together explained more than half of the variance in perceived help-seeking difficulty (Nagelkerke R2 = .56). Public awareness about symptoms, support in navigating service, and financial support may reduce perceived difficulty in help-seeking, which in turn may reduce carer self-criticism during the early course of illness.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0363.v1
Subject: Engineering, Automotive Engineering Keywords: Public real estate; disused properties; divestment; urban walkability; urban accessibility; Cagliari; Sardinia; Italy.
Online: 15 December 2020 (09:51:12 CET)
Urban accessibility represents one of the great challenges of the contemporary city, which is required to adopt sustainable development models in line with the UN Agenda 2030 objectives, recently confirmed by the health emergency. Urban accessibility and walkability are topics closely related to those aiming at a livable, healthy and inclusive city, based on a system of high-quality public spaces and on a network of services and infrastructures. However, these principles collide with the fragmentation of many urban contexts, built following vehicular accessibility needs. Within this framework, the city of Cagliari represents an interesting case study as it is affected by the disposal of public properties which appear as “enclaves” in the historic urban fabric. This research aims to evaluate if and in which terms the abandoned assets can facilitate the development of the 15-minutes city, as a city reducing the need to move over a certain time and space and therefore granting a more equal access to urban services to a wide range of citizens. This is done by proposing indexes defined as porosity, crossing and attractiveness, which constitute a combined index to improve the pedestrian accessibility in the “central places” of the contemporary city, where the walkability can also become a possible “free choice” for a new healthy lifestyle. These indexes were calculated for the most significant large disused public buildings in the historic center to guide future scenarios towards a 15 minutes city.
SHORT NOTE | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0325.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Epidemiology And Infectious Diseases Keywords: GIS; health Infrastructure; National Portal; COVID-19; Hot-Spot mapping; Accessibility to services
Online: 28 June 2020 (09:00:04 CEST)
This short note proposes a national Geographic Information System (GIS) - based health infrastructure to deal with epidemics and pandemics. Currently, there is no pan-India health infrastructure available that can compile, update, and report the spread of epidemic diseases. It not only curtails the opportunity of finding the real-time data on the spatial distribution of a disease but prevents one to inquire into the causes of the disease through epidemiological analysis. The proposed infrastructure in this study is a pan-India one and can broadly be divided into two parts, hotspot mapping and accessibility to services. In the first part, hospitals are proposed to act as nodes of data collection, sending data to a national GIS portal. This portal shall have the capabilities of plotting the data using map rendering services such as Google and Bing Maps. This way, hotspots can be visualized in no time, benefitting the government and common citizenry alike. The second part deals with the accessibility of citizenry to a wide range of services, i.e., healthcare services, grocery outlets, emergency services, baby food, and many other essential services of the day to day life. In order to implement this, we propose that the government need to enforce a mandatory submission of locational coordinates of all Goods and Services Tax (GST) enrolled service providers. Once the coordinates are submitted, the government can effectively control the opening and closing of services and inform the citizenry at the same time. The proposed infrastructure is going to help deal with the extraordinary situations during epidemic and pandemics similar to what the world is currently facing in the form of Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Furthermore, the infrastructure can be scaled up or down as per the spread of a disease. The health-GIS platform proposed in this concept paper, shall help India in controlling and managing the epidemic more efficiently.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201806.0487.v2
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Pharmacology And Toxicology Keywords: bio-accessibility; 24-h diet; preschool children; arsenic intake; cadmium intake; lead intake
Online: 6 October 2018 (11:02:24 CEST)
Lead, known as a metal with high neurotoxicity to children, cadmium, which is a carcinogenic and bioaccumulative contaminant, and arsenic, a class 1 carcinogenic according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, are toxic elements (TEs) whose relevant route of exposure may be diet. We determined the bio-accessible fraction of lead, cadmium, and arsenic from the diet of preschool children from two day care centers (DCC). A cross-sectional study was conducted with 64 one–four-year-old children from two DCCs where the 24-h duplicate diet samples were collected. The diet samples were analyzed by ICP-MS for lead, cadmium, and arsenic total concentrations (n = 64) and their bio-accessibility were analyzed for a subsample (n = 10). The dietary intake (DI) mean for lead, cadmium, and arsenic were 0.18 ± 0.11 µg kg−1 bw, 0.08 ± 0.04 µg kg−1 bw, and 0.61 ± 0.41 µg kg−1 bw, respectively. All DI calculated for TEs, considering total intake, were found lower than the tolerable limits (TL) (European Union, or World Health Organization, WHO, when applicable) except for one child’s Pb intake. Bio-accessibilities ranged between 0% to 93%, 0% to 103%, and 0% to 69%, for lead, cadmium, and arsenic, respectively. Although DI for TEs has been found lower than TL, these reference values have been recently decreased or withdrawn since it was for lead and arsenic whose TL were withdrawn by WHO.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0234.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Algebra And Number Theory Keywords: sonification apps; auditory displays; torpedo level; spirit level; tools; accessibility; auditory feedback; auditory user interface
Online: 8 April 2021 (11:25:41 CEST)
This paper presents Tiltification, a multi modal spirit level application for smartphones. The non-profit app was produced by students in the master project “Sonification Apps” in winter term 2020/21 at the University of Bremen. In the app, psychoacoustic sonification is used to give feedback on the device’s rotation angles in two plane dimensions, allowing users to level furniture or take perfectly horizontal photos. Tiltification supplements the market of spirit level apps with the unique feature of auditory information processing. This provides for additional benefit in comparison to a physical spirit level and for more accessibility for visu- ally and cognitively impaired people. We argue that the distribution of sonification apps through mainstream channels is a contribution to establish sonification in the market and make it better known to users outside the scientific domain. We hope that the auditory display community will support us by using and recommending the app and by providing valuable feedback on the app functionality and design, and on our communication, advertisement and distribution strategy.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0473.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Immunology And Allergy Keywords: Indigenous; First Nations; Health Services Accessibility; Health Services Administration; Trust; Communication; Primary Health Care; Health Policy
Online: 22 February 2021 (13:22:45 CET)
Background: Australia’s healthcare system is complex and fragmented which can create challenges in healthcare, particularly in rural and remote areas. Aboriginal people experience inequalities in healthcare treatment and outcomes. This study aimed to investigate barriers and enablers to accessing healthcare services for Aboriginal people living in rural and remote Australia. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with healthcare delivery staff and stakeholders recruited through snowball sampling. The communities were selected for their high proportion of Aboriginal people and geographical representation (coastal, rural, and border). Thematic analysis identified barriers and enablers. Results: Thirty-one interviews were conducted (n =5 coastal, n=13 remote, and n=13 border) and six themes identified: 1) Improved coordination of healthcare services; 2) Better communication between services and patients; 3) Trust in services and cultural safety; 4) Importance of prioritizing health services by Aboriginal people; 5) Importance of reliable, affordable and sustainable services; 6) Distance and transport availability. These themes were often present as both barriers and enablers to healthcare access for Aboriginal people. They were also present across the healthcare system and within all three communities. Conclusions: This study describes a pathway to better healthcare outcomes for Aboriginal Australians by providing insights into ways to improve access.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201804.0093.v1
Subject: Arts And Humanities, Architecture Keywords: community building; quality of life; built form typology; front-yard; physical accessibility; visual permeability; human behaviour
Online: 8 April 2018 (11:29:30 CEST)
The residential built form, including open space, provides the physical environment for social interaction. Understanding urban open space, including semi-public and public domains, through the lens of physical accessibility and visual permeability can potentially facilitate the building of a sense of community contributing to a better quality of life. Using an inner-city suburb in Perth, Western Australia as a case study, this research explores the importance of physical accessibility patterns and visual permeability for socialising in semi-public and public domains, such as the front yard and the residential streets. It argues that maintaining a balance between public and private inter-relationship in inner city residential neighbourhoods is important for creating and maintaining a sense of community.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.1291.v1
Subject: Engineering, Telecommunications Keywords: Low-cost UAV; Low-cost UAS; drone measurement; object size estimation; high-resolution satellite images; measurement accessibility
Online: 19 June 2023 (05:01:17 CEST)
This paper aims at trying to answer the question of whether a low cost drone equipped with a regular camera can serve as a simple device to estimate the size of objects. Ad-ditionally, it assesses if the accuracy of measurement is good enough for using a drone for measurements, relying solely on GPS position and camera. A review of the literature pertaining to ground object measurements was conducted. The availability of such in-struments was evaluated in terms of purchase and rental costs, the number of instru-ments on the market, and the time to obtain them. The most common measurement methods were considered and their unit costs were reviewed. The cost of professional surveying and measuring equipment was compared to the possibility of using low-cost, non-commercial drones to measure objects and surfaces. The quality of the images ob-tained was compared with high-resolution satellite systems. Is an ordinary drone with a standard camera suitable for length measurement without professional measuring equipment? Should the results be considered only in the category of size estimation?
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201910.0302.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Animal Science, Veterinary Science And Zoology Keywords: phylogenomics; protein structure; secondary structure; relative solvent accessibility CAT model; non-stationary models; RY coding; metazoan phylogeny; ctenophora; porifera
Online: 27 October 2019 (11:00:50 CET)
Phylogenomics, the use of large datasets to examine phylogeny, has revolutionized the study of evolutionary relationships. However, genome-scale data have not been able to resolve all relationships in the tree of life; this could reflect, at least in part, the poor-fit of the models used to analyze heterogeneous datasets. Some of the heterogeneity may reflect the different patterns of selection on proteins based on their structures. To test that hypothesis, we developed a pipeline to divide phylogenomic protein datasets into subsets based on secondary structure and relative solvent accessibility. We then tested whether amino acids in different structural environments had distinct signals for the topology of the deepest branches in the metazoan tree. The most striking difference in phylogenetic signal reflected relative solvent accessibility; analyses of exposed sites (on the surface of proteins) yielded a tree that placed ctenophores sister to all other animals whereas sites buried inside proteins yielded a tree with a sponge-ctenophore clade. These differences in phylogenetic signal were not ameliorated when we repeated our analyses using the CAT model, a mixture model that is often used for analyses of protein datasets. In fact, the heterogeneous CAT model resulted in several rearrangements that are unlikely to represent evolutionary history. However, analyses conducted after recoding amino acids to limit the impact of deviations from compositional stationarity increased the congruence in the estimates of phylogeny for exposed and buried sites; after recoding amino acids both trees supported placement of ctenophores sister to all other animals. These results provide striking evidence that it is necessary to achieve a better understanding of the constraints due to protein structure to improve phylogenetic estimation.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0390.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Anatomy And Physiology Keywords: protein structure; relative solvent accessibility; secondary structure; phylogeny; models of sequence evolution; gene tree-species tree discordance; incomplete lineage sorting; Ctenophora; Porifera
Online: 19 January 2021 (16:46:25 CET)
Despite the long history of using protein sequences to infer the tree of life the potential for different parts of protein structures to retain historical signal remains unclear. We propose that it might be possible to improve analyses of phylogenomic datasets by incorporating information about protein structure; we test this idea using the position of the root of Metazoa (animals) as a model system. We examined the distribution of “strongly decisive” sites (alignment positions that support a specific tree topology) in a dataset comprising >1,500 proteins and almost 100 taxa. The proportion of each class of strongly decisive sites in different structural environments was very sensitive to the model used to analyze the data when a limited number of taxa were used but they were stable when taxa were added. As long as enough taxa were analyzed, sites in all structural environments supported the same topology (ctenophores sister to other animals) regardless of whether standard tree searches or decisive sites were used to select the optimal tree. However, the use of decisive sites revealed a difference between the support for minority topologies for sites in different structural environments; buried sites and sites in sheet and coil environments exhibited equal support for the minority topologies whereas solvent exposed and helix sites had unequal numbers of sites supporting the minority topologies. Given the plausible trees equal support for minority topologies is consistent with discordance among gene trees, making it possible the relatively slowly evolving buried (and sheet and coil) sites are giving an accurate picture of the true species tree as well as the amount of conflict among gene trees. Alternatively, the apparent support could reflect currently uncharacterized processes of molecular evolution. Regardless, it is clear that analyses of the deepest branches in the animal tree of life using sites in different structural environments are associated with a subtle data type effect that results in distinct phylogenetic signals.