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Article
Publication date: 7 June 2011

Michael Geis and Martin Middendorf

The purpose of this paper is to present a new particle swarm optimization (PSO) algorithm called HelixPSO for finding ribonucleic acid (RNA) secondary structures that have…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a new particle swarm optimization (PSO) algorithm called HelixPSO for finding ribonucleic acid (RNA) secondary structures that have a low energy and are similar to the native structure.

Design/methodology/approach

Two variants of HelixPSO are described and compared to the recent algorithms Rna‐Predict, SARNA‐Predict, SetPSO and RNAfold. Furthermore, a parallel version of the HelixPSO is proposed.

Findings

For a set of standard RNA test sequences it is shown experimentally that HelixPSO obtains a better average sensitivity than SARNA‐Predict and SetPSO and is as good as RNA‐Predict and RNAfold. When best values for different measures (e.g. number of correctly predicted base pairs, false positives and sensitivity) over several runs are compared, HelixPSO performs better than RNAfold, similar to RNA‐Predict, and is outperformed by SARNA‐Predict. It is shown that HelixPSO complements RNA‐Predict and SARNA‐Predict well since the algorithms show often very different behavior on the same sequence. For the parallel version of HelixPSO it is shown that good speedup values can be obtained for small to medium size PC clusters.

Originality/value

The new PSO algorithm HelixPSO for finding RNA secondary structures uses different algorithmic ideas than the other existing PSO algorithm SetPSO. HelixPSO uses thermodynamic information as well as the centroid as a reference structure and is based on a multiple swarm approach.

Details

International Journal of Intelligent Computing and Cybernetics, vol. 4 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-378X

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Article
Publication date: 28 March 2008

Stefan Janson, Daniel Merkle and Martin Middendorf

The purpose of this paper is to present an approach for the decentralization of swarm intelligence algorithms that run on computing systems with autonomous components that…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present an approach for the decentralization of swarm intelligence algorithms that run on computing systems with autonomous components that are connected by a network. The approach is applied to a particle swarm optimization (PSO) algorithm with multiple sub‐swarms. PSO is a nature inspired metaheuristic where a swarm of particles searches for an optimum of a function. A multiple sub‐swarms PSO can be used for example in applications where more than one optimum has to be found.

Design/methodology/approach

In the studied scenario the particles of the PSO algorithm correspond to data packets that are sent through the network of the computing system. Each data packet contains among other information the position of the corresponding particle in the search space and its sub‐swarm number. In the proposed decentralized PSO algorithm the application specific tasks, i.e. the function evaluations, are done by the autonomous components of the system. The more general tasks, like the dynamic clustering of data packets, are done by the routers of the network.

Findings

Simulation experiments show that the decentralized PSO algorithm can successfully find a set of minimum values for the used test functions. It was also shown that the PSO algorithm works well for different type of networks, like scale‐free network and ring like networks.

Originality/value

The proposed decentralization approach is interesting for the design of optimization algorithms that can run on computing systems that use principles of self‐organization and have no central control.

Details

International Journal of Intelligent Computing and Cybernetics, vol. 1 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-378X

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Article
Publication date: 6 June 2008

Michael Geis and Martin Middendorf

The purpose of this paper is to propose an algorithm that is based on the ant colony optimization (ACO) metaheuristic for producing harmonized melodies. ACO is a nature…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to propose an algorithm that is based on the ant colony optimization (ACO) metaheuristic for producing harmonized melodies. ACO is a nature inspired metaheuristic where a colony of ants searches for an optimum of a function. The algorithm works in two stages. In the first stage it creates a melody. The obtained melody is then harmonized according to the rules of baroque harmony in the second stage. A multi‐objective version of the algorithm is also proposed, where each tier is optimized as a separate objective.

Design/methodology/approach

The ACO metaheuristic is adapted to graphs representing notes and chords. Desirability of a sequence of notes is measured by conformance to compositional rules. The fitness of a melody is evaluated with five equally weighted rules governing smoothness of the melody curve, its contour, tendency tone resolution, tone colors and the pitch of the final note. Harmonization is guided by six rules, grouped into three tiers of two rules each. These rules cover chord arrangement, voice distance, voice leading, harmonic progression, smoothness, and chord resolution. Rules of a tier do not score unless those of the previous tier yield high values.

Findings

The proposed algorithm improves on the only other existing musical ACO by adding the notion of harmony and by evolving voices codependently. The output is comparable to different types of other existing algorithms (genetic algorithm, rule‐based search algorithm) in the field. The multi‐objective variant significantly enhances solution quality and convergence speed, which makes extensions of the system for real time performance realistic.

Originality/value

This algorithm is the first ACO algorithm proposed for the problem of melody creation and harmonization.

Details

International Journal of Intelligent Computing and Cybernetics, vol. 1 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-378X

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Article
Publication date: 22 March 2013

Alexander Scheidler, Daniel Merkle and Martin Middendorf

Swarm controlled emergence is proposed as an approach to control emergent effects in (artificial) swarms. The method involves the introduction of specific control agents…

Abstract

Purpose

Swarm controlled emergence is proposed as an approach to control emergent effects in (artificial) swarms. The method involves the introduction of specific control agents into the swarm systems. Control agents behave similar to the normal agents and do not directly influence the behavior of the normal agents. The specific design of the control agents depends on the particular swarm system considered. The aim of this paper is to apply the method to ant clustering. Ant clustering, as an emergent effect, can be observed in nature and has inspired the design of several technical systems, e.g. moving robots, and clustering algorithms.

Design/methodology/approach

Different types of control agents for that ant clustering model are designed by introducing slight changes to the behavioural rules of the normal agents. The clustering behaviour of the resulting swarms is investigated by extensive simulation studies.

Findings

It is shown that complex behavior can emerge in systems with two types of agents (normal agents and control agents). For a particular behavior of the control agents, an interesting swarm size dependent effect was found. The behaviour prevents clustering when the number of control agents is large, but leads to stronger clustering when the number of control agents is relatively small.

Research limitations/implications

Although swarm controlled emergence is a general approach, in the experiments of this paper the authors concentrate mainly on ant clustering. It remains for future research to investigate the application of the method in other swarm systems. Swarm controlled emergence might be applied to control emergent effects in computing systems that consist of many autonomous components which make decentralized decisions based on local information.

Practical implications

The particular finding, that certain behaviours of control agents can lead to stronger clustering, can help to design improved clustering algorithms by using heterogeneous swarms of agents.

Originality/value

In general, the control of (unwanted) emergent effects in artificial systems is an important problem. However, to date not much research has been done on this topic. This paper proposes a new approach and opens a different research direction towards future control principles for self‐organized systems that consist of a large number of autonomous components.

Details

International Journal of Intelligent Computing and Cybernetics, vol. 6 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-378X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 28 March 2008

Hai-Bin Duan

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Abstract

Details

International Journal of Intelligent Computing and Cybernetics, vol. 1 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-378X

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Article
Publication date: 13 November 2017

Tae-Hee Choi

Using teacher certification to induce educational change is a common practice in many countries. However, teacher change from these certification programmes, in…

Abstract

Purpose

Using teacher certification to induce educational change is a common practice in many countries. However, teacher change from these certification programmes, in particular, from the widely used “short-term” programmes, is not given due attention. Do teachers change on short-term programmes? Is teacher development (TD) on short-term programmes qualitatively different from that of long-term programmes? Answering these questions, the purpose of this paper is to address the identified research gap and contribute to the ongoing discussion on an effective teacher education provision.

Design/methodology/approach

This comparative, qualitative study mainly draws on a case study of an in-service certification programme in South Korea. It also draws on publications which report on TD on a comparable, long-term certification programme in the USA. In both contexts, semi-structured interviews, lesson observations, and document research were conducted and the data were analysed through thematic content analysis.

Findings

Participants experienced three major, interrelated patterns of cognitive change: capturing and repositioning their assumptions, gaining and seeking pedagogical implications, and inner conflicts and reconciliation in both programmes. The participants also found their learning an emotional process. TD on the short-term programme was not qualitatively different from that of a comparable long-term programme.

Originality/value

This is the first paper which systematically investigates TD from a short-term training, as compared to a comparable long-term programme. This research has significance as it has implications for effective design and management of TD programmes.

Details

International Journal of Comparative Education and Development, vol. 19 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2396-7404

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Article
Publication date: 21 January 2019

Anita Lee-Post

The purpose of this paper is to present an educational approach to elevating problem-solving and numeracy competencies of business undergraduates to meet workplace demand…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present an educational approach to elevating problem-solving and numeracy competencies of business undergraduates to meet workplace demand. The approach is grounded in the theory of constraints following the Decoding the Discipline model. The authors investigated a cognitive bottleneck involving problem modeling and an affective bottleneck concerning low self-efficacy of numeracy and designed specific interventions to address both bottlenecks simultaneously. The authors implemented the proposed approach in an introductory level analytics course in business operations.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors use an empirical study to evaluate the effectiveness of the proposed approach in addressing deficiency in numeracy and problem-solving skills. Cognitive and affective learning interventions were introduced in an undergraduate core course in analytics. The perceived effectiveness of the interventions was evaluated with the use of a survey at the end of the course. To further investigate the effectiveness of the proposed interventions beyond self-reporting, the impact of the interventions on actual learning was evaluated by comparing the exam scores between classes with and without the interventions.

Findings

Students who underwent the interventions successfully overcame both learning bottlenecks and indicated a positive change in attitude toward the analytics discipline as well as achieved higher exam scores in the analytics course.

Research limitations/implications

This study succeeds in strengthening the body of research in teaching and learning. The authors also offer a holistic treatment of cognitive and affective learning bottlenecks, and provide empirical evidence to support the effectiveness of the proposed approach in elevating numeracy and problem-solving competencies of business undergraduates.

Practical implications

The proposed approach is useful for business educators to improve business students’ quantitative modeling skill and attitude. Researchers can also extend the approach to other courses and settings to build up the body of research in learning and skill development. Educational policy makers may consider promoting promising approaches to improve students’ quantitative skill development. They can also set a high standard for higher education institutions to assess students’ numeracy and problem-solving competencies. Employers will find college graduates bring to their initial positions the high levels of numeracy and problem-solving skills demanded for knowledge work to sustain business growth and innovation.

Social implications

As students’ numeracy and problem-solving skills are raised, they will develop an aptitude for quantitative-oriented coursework that equips them with the set of quantitative information-processing skills needed to succeed in the twenty-first century society and global economy.

Originality/value

The proposed approach provides a goal-oriented three-step process to improve learning by overcoming learning bottlenecks as constraints of a learning process. The integral focus on identifying learning bottlenecks, creating learning interventions and assessing learning outcomes in the proposed approach is instrumental in introducing manageable interventions to address challenges in student learning thereby elevating students’ numeracy and problem-solving competencies.

Details

Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, vol. 11 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-7003

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Book part
Publication date: 12 November 2018

Melinda Lewis, Jason M. Lodge and Rosanne Quinnell

If the core purpose of transformative education is to challenge and reposition knowledge through a range of opportunities, then surfacing and attending to forms of student…

Abstract

If the core purpose of transformative education is to challenge and reposition knowledge through a range of opportunities, then surfacing and attending to forms of student misconceptions (for example, through confusion, disequilibrium) are a necessary part of learning and teaching. We have come to understand that arriving at a clear view of a concept may involve a process of working through a range of misconceptions about a phenomenon or experience that may or may not create a threshold experience in a learner. We argue that the journey through conceptual change and thresholds requires a more nuanced emphasis on liminal spaces, where misconceptions and thresholds may reside. We offer a revised thresholds concept generic model that helps to identify student misconceptions as cycles within and through pre-liminal, liminal and post-liminal spaces. Two practice examples demonstrate the application of this model: (1) teaching and learning botanical literacy through a technology-rich, real-time mobile app and (2) embedding and measuring cultural competence as a graduate learning outcome in Australian universities. Each context offers a specific emphasis on highlighting the need to make all liminal learning spaces safer, as learners surface and engage with conceptual change. The conclusion suggests that conceptual change in student learning offers a form of threshold misconception.

Details

Theory and Method in Higher Education Research
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-277-0

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Book part
Publication date: 29 March 2016

Marc Wouters, Susana Morales, Sven Grollmuss and Michael Scheer

The paper provides an overview of research published in the innovation and operations management (IOM) literature on 15 methods for cost management in new product…

Abstract

Purpose

The paper provides an overview of research published in the innovation and operations management (IOM) literature on 15 methods for cost management in new product development, and it provides a comparison to an earlier review of the management accounting (MA) literature (Wouters & Morales, 2014).

Methodology/approach

This structured literature search covers papers published in 23 journals in IOM in the period 1990–2014.

Findings

The search yielded a sample of 208 unique papers with 275 results (one paper could refer to multiple cost management methods). The top 3 methods are modular design, component commonality, and product platforms, with 115 results (42%) together. In the MA literature, these three methods accounted for 29%, but target costing was the most researched cost management method by far (26%). Simulation is the most frequently used research method in the IOM literature, whereas this was averagely used in the MA literature; qualitative studies were the most frequently used research method in the MA literature, whereas this was averagely used in the IOM literature. We found a lot of papers presenting practical approaches or decision models as a further development of a particular cost management method, which is a clear difference from the MA literature.

Research limitations/implications

This review focused on the same cost management methods, and future research could also consider other cost management methods which are likely to be more important in the IOM literature compared to the MA literature. Future research could also investigate innovative cost management practices in more detail through longitudinal case studies.

Originality/value

This review of research on methods for cost management published outside the MA literature provides an overview for MA researchers. It highlights key differences between both literatures in their research of the same cost management methods.

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Details

Circuit World, vol. 31 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0305-6120

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