WSEAS CONFERENCES. WSEAS, Unifying the Science

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 Volume 5,  2008
Print ISSN: 1109-9526
E-ISSN: 2224-2899








Issue 1, Volume 5, January 2008

Title of the Paper: Forging a Winning bid in Mu-Varadharajan’s E-Auction


Authors: Hung-Yu Chien

Abstract: Mu and Varadharajan proposed an important sealed bid e-auction scheme that protects even the winner’s real identity and secures the fair exchange of electronic goods and electronic payment. This paper presents the forgery attack on the Mu-Varaharajan’s scheme: an attacker can easily forge valid bids and win the auction without any payment. The improvements to conquer the weaknesses are then presented.

Keywords: Cryptography, auction, verifiable encryption, knowledge proof.

Title of the Paper:  Towards a Web Based Simulation Groupware: Experiment with BSCW


Authors: Korichi Ahmed, Belattar Brahim

Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to explore the contribution of the CSCW (Computer Supported Cooperative Work) in the collaborative project conduct, and more specifically in the conduct of a simulation project. We justify the adequacy of the CSCW concepts with the method of conduct of a simulation project. The practice of the web-based simulation as well as the web-based groupware are treated. This allow us to justify the choice of the BSCW system as support of implementation of a groupware of modeling and simulation on the Web. We illustrate our approach by presenting our experiment with BSCW system to implement such a groupware.

Keywords: Simulation modeling, collaborative simulation, BSCW, CSCW, WWW.

Issue 2, Volume 5, February 2008

Title of the Paper:  Investigation of Flexible Multi-Mode Harmonic Vibration for the Automatic Washing Process


Authors: Jian-Long Kuo, Tsung-Yu Wang

Abstract: This paper will discuss multi-mode vibration for the vibration motor in the washing process. Sinusoidal vibration modes for the speed servo command will be carefully designed for the flexible control. Different kinds of operating modes for the possible automatic process control are provided. Three basic and five extended vibration modes for different operation are proposed. Simulation and experimental results will be compared to verify the formulation. This will make the washing process more flexible, in order to easily configure the servo control. Differing from the conventional approach to regulate the blade angle for the vibration motor mechanically, the multi-mode vibration developed by the software approach is successfully proposed. It is easy for the washing process to be regulated electrically instead of mechanical operating only. It is believed that this paper will be beneficial to the automatic washing process application for the washing machine.

Keywords: Multi-mode, harmonic vibration, Washing Process, Vibration motor, Automation, Mechatronics.

Title of the Paper: Entrepreneurship Promotion at Educational Institutions: A Model Suitable for Emerging Economies


Authors: Bashar S. El-Khasawneh

Abstract: This paper discusses the role of educational institutions in promoting entrepreneurship and risk taking, particularly in conservative communities and cultures. Two main topics are discussed in this paper. The first is tailoring the academic program and all activities supporting it to serve the goal of promoting entrepreneurship. The second topic is to construct a particular form of incubators suitable for emerging economies which is financial resources bound. These incubators serve multiple functions, therefore, in addition to the traditional role of incubating potential-businesses; the other roles are serving as a training site for business-related and soft skills topics for students and serving as an expert house for the industry. This would promote the universities’ role in serving and prospering their communities impacting positively the emerging economy. Efforts related to these topics by a Jordanian University will be discussed as the case study.

Keywords: Entrepreneurship, entrepreneur; business and academia; incubators; industry-university relationship, emerging economies; academic programs; developing countries.

Issue 3, Volume 5, March 2008

Title of the Paper:  Research on Models of Decision-Making Problem Recognition


Authors: Chang-Rui Yu, Yan Luo

Abstract: Firstly, this paper introduces the concept of problem identification that is an early stage of decision-making process. The paper proposes that, as a subjective process, problem identification is mainly influenced by people’s cognition capability. Actually, the identification process is an evaluation process whose final aim is to evaluate the gap between the reality and the expected condition. Then, according to this feature, the paper establishes a gray incidence degree model and a satisfaction degree model based on response value. Further, the paper validates the models through an example.

Keywords: Problem identification, Gray incidence degree model, Satisfaction degree model

Title of the Paper: Decision Support System for Assessing Companies Reliabilities


Authors: Sylvia Encheva, Sharil Tumin

Abstract: In most information systems the management of databases is not considered to include neither explicit nor hidden inconsistencies. In real life situation information often come from different contradicting sources. Thus different sources can provide inconsistent data while deductive reasoning may result in hidden inconsistencies. In this paper we propose use of an automated decision support system facilitating assessment of company’s reliability based on many-valued logic.

Keywords: many-valued logic, lattices, reliability

Title of the Paper:  Optimization/Simulation Modeling of The Integrated Production-Distribution Plan: An Innovative Survey


Authors: Behnam Fahimnia, Lee Luong, Romeo Marian

Abstract: Implementation of a supply-chain (SC) system has crucial impacts on a company's financial performance. Overall performance of a SC network is influenced significantly by the decisions taken in its production-distribution plan which integrates the decisions in production, transport and warehousing as well as inventory management. Thus, one key issue in the current research area of performance evaluation of SC network is the optimization of production-distribution plan considering its actual complexity. This paper presents a comprehensive review and analysis on the proposed production-distribution models with special emphasis placed on the optimization and simulation studies. A summary table will be established to describe the main characteristics of the selected models outlining the strengths, weaknesses and the level of complexity for each study. Finally, by providing suggestions for improvements, further works in the area will be addressed.

Keywords: Supply Chains, Production-Distribution Plan, Demand Uncertainty, Optimization, Simulation

Title of the Paper: Condition Diagnosis of Blower System Using Rough Sets and a Fuzzy Neural Network


Authors: Huaqing Wang, Peng Chen

Abstract: This paper presents a condition diagnosis method for a blower system using the rough sets, and a fuzzy neural network to detect faults and distinguish fault types. In order to solve the ambiguous problem between the symptoms and the fault types, the diagnosis knowledge for the training of the neural network is acquired by using the rough sets. The fuzzy neural network realized by partially-linearized neural network (PNN), which can automatically distinguish the faults. The PNN can quickly converge when learning, and can quickly and high-accurately distinguish fault types on the basis of the probability distributions of the machine conditions when diagnosing. The non-dimensional symptom parameters are also defined in frequency domain, and those parameters are processed by rough sets to sensitively diagnose machinery conditions. Practical examples of the diagnosis for a blower system are shown in order to verify the efficiency of the method proposed in this paper.

Keywords: Condition diagnosis, Fuzzy neural network, Rough sets, Symptom parameter, Blower

Title of the Paper: Discovering Tacit Knowledge in Business Decision Making


Authors: Nikola Vlahovic

Abstract: In dynamic and globalized business environment the only certain source of lasting competitive advantage of companies is knowledge. By maintaining and acquiring relevant knowledge through the use of knowledge management systems businesses are sustaining their competitive advantage over other players in the market. In this sense one of the most important activities is decision making. Decision making process must take into account all of the relevant knowledge in order to reach optimal decision, specifically knowledge that is not available to other competitors – tacit knowledge. In this paper we propose an information-driven approach that can be used to make model of knowledge that management executives and experts posses. The model can reveal new relations that have not been explicitly articulated during the knowledge engineering process. In the case study that will be described in this paper, knowledge was used to determine the criteria for evaluation of various decision options during a selection of IT Security solution for the organisation. The information-driven approach is based on the modified ID3 algorithm implemented in the DoctuS expert system shell. Results of the developed knowledge model is presented and discussed.

Keywords: Tacit knowledge, Knowledge Management, Knowledge discovery, Decision-making, Decision support systems, IT management

Title of the Paper: Comparing the Aggregation Methods in the Analytic Hierarchy Process when Uniform Distribution


Authors: Wen-Hsiang Wu, Chang-Tzu Chiang, Chin-Tsai Lin

Abstract: The Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) is a popular methodology for group decision making. Individual judgments can be aggregated in several ways, with the most effective approach being the aggregation of individual judgments (AIJ) and Individual priorities (AIP). When the judgments are aggregated, regardless of whether AIJ or AIP are used, arithmetic and geometric means are selected by decision makers. Some articles have discussed these two methods and made relevant suggestions. But when they discuses the issue of these, the distribution from judges’ opinion were not considering. This study performed simulation to generate the weights of the judgers, assuming that the opinion are distributed as Uniform distribution and then generated AHP weights using arithmetic and geometric means. Following performing statistical testing for the relative mean square errors between the parameter and estimator based on simulation, the results demonstrated no significant difference. Finally, based on the results of this study, we conclude the following: (1) if number of judges is not large both then both methods are applicable; (2) if number of judges is large then the geometric mean cannot be obtained, and the arithmetic mean is applicable; and (3) when the opinions of judges coincide, the arithmetic mean is applicable.

Keywords: Analytic hierarchy process; Aggregating individual judgments; Aggregating individual priorities; Arithmetic mean; Geometric mean

Title of the Paper: Enterprise Competitive Intelligence System


Authors: Yu Sun, Liang Zhou, Changchun Gao

Abstract: This paper analyzes functions analysis of enterprise competitive intelligence system (CIS) based on the complexity of enterprise CIS . Establishment of CIS of enterprise is an important approach to promote the research leve1 of enterprise CIS. Quantitative analysis, technologies such as Group decision support system (GDSS), decision support systems (DSS) are useful to study the structure of the Hall of Workshop of Meta-synthesis so that enterprise can build CIS which fit to the competition.

Keywords: CIS, structure of CIS, quantitative analysis, meta-synthesis, hall for workshop of meta- synthesis

Title of the Paper: A Hermeneutic Approach to the Process of Information Realizing in the Context of IS


Authors: Sufen Wang, Junkang Feng, Chunmei Lin

Abstract: Existing studies about information in the fields of information systems (IS) seem inadequate and lacking of sufficient depth. We draw on ideas of philosophy and believe that only through exploring the relationship among information, data and meaning from the viewpoint of “which information qua information ‘can be said’”, can the essence of information be engaged with. It seems that the most vital point for furthering theoretical studies is that new meaning is created through specific activities and behaviour of interpretation. We draw on Heidegger and Ricoeur’s interpretivism and systematically analyze the process of meaning attainment in the realizing process of information, and propose a semi-structured model for such a process. We also show how this approach may facilitate the identification of information requirements for information systems development.

Keywords: Essence of Information, Hermeneutics, Philosophy of Information, Information Systems

Title of the Paper: An Agent-based System for Sales and Operations Planning in Manufacturing Supply Chains


Authors: Massimo Paolucci, Roberto Revetria, Flavio Tonelli

Abstract: A major problem faced by manufacturing organizations is providing efficient and cost-effective responses to the unpredictable changes taking place in global markets and in supply chains. Sales and Operations Planning helps giving better customer service, lower inventory, shorten customer lead times, stabilized production rates providing top management with a handle on the business and supporting a company to get and keep demand and supply in balance over time. This paper proposes a multi-agent based system that would enable small and medium-size manufacturing organizations to dynamically achieve cost-effective aggregate sales and operations plans in supply chain contexts. The simulation of the agent’s interactions supports planners, in supply chain operations planning, providing multiple scenarios with respect to the balance between supply and demand. This paper presents the main features of the proposed system and it finally discusses the benefits and limitations highlighted by its application in real industrial contexts.

Keywords: Supply Chain Operations Planning; Decision Support System; Scenario Based Analysis; Multi-Agent System.

Issue 4, Volume 5, April 2008

Special Issue: Transportation Economics and Logistics

Guest Editor: Prof. SHIH-CHING LO

Title of the Paper: Empirical Analysis of the Customer Loyalty Problem in the International Logistics Market


Authors: Chao-Hua Chen, Hui-Yu Lee

Abstract: In this study the focus was on comprehending the vital factors that affect the loyalty of international logistics service provider (ILSP) customers, with the aim of providing recommendations for sustainable operations. Empirical analysis was performed to explore the customer loyalty problem in the international logistics market. Data for analysis was collected by questionnaire survey directed at customers of an ILSP headquartered in Taiwan, with branches located around the world. The customer loyalty problem was first tackled by developing a conceptual framework. The structural equation modeling method was then used to do the empirical analysis. Causal hypotheses regarding the loyalty of customers for ILSPs were established based on their special attributes and related research results reported in the literature. Empirical analysis results of this study show that service quality, customer satisfaction and switching cost are all critical to customer loyalty. Of these, customer satisfaction and switching cost both have a positive relationship with customer loyalty; service quality has a positive influence with customer satisfaction, as well as an indirect positive influence with customer loyalty; there is a positive relationship between customer satisfaction and switching cost. Research and managerial implications for practical operations are also discussed.

Keywords: Customer loyalty, International logistics market, Logistics service provider, NVO

Title of the Paper: Empirical Study of a Multi-objective Medical Decision System for Aviation Disaster


Authors: Yuh-Wen Chen, Pei-Yu Wu, Chao-Wen Chen, Jiuh-Bing Sheu

Abstract: Aviation disasters cause huge loss of lives and properties. Any densely populated and economically viable country inevitably faces the challenge of efficiently and effectively responding to such disasters. This study supports in-time reaction to aviation disasters from the medical point of view: transferring patients to available hospitals to maximize their survival time. This study first assumes a large aircraft crash at the airport and many trauma patients generated in a metropolitan area. Second, we propose a multi-objective model of an emergent medical decision system, able to plan optimal patient transfer from one hospital to another according to various trauma situations to maximize survival time. Trauma patients are classified into three types: the emergent type (Red) to the normal type (Green). Each model objective maximizes survival time for each type of patient. Our model is established on the basis of the multi-objective location-allocation model in operational research; furthermore, the Visual Basic for Application (VBA), Lindo, and Geographic Information System (GIS) are successfully integrated to graphically show simulated results. Our multi-objective medical decision system is valuable as radio frequency identification (RFID) technology matures. Integrating our multi-objective GIS and RFID data from patients will optimally utilize medical resources.

Keywords: Multi-objective, Aviation Disaster, Location-Allocation, Geographic Information System(GIS).

Title of the Paper: A Study on the Application of Genetic Algorithms on the Dial-A-Ride Problem


Authors: Hsien-Ming Chiu, Han-Shuan Huang

Abstract: The Dial-a-Ride Problem (DARP) is a vehicle routing problem faced in arranging Dial-a-Ride services. The DARP has been proven a NP-Hard problem; therefore, most research has used heuristic solution methods to address this issue. The purpose of this study is to evaluate of the application of a Diversity Control Adaptive Genetic Algorithm (DCAGA) and Family Competition Genetic Algorithm (FCGA) on the DARP. This study proposed two solution procedures, which were integrated approach and cluster approach. A series of case studies with different characteristics, such as demand density and demand size, were used to test the solution capability of the proposed algorithms. Based on the results of the case studies, the Diversity Control Adaptive Genetic Algorithm is identified as the best algorithm in solution quality. Overall, the solution of the integrated procedure is better than, those of the two-phase procedure.

Keywords: Dial-and-Ride Problem, Genetic Algorithms, Meta-heuristic

Title of the Paper: A Study on the Mixed Fleet Multi-temperature Common Distribution: Heuristics and Computational Analysis


Authors: Yuh-Jen Cho, Ya-Wen Hsu

Abstract: This paper considers two special methods of operation for the multi-temperature common distribution in the ‘cold-chain’ logistics. The first is that carriers utilize the engine-driven frozen truck divided into three parts to hold goods of different temperatures. The second is that carriers utilize the multi-temperature storage box, found in a general truck, to hold those goods. We transferred the previous operations into two Heterogeneous Multi-temperature Fleet Vehicle Routing Problems, HMFVRP1 and HMFVRP2. A set of 168 instances, created by modifying VRP and VRPTW benchmark instances, is used to compare the performance of HMFVRP1 and HMFVRP2. In addition, real costs and the capacities of different sized trucks are set for these test instances. Then, we also develop a simple heuristic algorithm to solve these HMFVRPs. Computational results present that, in average, HMFVRP2 performs superior to HMFVRP1 in both of vehicle usage cost and travel distance. Such a finding could offer an alternative toward improving the performance and efficiency of the practical multi-temperature common distribution.

Keywords: Multi-temperature Common Distribution, Heterogeneous Fleet, Vehicle Routing Problem.

Issue 5, Volume 5, May 2008

Title of the Paper: Effective Methods for Power Systems Grounding


Authors: Don Jacob, K. Nithiyananthan

Abstract: This paper primarily focuses on the classification of grounding based on rated voltage of the faulty system. The importance of a good grounding design with illustrations is also described. Useful grounding information can be obtained from IEEE standard 80 and the Green Book.

Keywords: Grounding, classifications, characteristics, design, rated voltage, fault current, equipotential.

Title of the Paper: A Study of Forecasting Methods for the Cross-Straits Trade


Authors: Chui-Yen Chen

Abstract: Both China and Taiwan have already obtained the WTO membership and officially participated in the international trade system. The economic and trade relationship between China and Taiwan should develop by following the rules of international trade development. Due to the high rate of growth of the economic and trade exchange between China and Taiwan, up until now, Taiwan has relied heavily on the mainland for its exports and vice versa. This study is intended to probe the issue. We established forecast models for the cross-strait trade through the methods of grey forecasting, simple regression, and exponential smoothing. In addition, it tests the accuracy of the forecast models through relevant data, and used MAPE and MSE to evaluate the forecast models. The results indicate that for model selection, it is more correct to perform the forecast on trade volume based on the statistical information released by Taiwan Customs. It can be seen from this model, the cross-strait trade volume in 2008 will exceed USD $73,500 million, with imports into Taiwan above USD $36,373 million. It is hoped to understand the cross-strait trade growth trend in the future with the forecast model established by our research institute and thus providing the government or the agencies concerned with reference information for making their cross-strait policies.

Keywords: Cross-strait Trade, Grey Forecast, Exponential Smoothing, Simple Regression

Title of the Paper: Work Plan Support of One-stop Application Procedures using Application Procedure Ontology: The Case of Japan


Authors: Hiroyuki Kawaguchi, Seiichi Komiya

Abstract: The authors classify licensing application procedures in Japan as factors that comprise procedures including application documents and attachments, and have developed an application procedure ontology that defines the reference relationship among each factor at the level of items described or listed in documents. In addition, a method to derive acceptance or rejection of item transcription in One-stop application procedures as well as work steps through inference was reviewed by utilizing the application procedure ontology. Consequently, if specific items in attachments are in the reference relationship with other relevant application documents, it was found to be possible to make an inference that item transcription is possible through the mediation of such attachments, by using the reference relationship defined by this application procedure ontology. By determining the work priority based on the referenced number among instances, visualization of overall workflow of application work was made possible in regards to the One-stop application combined with the range selected by an applicant.

Keywords: Application Procedure Ontology, One-Stop Application, Online Application, Workflow, Application Support, e-Government

Title of the Paper: Extended Acceptance Models for Recommender System Adaption, Case of Retail and Banking Service in Iran


Authors: Abbas Asosheha, Sanaz Bagherpour, Nima Yahyapour

Abstract: Rise of ecommerce, which followed by Internet, has created some complexities in most industries. To overcome the information overload for Internet users, several Recommender Systems (RS) have been developed. RS is a kind of automated and sophisticated decision support system by monitoring the past actions of a group of customers to make a recommendation to individual members of the group to mitigate the problem of vast product and service information. The main issue is adoption and implementation of RS to make it suitable for society and avoid wasting time, energy and cost. Therefore, we compare several models of acceptance and introduce the critical and main parameters of a proper acceptance model for the product and service, which guarantee the result of RS employment. Two independent acceptance models with questionnaire will be derived for the retail and banking service industry, localized for Iran’s product and service context as a tool to measure customer’s intention to adopt an RS. To verify the validity of the parameters and selected models, two questioners are run. The statistical information and numerical result from LISREL presents the validity of the proposed extended TPB and TAM model for the retail and banking service context, respectively.

Keywords: Ecommerce, Recommender System, Adoption, Retail, Service, TPB, TAM

Title of the Paper: Online Transportation Services Guideline for Service Quality


Authors: Noor Habibah, Fauziah Ahmad, Norjansalika Janom, Azlinah Mohamed

Abstract: Over the past years, at an increasing pace, customer satisfaction has been an emphasis in most organization especially those in the service industry. Service quality becomes the major focus on achieving customer satisfy action and, over the long run, customer retention. Responding to the notion, many retailers begin to appreciate Customer Relationship Management (CRM) concept and constantly improve the quality of services that they offered to fulfill the customers expectations and satisfactions. Currently, the practice has also extended to the online retailers, both ‘brick and mortar’ and ‘click and mortar’ companies. The CRM concept has broaden to include online customers and services. This study is undertaken to explore the internet service quality in online service industry, particularly in e-ticketing of transportation service. Web observations were performed to identify the major and significant determinants of quality of internet services. By using electronic CRM (e-CRM) model as reference in observation, it is found that appearance and linkages are two important determinants that should be used when measuring the quality of internet services. Through the findings, a guideline of the transportation websites incorporating important features of e-CRM is developed.

Keywords: Internet Retailing; Electronic Customer Relationship Management; Service Quality; Customer Satisfaction; E-ticketing

Title of the Paper: How to Make Business Intelligence Actionable through Service-Oriented Architectures


Authors: Zeljko Panian

Abstract: The main characteristics of Service-oriented Architecture (SOA) are explained, as well as the usage of Business Intelligence (BI) solutions as Web services in an SOA environment. With the evolution of BI, a focus is shifted from technology to organizational impacting factors, making Web services and SOA technologies more and more attractive. Organizations that choose a Web services and SOA strategy will be best positioned to deliver BI in a real-time or right-time manner, making their Business Intelligence capable of supporting appropriate business decisions and actions, i.e. making it actionable.

Keywords: Business intelligence, Service-oriented Architecture, Web services, interoperability, actionable business intelligence

Title of the Paper: E-Government in Croatia: A Comparative Analysis


Authors: Jurica Simurina, Domagoj Hruska, Milivoj Markovic

Abstract: This paper looks at the current level of implementation and possibilities for further improvements of e-government in Croatia. Given a brief history of e-government implementation in general, and in Croatia in particular, we do not have long and firm historical record. Thus, we analyze the issue given the available experiences along with the comparative analysis to several Central and East European countries (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovak Republic and Slovenia). By doing so, we trace actual progress being made in implementation of information and communication technologies altogether and use of e-government and its potential in particular.

Keywords: e-government, ICT, Croatia, public administration, accountability, transparency

Title of the Paper: How Internal Processes Benefit from IT Investments and therefore Enhance Company’s Competitiveness – A Case Study of Slovenian Small and Medium Sized Companies


Authors: Anderja Habjan, Ales Popovic

Abstract: In the paper we presented a case of how IT impacts business process change and how can this enhance competitiveness. The case deals with implementation of internal server for use of documentation exchange in Slovenian small and medium sized companies and provides a framework of key factors of followed changes in internal processes that enabled better competitive position of the organizations taking part of the study.

Keywords: Information Technology, Investments, Business Process Change, Competitiveness

Title of the Paper: Analysis of Ultimate Energy Consumption by Sector in Islamic Republic of Iran


Authors: B. Farahmandpour, I. Nassert, H. Houri Jafari

Abstract: Total ultimate energy consumption in Iran was 1033.32 MBOE in 2006, and increased at an average annual rate of 6% in 1996-2006. Household and commercial sector has been the main consumer sector (418.47 MBOE) and the fastest-growing sector (7.2%) that followed by transport (264.65 MBOE; 7%), industry (238.86 MBOE; 5.3%) and Agriculture (37.39 MBOE; 2.1%). Iran’s ultimate energy consumption pattern over the last decades is inefficient and contributes towards the excessive consumption of fossil fuels which produces several quantities of pollutants and green house gases. Low price of energy and high subsidies represent an effective incentive for inefficient energy consumption pattern and accelerate energy consumption and environmental pollutions. The present paper provides a detailed analysis of the ultimate energy consumption in Iran by sectors during the last 10 years. We conclude that energy conservation policies by sectors are necessary in Iran and also the paper includes several suggestions for each sector to reduce energy consumption.

Keywords: Iran, Energy Consumption, Transportation Sector, Residential and Commercial Sector, Industrial Sector, Agricultural Sector, Energy Audits.

Title of the Paper: Evolving IT Governance Model – Research Study on Croatian Large Companies


Authors: Mario Spremic, Zlatan Zmirak, Krunoslav Kraljevic

Abstract: In the early days of implementing IT in the business, it was often seen as a technical support function and was typically managed by finance departments. When evolving from technology providers into strategic partners, IT organizations typically follow a three-stage approach: IT infrastructure management, IT service management and IT business value management (IT Governance). As the IT initiatives has become far more than a means of improving efficiency and reducing costs and increasingly account for enabler of business innovation, it still seems that it is less understood business resource. One of reason could be that often there is no systematically way of measuring IT performances and implementing IT Governance practices. In this paper we investigated the practices by which IT can contribute to the business as well as how to measure it. Main objective of this paper is to stress the importance of evolving IT Governance activities. Similarities between corporate governance and IT governance are discussed in further details. On the sample of selected Croatian large companies, the organizational position and the role of IT in the business has been investigated, while specific research interest was to get the clear view of the maturity level of IT usage. We hoped that such approach could be useful when trying to answer the posed research question: what stage of IT maturity level (from technical support to IT Governance) reflects the IT practices in the Croatian large companies?

Keywords: IT Governance, IT Audit, IT Performance Measurement, Croatia, CobiT, ITIL

Title of the Paper: Comparative Analysis of e-Government Implementation Models and Progressive Services


Authors: Mario Spremic, Hrvoje Brzica

Abstract: E-government refers to the intensive use of ICT, especially Internet and web, in delivering government information and services to citizens. E-government is defined as ‘utilizing the Internet and the world-wide-web for delivering government information and services to citizens’ (UN & ASPA, 2001). Jaeger (2003) added that, apart from Internet and web, it may also include other ICTs in providing superb governmental information services to the citizens (examples are database, networking, discussion support, automation, tracking, personal identification technologies). Means and Schneider (2000) define e-government as the relationships between governments, their customers and their suppliers by the use of electronic means. In this paper we give a brief review of e-government concept and the models of its implementation worldwide. A comparative analysis of e-government deployment is given and major activities stressed. E-government services and applications may positively affect the development of the Croatian emerging economy, as Croatia, even the EU candidate state, is still a country in transition. The review and discussion of current and future progressive e-government services and their impact on society and economy are given. The case studies results and analysis came up with the conclusion that efficient e-services my positively affect the transparency of various systems in Croatia such as justice, public procurement, health, etc.

Keywords: e-Government, electronic public services, Croatia

Title of the Paper: Business to Employee (B2E) E-Business Model: Service to Employees or Organisational Management?


Authors: Mohini Singh, Dianne Waddel, Md Mahbubur Rahim

Abstract: This paper is a discussion of the B2E e-business model from the perspectives of employee services and organisational management. It includes literature to support B2E as employee services and organisational management with benefits to both. Intranets and portals are technologies supporting the implementation of the B2E e-business model which are also discussed. A case study is included to understand the application of the B2E model in a large organisation. Case study analysis indicates that the B2E e-business model is a service to the employees, however, these services are to support organisational efficiencies.

Keywords: B2E e-business model, intranets, employee services, organisational management

Title of the Paper: Laws on Right to Privacy in Mobile Marketing


Authors: Jawahitha Sarabdeen

Abstract: Mobile advertisement is one of the best marketing mediums ever invented so far. It has the ability to target the users anywhere and anytime with personalized and location based instant messages. The businesses utilize these features well to suit their business operations. The amazing features of mobile marketing led the users feel that their personal property got intruded without prior permission thus creates concerns over violation of right to personal privacy. This article using content analysis method analyses the possible violation of right to privacy in mobile advertising. The analysis would seek to know the legality of the mobile marketing practices and the level of protection guaranteed in the legislation. The Laws in European Union Countries, Australia and the United Arab Emirates were analyzed for this purpose. The finding suggests that there are legal provisions on the issue of right to privacy and as long as the businesses adhere to the laws, mobile marketing will remain legal. The European Directives on data protection are very influential and many countries have followed the provisions of the Directives.

Keywords: Mobile Devices, Marketing, Privacy, Business Practices, Violation, and Regulation

Title of the Paper: A Hybrid Approach for Exploring Training Needs and Methods for Human Resources Development Staffs


Authors: Yu-Ting Lee

Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to investigate the training needs and methods for human resources development (HRD) staffs according to the ASTD Competency Model. The findings are expected to provide meaningful implications for the design of training programs. The author employs the Quality Function Deployment and the Borda Count to prioritize training needs and methods. The study results revealed that the competency needs for HRD staffs received most emphasis in the area of “Business/Management” rather than “Personal”; and that training methods for foundational competencies should focus on experience delivery rather than on computer technology.

Keywords: Training, Human Resources Development, Competency, Competency model, Quality Function Deployment, Borda Count

Issue 6, Volume 5, June 2008

Title of the Paper: How to Succeed in Business Intelligence Initiative: A Case Study for Acquisitions in Romania Public Institutions


Authors: Bogdan Ghilic-Micu, Marian Stoica, Marinela Mircea

Abstract: Considering the demands of knowledge society each organization must became an intelligence organization. Business Intelligence (BI) helps achieving this goal. The large variety of Business Intelligence solutions on the market, the difficult process to select one of them and evaluate the impact of the selected solution on the organization leads to the need of creating a strategy to help organizations chose the best solution for investment. Taking into account that every organization must spend its money carefully, and every solution that does not provide a rapid impact on the basic business is not considered a viable solution, the efficiency of its use must be correctly evaluated and demonstrated based on evaluation criteria, but also through monetary analyses (more difficult to achieve). We suggest and explain the main steps in order to choose the right solution and to evaluate it and we present a case study of the integration in Romanian public institutions of a Business Intelligence solution for acquisitions.

Keywords: business intelligence, innovative strategy, public acquisitions, return of investment, metrics, efficiency.

Title of the Paper: The Quantification of the Sustainable Development at Local Level


Authors: Lazar Cornel, Lazar Mirela

Abstract: The paper highlights the necessity of quantifying the sustainable development at local level and the possibility to realize that in Romania. In order to sustain these aspects we present the evolution of the system of indicators at local level, a case study on rural communities and an opinion inquiry. We developed also a methodology for a synthetic indicator at local level, proposing an Index of Sustainable Development at Local Level (ISDL) that summarizes a complex array of information.

Keywords: sustainable development, quantification, local level, necessity, possibility, synthetic indicators, punctual indicators.

Title of the Paper: ASM and Genetic Algorithm for Risk Abatement Actions Selection


Authors: Ioana Gabriela Marcut, Emil M. Popa

Abstract: The risk abatement actions selection is a complex problem, so we consider the genetic algorithm the most adequate to solve it, especially in the case of big projects. This paper contains an optimization of project risk management efforts, based on an evolutionary algorithm. It uses the mathematical model of the project risk management made by Ben-David, Rabinowitz and Raz in [3]. An abstract state machine (ASM), inspired by [8], is build to design the economic optimization. A numerical example illustrates the efficiency of the algorithm.

Keywords: Genetic Algorithm, ASM, Project Risk Management

Title of the Paper: An Economic Analysis of the Romanian Healthcare System based on an European Comparative Approach


Authors: Mihaela Cristina Dragoi, Ecaterina Ionescu, Irina Eugenia Iamandi, Alina Chiciudean, Laura Gabriela Constantin

Abstract: The paper presents the most important characteristics of three types of healthcare systems in Europe – Beveridge, Bismarck and Semaşko systems – and intends to analyse the healthcare system in Romania based on a comparison with the countries that initiated and are representative for these models (United Kingdom, Germany, Russia). In order to outline the image of the healthcare system in Romania, we used multiple regression models to emphasize the impact of economic and social determinants of health on certain indicators. The results of the conducted analysis showed that the evolution of the Romanian health indicators are not always to be ascribed to the conventionally thought to be important factors.

Keywords: European healthcare system, Romanian healthcare system, economic analysis, health indicators, regression models, health determinants.

Title of the Paper: Mobile Access, Trends and Technologies in Modern Information Systems


Authors: Kozel Tomas, Maly Filip, Slaby Antonin

Abstract: Mobile technology is a buzzword of present times and mobile devices are used by almost everybody in advanced countries. But at the same time most people only make use of a tiny amount of capabilities they can offer. This contribution focuses on the most current possibilities and potential of mobile devices. We will concentrate on the possibilities and tools applicable in the process of creating mobile software applications and ways of integration of mobile clients into information systems.

Keywords: Mobile technology, mobile device, mobile approach, web service, Java ME, Symbian, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry.

Title of the Paper: Supply Chain Manager Selection using a Combined Multiple Intelligences Theory and ANP Approach


Authors: Yu-Ting Lee

Abstract: Modern supply chain managers are required to possess a set of competencies or multiple intelligences in order to meet the pressing business challenges. However, although many works have studied problems in supply chain management, few of those discussed the issue of supply chain manager selection. Especially, selecting competent supply chain managers is a kind of Mu1tiple Criteria Decision-Making (MCDM) problem which requires us to consider a large number of complex factors as multiple-criteria. Many traditional MCDM methods are based on the independence assumption, whereas the Analytic Network Process (ANP) is a MCDM method which can deal with all kinds of dependences systematically. Since the ANP has these advantages, this paper proposes a favorable method combining multiple intelligences theory with ANP approach to help companies that need to select competent supply chain managers. Additionally, an empirical study is presented to illustrate the application of the proposed method.

Keywords: Supply chain manager; Competencies; Multiple intelligences; Mu1tiple Criteria Decision - Making (MCDM); Analytic Network Process (ANP)

Title of the Paper: A Hybrid Approach to IT Project Selection


Authors: Wei-Wen Wu

Abstract: Numerous enterprises anticipate that Information Technology (IT) may enhance their competitive advantage and profitability, and provide them with a competitive edge in meeting the challenges from global competition. However, there is a critical issue of how to invest in IT judiciously and improve the performance of organizations successfully. Although several methods have been proposed for selecting appropriate IT projects, their models use few criteria and lack sufficient information for evaluation. Indeed, to ensure the alignment of IT investment and strategic needs in the real world, it is necessary to consider a variety of financial and non-financial factors within the evaluation structure. In order to devise a more useful way to solve IT project selection problems, this paper combines the decision making trial and evaluation laboratory (DEMATEL) with the analytic network process (ANP) and the zero-one goal programming (ZOGP) to propose an effective solution that considers both financial and non-financial factors. Additionally, an empirical study is presented to illustrate the application of the proposed solution.

Keywords: Information Technology; Project Selection; DEMATEL; ANP; ZOGP

Title of the Paper: Multiagent Based Global Enterprise Resource Planning: Conceptual View


Authors: Darius Plikynas

Abstract: In recent decade, the business of manufacturing and service organizations alike is strongly conditioned by unpredictable changes taking place in a global market. The question is how to provide efficient and cost-effective responses on time. Current systems such as extended enterprise resource planning (EERP) and supply chain management (SCM) do not provide adequate facilities for addressing this problem. This paper addresses multiplatform integration as a key factor for designing a novel kind of global enterprise resource planning (GERP) systems. The main idea is based on merging two separate approaches, i.e integrated agent-based network models of e-manufacturing systems and supply chains (EERP and SCM simulation platforms), and a field-based information network of intelligent agents. We examine each approach separately and give some clues how the merging of both approaches may contribute to the achievement of better simulation results.

Keywords: Multiagent systems, Enterprise resource planning, Global enterprise resource planning, Supply chain management


Issue 7, Volume 5, July 2008

Title of the Paper: Decision Support System for Module Type Products
: From the Perspective of Problems of Utility and Applicability


Authors: Yoshiki Nakamura

Abstract: Companies have to develop core competitive technologies in a very short time. Therefore, product development and research and development must proceed with the concept of management. This study proposes a method and decision support system for selection of R&D projects utilized to the modular type of PD. First, it should be clarified the relationship among R&D investment, its project, modular technology and the product. Second, it is helped the decision making about how many modules of technology introduced the product considered to the cost restriction. Finally, it will be made the support system for its decision making from the outputs of figures. In this way, it becomes possible to effectively develop products while analyzing the conditions of the industry as well as the market and competing companies. It is also able to allow the proposal of future critical
management strategy or tactical strategy.

Keywords: Product development, R&D strategy, R&D investment, Technology management, Decision support system, Integer programming

Title of the Paper: The Tourism and Climate Changes. Interferences


Authors: Mirela Mazilu, Roxana Cristina Marinescu

Abstract: The global warming of the atmosphere undoubtedly will affect not only the other components of the Earth environment, but also human society. The tourism maintains really ambiguous relations with the weather phenomena because it relies on the deterioration of the human existence, regarded as an economic activity (e.g. the abundant snow may provoke traffic-jams and it requires expensive efforts in order to unjam them, but at the same time it guaranties the quality of tourism, which is vital in the quality of tourism, which is vital in the case of the well-known Alps resorts when it comes to winter sports). The need to control the weather changes that have a negative impact on tourism leads to, on the other hand, to making the touristic infrastructure more and more artificial and extremely expensive (climate control systems, snow making machines, exotic plants aneant to make the environment more attractive etc.). The prediction of the weather changes becomes more and more important, especially in the cases where it is expressed by different phenomena, such as risks and natural disasters (tornadoes, the terrible tsunami from December 2004, which resulted in over 500.000 dead persons, floods, frost phenomena etc.) the frequency of which cant be exactly predicted, having some negative consequences on tourism. The weather comfort in tourism differs from the one that is expressed in other activities, a problem which is presented in detail in this paper.

Keywords: climate warming, impact, tourism, ecotourism.

Title of the Paper: The Place of Cultural Tourism for Cluj-Napoca, Romania as a Tourist Destination


Authors: Smaranda Cosma, Adina Negrusa

Abstract: Tourism industry represents the sector with the highest development at global level. Cultural tourism became an important trend at international level; 60% of the European tourists are interested in cultural discovery. Romania’s tourism potential remained largerly unexplored during the last 17 years due to the attention given to traditional tourism products: sun tourism at Black Sea and ski tourism during the winter. In 2006, WTTC recommended cultural and heritage tourism to become an important tourism product for Romania. The attraction points are numerous, various and interesting. Tourism stakeholders can create independent and complex products in order to promote Romania as a cultural tourist destination. The concentration of around 47% of total tourist arrivals in the main 40 Romanian cities, where the most important cultural attractions and events are concentrated, indicates that cultural tourism can be either a distinct product, or can complete other forms of urban tourism. Cluj-Napoca is one of Romania’s most important cities from the number of citizens’ point of view, also due to its business environment and cultural attractiveness. Cluj county stands on the sixth place in Romanian destinations classification, taking into account the number of lodging capacities, but Cluj-Napoca - the municipality of the county - is situated on the third place after Bucharest and Timisoara using the same criteria. The paper identifies the main tourist segment on the market and analyses the perception of tourists regarding Cluj-Napoca as a tourist destination. We used for our study personal interviews based on a questioner applied to a representative sample and empirical research analysing statistical data and other available information about the destination. We compared the tourist resources of Cluj-Napoca with the target profile and we analysed the place of cultural tourism for the destination.

Keywords: tourism, tourist marketing destination, cultural tourism, regional development, tourist potential

Title of the Paper: A Quadrature Formula based on a Spline Quasi-Interpolant


Authors: Ana Maria Acu, Mugur Acu

Abstract: In this paper we study a new simple quadrate rule based on integrating a spline quasi-interplant operator on a bonded interval. We also give estimates of the quadrature error for smooth functions in the case of uniform partition by using the associated Peano kernel. We improve the degree of exactness of quadrature formulae with the knots depending on a parameter.

Keywords: quadrature rule, numerical integration, spline quasi-interpolant

Title of the Paper: On Testing and Estimation in the Economic Measurement, when using Item Response Models


Authors: Raileanu Szeles Monica

Abstract: This paper applies the one and two parameter- item response models (IRT) with a probit link to derive a scale of financial precariousness. A strong focus is on the item testing and selection, which is sometimes ignored in the IRT literature. In order to test whether the items fulfil or not the IRT fundamental assumptions, a number of tests are applied. The Mokken Scale is the most comprehensive one and provides the most complex output. Also, the paper highlights the advantages of using the IRT instead of traditional models when deriving latent measures from a set of observable binary indicators. This is often the case in the economic and social fields where the IRT is rarely used. Using both IRT models and some testing procedures, we derive a scale of four items and estimate item parameters. In the empirical part, the IRT models are applied on data from the Luxembourg socioeconomic panel (PSELL-3, wave 2006) using the modules GLLAMM (for running the IRT models) and msp/loevH (for testing the items) in the statistical package STATA. The software and modules allowing the application of the IRT models and its underlying tests are also examined. At the end, the paper leads to both empirical and methodological conclusions.

Keywords: Item Response Theory, Scale of deprivation, Tests, Difficulty, Discrimination, Parameter, Score.

Issue 8, Volume 5, August 2008

Title of the Paper: Urban Water Dilemmas under the Multi-Dimensional Prism of Sustainability


Authors: Dimitrios Zikos

Abstract: The notion of sustainability in the urban water sector refers to a multi-dimensional spectrum of balancing social, environmental and economic interests. The supply-oriented traditional infrastructure notions in the domestic water supply developed around the perception of water as a “public good” and the market-based logic that succeeded them failed equally to respond holistically to the growing challenges. Aim of this paper is to contribute to the ongoing discussion on the redefinition of the basic questions that formulate the context of strategies and policies in the water sector. Furthermore, it suggests the necessity to focus on the identification of parameters neglected by current research. A key question is formulated in the paper: how water saving as a phenomenon and as a strategy is constructed in metropolitan areas and what do these interpretations reveal about competing notions of sustainable water management. This is approached through the hypothesis that the water saving dilemmas and “dualities”, shape but are also constructed by, the contesting interests and perceptions of actors which are based on responses on questions insufficient to address alone the multi-level notion of sustainability. This argument is supported by evidence of the instructive Berlin’s case. Athens’ case, is also employed in this paper, providing further empirical evidence from a second European metropolitan area.

Key-Words: water saving, domestic water, urban infrastructure, water management, water supply, water governance, water utilities.

Title of the Paper: An Agent Based Tool to Support Tactical Dialogues in Industrial Enterprise Networks: Model and Experimental Campaign


Authors: Marco Botarelli, Paolo Taticchi, Roberto Revetria, Flavio Tonell

Abstract: - The globalization of competition has entailed that organizations of developed countries have to face new kind of competitors with low labour cost, and often-advantageous exchange rates (resulting in favourable export selling prices). In such a scenario, innovation and organizational flexibility are becoming fundamental levers to enable enterprises to increase their competitiveness. For this reason, the need arises of a formalized methodology that enables organizational flexibility and capacity of performing innovation. This work originates from the analysis of a case study which highlighted that enterprise networks can enable organizational flexibility, and defined the formalization of the VDO concept – Virtual Development Office – a network organizational model based on an independent subject which has the role of enabling innovation in a collaborative environment to reach world class manufacturing capabilities. A multi-agents system based architecture is proposed to model and support tactical dialogues inside the network. The VDO has been modelled as a supervisor and coordinator agent able to perform a selection process in order to create the best coalition for managing emerging business opportunities. The context analyzed in this research work assumes a virtual market place where enterprises, represented by agents, can „„meet each other‟‟ and cooperate in order to achieve a common business goal given by a collaboration opportunity.

Key-Words: - Enterprise Networks , Virtual Development Office, Multi-Agent Systems, Decision Making, Case Study.

Title of the Paper: Development of New System for Spare Parts Repair to Reduce AOG Situations in SAUDIA Special Flight Services Division


Authors: Seraj Yousef Abed

Abstract:- The Special Flight Services is a division of Saudi Arabian Airlines – SAUDIA, that operates small private jet aircrafts to serve government top officials and its distinguished guests, as well as charter flights for business companies. The SFS division has experienced lately a serious problem called AOG or Aircraft On Ground, which is the inability of the aircraft to fly due to a technical problem caused by the unavailability of the required spare parts to fix it. This paper summarizes the study that was conducted to resolve this problem. The goals of the study were to minimize the frequency of the AOG occurrences and to reduce the average AOG duration when they occur. The procurement and Stores departments were studied and their processes were analyzed to determine the root causes of the problem. The repair cycle of the spare parts was reengineered to make it shorter and more efficient; the critical spare parts were identified, their demand and their optimal stock quantity were estimated. The existing repair cycle was reduced from a total of 23 activities taking an average total time of 149 days to only 15 activities requiring an average repair time of 30 days; an enhancement of almost 80% in average repair time was achieved by reengineering the repair cycle. Seventeen critical parts were identified and few additional numbers of each part were needed to be on stock. These measures improved the problem and made it within acceptable normal level.

Key-words: - Inventory Management, Spare parts procurement, Aircraft Maintenance, Aircraft on ground (AOG).

Issue 9, Volume 5, September 2008

Title of the Paper: The Future is Wireless in Romanian's Education?


Authors: Lacurezeanu Ramona, Chis Alexandru, Vlad Miranda, Nistor Razvan, Zagan Zelter Sergiu

Abstract: mLearning, the idea of using advances in modern wireless technology and the Internet to make education more effective and more widely available than ever before, has attracted much recent discussion. Many universities seem to have already perceived the advantages of the mLearning and higher distance learning centers are beginning to take advantage of them. On the basis of the questionnaire (presented in this paper) used to collect in the more representative way new experiences of mLearning the case studies analyzed are referring to the following: why mLearning now, analysis of the opportunity and the possibility of implementing some mlearning components in eLearning platform (that exist) at FSEGA, Romania; next works. In this paper we try: to examine what phase have other faculties with similar profile - using an mLearning platform – reached; to estimate what is the level for participating in such m-learning project for the students enrolled in the long-distance education program; to evaluate the level of acceptance of this new challenge for the didactic personnel from FSEGA.

Keywords: e-Learning, m-Learning, Mobile Solutions, Wireless Technology

Title of the Paper: Legal Protection of Banking Services Consumer - European and Romanian Perspective


Authors: Carmen Adriana Gheorghe

Abstract: The achievement manner of a stable relationship and on equality postures between bank-client/customer it’ an objective consistently and very carefully pursued by every bank in the world. The European Commission sustains that different rules for banking consumer’s protection of each country member. The consumers groups oppose to these protection rules, sustaining that the local legislative men are the most suitable to solve this problem. On the other hand, banks are oriented in the correlated analysis of the factors of influence of their behaviour, however it will not omit the monitoring of the competitors’ behaviour (the services offered by other banking institutions).

Keywords: Banking, banking services, banking consumer services, banking customer, himself protection, information, stabil relashionship

Issue 10, Volume 5, October 2008

Title of the Paper: Clustering Evolution of Taiwan IC Industry in China


Authors: Bi-Huei Tsai

Abstract: This paper for the first time quantitatively analyzes the clustering behaviors by using the foreign direct investment (FDI) data of Taiwan IC industries. According to the relationship between the FDI and the industrial clustering phenomenon, we first formulate a dynamic FDI growth model for the estimation of total FDI amount. Consequently, we can tangibly elucidate the clustering behaviour of IC industry from Taiwan to China. Furthermore, the effects of the innovation, imitation and the potential investment factors on the IC industrial clustering are systematically compared among the IC design, IC manufacturing as well as IC packaging and testing industries. The results indicate the significant internal influence of intra-industry communications on Taiwan’s FDI evolution into China. This suggests that Taiwan IC firms tend to successively imitate the previously experienced FDI firms to engage in FDI in China. Particularly, the internal impact is the strongest for IC manufacturing firms, revealing its greatest clustering extent. In addition, Taiwan IC industry’s FDI amount in China is cumulatively predicted increasing in our model and the finding once again supports the clustering tendency of IC industries. However, the predicted FDI amount for IC manufacturing industry is not as accurate as the other two industries because Taiwan had strictly prohibited IC manufacturing industry from undertaking FDI into China before the third quarter of 2003. The prediction ability of our dynamic growth model for IC manufacturing firms is dramatically improved as the strict restriction period is removed from our sample analysis.

Keywords: Diffusion theory, foreign direct investment, IC, dynamic growth model, clustering

Title of the Paper: Discovering KM Features of High-Performance Companies


Authors: Wei-Wen Wu

Abstract: For purposes of reacting to an increasingly competitive business environment, many companies emphasize the importance of knowledge management (KM), thus, it is a worthwhile project to explore and learn about KM features of high-performance companies. Discovering and describing the critical KM features of high-performance companies is a qualitative analysis problem. To handle this kind of problem, the rough set approach is suitable because it embodies data-mining techniques which enable us to discover knowledge without rigorous statistical assumptions. This paper sets out to explore KM features of high-performance companies using the rough set approach. The results show that higher performing companies generally tend to be more explicit-oriented and less tacit-oriented. They also tend to consider the dimensions involved in the KM purpose and the factors crucial for success.

Keywords: Explicit knowledge, Tacit knowledge, Knowledge management, Performance, Qualitative analysis, Rough sets

Issue 11, Volume 5, November 2008

Title of the Paper: Project Scheduling under Multiple Resources Constraints using a Genetic Algorithm


Authors: J. Magalhaes-Mendes

Abstract: The resource constrained project scheduling problem (RCPSP) is a difficult problem in combinatorial optimization for which extensive investigation has been devoted to the development of efficient algorithms. During the last couple of years many heuristic procedures have been developed for this problem, but still these procedures often fail in finding near-optimal solutions. This paper proposes a genetic algorithm for the resource constrained project scheduling problem. The chromosome representation of the problem is based on random keys. The schedule is constructed using a heuristic priority rule in which the priorities and delay times of the activities are defined by the genetic algorithm. The approach was tested on a set of standard problems taken from the literature and compared with other approaches. The computational results validate the effectiveness of the proposed algorithm.

Keywords: Construction management, Project management, Scheduling, Genetic algorithm, RCPSP

Title of the Paper: Performance Measurement and Management: What is Next?


Authors: Paolo Taticchi, Flavio Tonelli, Mohamed Sameh, Marco Botarelli

Abstract: The paper reviews the literature in the field of performance measurement and management (PMM) for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and large companies. The methodology adopted for reviewing the literature relies on the citation/co-citation analysis of research on PMM and on the analysis of the frameworks/models developed in the last twenty years both for large and SMEs. The evolution of the research field is discussed and future areas of research are identified. The results of the literature review carried out reveal a certain maturity of the literature related to large companies and a significant lack of PMM literature for SMEs.

Keywords: Performance Measurement, Performance Management, SMEs, literature review, research agenda

Issue 12, Volume 5, December 2008

Title of the Paper: An Explorative Model of Customers' Service Quality Perceptions for Leisure Farms in Taiwan


Authors: Ming-Lang Tseng, Wei-Wenwu, Yu-Ting Lee, Chi-Horng Liao

Abstract: The leisure farm is becoming a popular and important form of recreational destination. Successful operations of leisure farms can contribute to not only the regional economic development and tourism prosperity but also the growing source of foreign exchange earnings. However, in the face of the consumer-oriented and fierce struggle business world, the leisure farm enterprise requires making efforts to capture and analyze customers’ service quality perceptions in order to build up a competition strategy for survival. Unfortunately, few works conduct a comprehensive model which enabling us to facilitate the understanding of customers’ service quality perceptions for leisure farms. An explorative model using the PLS (partial least squares) path modeling is proposed and the hypotheses are tested. This empirical assessment collects 317 customers from leisure farms in Taiwan. The study results and implications are discussed. The results confirm a strong link between service quality model and perception from customers.

Keywords: Service quality, leisure farm, PLS path modeling

Title of the Paper: Application of Cost- Benefit Analysis and Data Envelopment Analysis to Evaluate the Municipal Solid Waste Management Projects in Metro Manila


Authors: Chin-Huang Huang, Yuan-Hsu Lin, Ming-Lang Tseng

Abstract: Based on consultations with a municipal solid waste management (MSW) expert group, this study elucidates how governmental officials can solve the problems surrounding municipal solid waste management in Metropolitan-Manila. A crucial related issue is how the expert group can better evaluate MSW solutions and select favorable ones better evaluate and select a favorable MSW solution using a series of criteria. MSW solution selection is a multi-criteria decision-making problem, which requires considering numerous complex criteria. The study applies cost-benefit analysis (CBA) and data envelopment analysis (DEA) to determine the benefits and cost / input and output technical efficiency of alternative projects, which affords financial data information that evaluators can use for economic decision-making regarding MSW projects. Results of this study suggest that the thermal process technology is less efficient than resource recovery using DEA. Nevertheless, the net benefits of resource recovery exceed those of the thermal process technology by CBA.

Keywords: Municipal solid waste management, cost-benefit analysis; data envelopment analysis

Title of the Paper: An Effective Decision-Making Method using a Combined QFD and ANP Approach


Authors: Yu-Ting Lee, Wei-Wen Wu, Gwo-Hshiung Tzeng

Abstract: Quality function deployment (QFD) is a valuable method that provides a means of translating customer needs into the appropriate technical requirements for each stage of detailed operations in product development and production. During the QFD implement process, the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) has been used to determine the relative importance weights between criteria or the relationship between the row and column variables of each matrix. However, the AHP has the limit with its independence assumptions, which is a special case of the Analytic Network Process (ANP). The ANP is a mu1tiple criteria decision-making (MCDM) method used to derive relative priority from individual judgments, which can deal with all kinds of dependences systematically. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to develop an effective decision-making method based on QFD and ANP approach to help for making better decisions of planning or evaluation problems. Also, an empirical example is presented to illustrate the application of the proposed method.

Keywords: Quality function deployment; Analytic Hierarchy Process; Analytic Network Process; mu1tiple criteria decision-making

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