• Online brand advocates of luxury fashion accessories

      Kanthavanich, Poramate (University of Bedfordshire, 2011)
      This study observes brand advocacy and online brand advocates behaviours. The research is using a netnographic approach to uncover perceptions, behaviours and characteristics of online brand advocates within the framework of the loyalty ladder and online brand communities in the context of luxury fashion accessories, particularly handbags. The study analyses discussions, conversations and activities in four online communities. The findings show that brand advocates perceive hedonic values of luxury fashion accessories such as being a source of happiness, fulfilment and belonging. Frequent participation in discussions and activities with others brand fans in the online communities can increase advocacy level and love for the brands, and subsequently turn participants into active brand advocates. Positive word-of-mouth, recommending, defending and sharing love for fashion brands are the key online advocacy behaviours which are caused by love and passion for luxury fashion accessories. The findings also suggest that brand advocacy may not be a stable state depending on the favour and love of the brands at a particular point of time. Thus, brand advocates can exhibit advocacy behaviours for several fashion brands simultaneously. The study makes a contribution to brand advocacy by extending the loyalty ladder with the behaviours and characteristics of online luxury fashion brand advocates. The research provides insights to online advocacy which will be beneficial to both academic research and provide valuable feedback to brand managers.
    • An online sharable diary system using Sun Technologies

      Farrow, Roger (University of Bedfordshire, 2009-10)
      The need for an online sharable diary came from a company who were having trouble keeping track of their employees during the day using a traditional paperbased diary solution, they had tested a variety of software solutions (Outlook and iCal) but these solutions didn't gel well across the variety of operating systems employed by the company. So a solution was sought that was free of operating system dependency yet robust and secure. The technologies chosen for this implementation were those owned by Sun and include OpenSolaris, Netbeans, MySQL and GlassFish. With Servlet and JSP being the intended programming and scripting approaches. This was for a variety of reasons but predominantly because they are available free, are enterprise level software, and because Sun offers comprehensive support options. Initial research was collected from the company in the form of questionnaires and diary samples and these contributed heavily to the development. The methodology chosen for this implementation was prototyping which worked well and enabled communication between the client and developer on a variety of issues, it helped the client feel more involved and that they would receive a useful product at the end. The implementation undertaken suffered a wide range issues both software and hardware that resulted in the program not being completed successfully. This caused changes to be made in both the development process and for the developer to have to favour JSP over Servlet for programming approach. However the HTML, CSS, database, logo and branding components were completed. An unexpected but positive outcome was also the development of a five bit binary style access control system, that reduced the number of database records and interactions required. Whilst it is impossible to state that this project was a success for either the client or the developer. The client although they are still looking for an adequate solution were interested in the development process undertaken as a means to producing criteria that would inform a decision on a solution they were also interested in the combination of use of Google calender and Doodle as means to share diary events, and to smooth the organisation of events. The developer found the taking of client requirements and using them to shape the development process was very informative, and the use of Prototyping was successful and contributed to good communication between the client and developer, there were also significant learning points relating to testing and establishing a development environment. The unexpected benefit of the creation of a binary style access control was also interesting although more development is required.
    • Optimisation of 802.16m (WiMAX2) relay station for enhanced performance

      Ahmed, Naveed (University of Bedfordshire, 2012)
      The relay stations are widely used in major wireless technologies such as WiMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) and LTE (Long term evolution) which provide cost effective service to the operators and end users. It is quite challenging to provide guaranteed Quality of Service (QoS) in WiMAX networks in cost effective manner. In this thesis the WiMAX RS (relay station) is investigated for the purpose of saving overall cost by decreasing the number of RS to cover the territory of base station and also to provide the services to mobile users out of the range of base station. Secondly, the throughput and delay matrices have been taken to enhance the system performance. In addition to cost effective deployment of RS and evaluation of throughput and delay using relay station, the third factor which is with comparison of QoS classes is also made in order to see the overall performance of WiMAX network. As a technical challenge, radio resource management, RS selection, and QoS parameters are also primarily considered. The main objective is to decrease the overall deployment cost in relay stations and utilize the available spectral resources as efficiently as possible to minimize the delay and improve throughput for end users with high demanding applications such as voice and video. Having in mind the cost and the increasingly more demanding applications with ever growing number of subscribers, main consideration of this thesis have set the parameters and contribute to the technology in cost effective way to improve QoS. Within the pool of scheduling algorithms and for the purpose of achieving efficient radio resource management, link adaptation methods, AMC scheme, cell sectoring and directional antenna have been studied in detail. Some of the IEEE802.16m standard parameters are not supported in current version of OPNET 16 due to new amendment and evolution of new techniques applied in WiMAX2.
    • Optimisation of spore production by the potential fungal biocontrol agent for aphids, Erynia Neoaphidis

      Mukiibi, Joy Lois Nalweyiso (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2003-02)
      The optimisation of spore production by the potential fungal biological control agent for aphids, Erynia neoaphidis Remaudiere and Hennebert (Zygomycetes: Entomophthoraceae) was studied. The fungus was able to grow in semi-defined Frynia medium (SDEM) containing glucose, yeast extract, mycological peptone, and 0.02% oleic acid buffered to a pH 6. Oleic acid was fungicidal at 0.1 % (v/v) while 0.02% (v/v) oleic acid was the optimum for radial grovvth. Plugs cut 5-10 mm from the margin ofa colony produced more conidia than plugs cut 13-20 mm from the colony margin. Renewed grovvth continued through two subcultures on solid SDEM lacking yeast extract (SDEML YE), and SDEM lacking mycological peptone (SDEMLMP). The continued growth was attributed to the carry over of nutrient in the inoculum. Growth was supported on SDEMNH4S04 when ammonium sulphate was used as the nitrogen source instead of mycological peptone suggesting that the fungus could obtain the growth factors it required from yeast extract. When chitin was added to SDEM in insoluble powder form instead ofglucose (SDEMC 1 & SDEMC2), the absence of a clearing zone around the developing colony suggested that chitin was not metabolised by E. neoaphidis. Biomass grown on SEMA and on SDEMDG (containing double the original concentration ofglucose 3 2grl), resulted in production of fewer conidia oflarger volume compared to SDEMDMP containing double and half the original concentration of mycological peptone (SDEMHP), SDEM containing halfthe original concentration ofglucose (SDEMHG). Increasing the glucose to double the original concentration resulted to an increase in biomass. Erynia neoaphidis grown on aphid cadavers produced many, smaller conidia. Mycelial mats harvested from biomass grown in fed-batch liquid fermenter culture in SDEMDG at the end ofthe exponential phase and placed on water agar discharged conidia at a rate of 6,700 conidia mm -2 h-1which persisted for approximately 3 days. When E. neoaphidis was subcultured onto SDEM from SEMA medium, the colony growth rate increased on the second subculture on SDEM where more lipases and aminopeptidases were detected at higher concentrations using the API ZYM system. This shows that attenuation might have taken place by either a phenotypic or genotypic (eg mutation) change or both when E. neoaphidis was grown on SDEM from SEMA medium. Growth in GASP medium resulted in the production of more biomass and a delay in the onset of decline phase compared to cultures grown in SDEM. Fewer enzymes were detected at a lower concentration in cultures grown in GASP compared to cultures grown in SDEM, this difference might be more likely to relate to the balance of nutrients and the fact that GASP medium is more similar in composition to the nutrients found in the haemocoel of an aphid. Based on this research. It is recommend that E. neoaphidis be grown in SDEM liquid cultures containing 32 grl glucose instead of 16 grl glucose. Biomass for field applications should be harvested at the end ofthe exponential growth and mycelial mats made. The mycelial mats should be maintained at high relative humidity and can be expected to discharge conidia for 3 days.
    • Outside the frame : an investigation into visual narrative structures of three urban environments

      Fairchild, Anna (University of Bedfordshire, 2011-12)
      Narrative structures were explored and examined between the culturally contrasting urban environments of London, Luton and Istanbul. Through the visual creative processes of drawing, printmaking and photography images were used to explore how these processes could be combined with a view to revealing alternative narrative structures within two-dimensional images. A large body of two-dimensional work of varying scales was made between 2009 and 2011. Throughout the project a visual and written journal was kept using reflection onof the deconstruction of the combinations of images to clarify the insights gained The results of the analysis and evaluation in this journal combined with contextualization of the emerging work formed the basis for working methods, which revealed new narratives or stories between and within the developing series of two-dimensional images. It was these results of this analysis and evaluation combined with qualitative responses to from artists, filmmakers, writers and others which enabled these working methods to establish the base for practice- led research into visual narrative structures. Through this practice- led research it was established that using the working methods above, alternative narrative structures could articulate a complex range of both personal memories together with that of wider range of experiences across culturally contrasting urban environments selected at the beginning of the 21st Century.
    • Oxidant production in exercise: effects of exercise intensity and an environmental stressor on rate of oxidant production

      Mathie, Annabel K. (University of Bedfordshire, 2005-10)
      Oxidant production in exercise was investigated with the aim of determining whether certain exercise intensities could cause increases in post exercise concentrations of urinary free radical markers, when compared to pre-exercise marker concentrations, by use of a simple, easy to repeat study. Subjects exercised at a variety of set percentages of maximum oxygen intake capacity (V02 Max) for 30 minutes, following which urine samples were taken at scheduled time points for up to 24 hours. Samples were analysed for markers of free radical damage to cellular structures. No significant differences in concentrations were found between individual sample time-points in each urinary free radical marker (p=>O.OS). However urinary concentrations of each marker were significantly different (p=
    • Partnerships - cracking under the pressure of organisational change?

      Smith, Sally (University of Bedfordshire, 2007-10)
      The concept of partnership and its success or failure has attracted much debate since its inception as a model in the early 1990s. It has become apparent that partnership can entail changing deeply held beliefs and attitudes on both the management and union sides of the relationship. The pace of change has increased exponentially in recent times, necessitating new organisational responses. These responses can be seen by some as sympathetic to the development of partnership work, but at the same time it is acknowledged that organisational change can become a pressure on partnership. The purpose of this research is to look at existing partnerships as they experience the pressures of organisational change over a period of time, and analyse the effect these pressures have on both managers and union representatives, the partnership itself, and the success of organisational change. Extrapolated from key literature, theoretical models were developed to demonstrate the changes in partnership. Using an explanatory causal comparative case study approach, across two organisations; the Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust; and the Royal Mail. The research uses primary and secondary data obtained through a series of semi-structured questionnaires completed by key leads involved in the partnership, on both the union and management sides; and study of academic and professional literature with a key focus on both partnerships in the subject organisations. The resulting data was analysed using a matrixed pattern matching technique. The research identifies that there are many influences involved in the deterioration, or stability of partnership: whether the approach to the creation of partnership is cynical or positive; whether management and union attitudes are allowed to deteriorate, or the partnership seeks for ways to overcome these pressures; the strength of the partnership does help it to endure, but there are contributing factors to this strength, such as the embedding of partnership, and equal voice to management. The research concludes that partnership does not necessarity deteriorate under the pressure of organisational change, but rather establishes that they can survive these pressures through a focused application of partnership strategy on both the management and union sides. The existing typologies for definition of the strengths of partnership were demonstrated to have neglected the wider more complex variables existing that make a partnership weak or strong, and rather that the theoretical models proposed, demonstrated a more valid theory of this complex environment and therefore could be said to demonstrate what occurs to partnerships enduring the pressures of organisational change, and therefore could be used for prediction purposes. It is suggested that this presents an opportunity for further research focused on the stability of partnership, utitising the validated models proposed herewith.
    • Performance analysis of routing protocols in Manet

      Kaur, Pardeep (University of Bedfordshire, 2012)
      The history of wireless network is around 20 year old, when in 1997 IEEE start working on it and define the wireless standards in 1999. As Mobile Adhoc Network (MANET) is self managing and governing network, so it is the challenging task to handle the network in most effective and better way due to dynamic changes In the network as the nodes can join and leave the network without getting any authorization and these nodes are independent in nature. This research is based on the performance measurement of proactive and reactive protocols with respect to quality of service.
    • Performing phenomenology: a practice-led investigation of contemporary performance

      Bennett, Catherine Ann (University of Bedfordshire, 2013-02)
      This thesis is an analysis of three contemporary performances. These performances are very different, what they have in common is that they were either performed, or curated by the author. The problem under investigation in this thesis concerns the experience of dance practice and the manner in which that experience is articulated. In other words, this MA is an attempt to describe three contemporary performances in a coherent, revealing, analytical way. The central purpose here is to bring into theoretical focus these contemporary accounts of dance practice. It follows that the thesis asks how revealing and how successful these conceptual accounts of dance are? The methodology employed in this thesis may broadly be called phenomenological. This term is characteristically associated with the work of Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1908-1961). The emphasis in phenomenology and in this thesis is on the experience and perception of the agent or actor herself. This thesis shares this emphasis. The phenomenological method is best described as a constellation of concepts rather than a series of immutable principles. The primary conclusion of this thesis is to recommend phenomenology as a useful tool for the understanding and analysis of dance practice. Critical, in this respect are the ideas of embodiment and the lived body. In so far as this thesis makes a modest claim to contribute to our knowledge of the subject under enquiry it reminds us that a practice as complex as dance requires a discrete, experience-based theoretical explication. My sincere hope is that the reader will find such an account in what follows.
    • Post transfer of undertakings psychological contract violation: modelling antecedents and outcomes

      Ferreira, Juanique (University of Bedfordshire, 2012-10)
      The purpose of this study was to test a model of antecedents and outcomes of psychological contract violation based on social exchange theory within the context of an acquisition. A cross-sectional quantitative survey research design was used. A total of 200 office and operational employees who had recently gone through a TUPE transfer process as the result of an acquisition partiCipated in the study. PartiCipants were] asked to complete a questionnaire to measure their perceptions of procedural justice and perceived organisational support experienced at the point of TUPE and the resulting psychological contract violation and employee engagement post-TUPE. Multiple regression analysis through SPSS 19.0 was used as the method of analysis. Results indicate that procedural justice and perceived organisational support predicts psychological contract violation. Results indicate that psychological contract violation in turn predicts employee engagement. In addition, psychological contract violation mediates the relationship between procedural justice, perceived organisational support and employee engagement. Therefore, support has been found to state that the psychological contract can be used to explain the relationship between employee perceptions of fairness and support during a TUPE and their post-TUPE reaction of engagement. The study used cross-sectional and self-reported data which limits the conclusions that can be confirmed about causality and also raises concerns about common method bias. Furthermore, it is acknowledged that various extraneous or confounding variable may have an influence on the variables. The study offers insights into employees' responses within the context of TUPE transfers as explored through the psychological contract within the social exchange theory the framework.
    • Practical cooling manoeuvres during simulated soccer in the heat

      McDonald, Peter (University of Bedfordshire, 2019-03)
      The globalisation of soccer match-play has meant that major international and domestic competitions typically occur in hot environments with ambient temperature exceeding 28°C (Taylor and Rollo, 2014). Previous simulated (Aldous et al., 2016) and soccer match-play data (Mohr et al., 2012) in the heat (30 - 43°C) have reported significant reductions in physical performance measures when compared to a temperate environment (18 - 21°C). Practical strategies to reduce these heat-mediated decrements in physical performance whilst fitting in with the time constraints practitioners are faced with in soccer are warranted (Taylor and Rollo, 2014; Russel et al., 2015). Therefore, the aim of the present investigation is to examine the efficacy of practical cooling manoeuvres which can be actively worn during a pre-match warmup and whilst conducting general changing room preparatory tasks (downtime prior to kick off and half-time) on simulated soccer performance in a hot environment (32°C and 60% rH; WBGT: 28°C). Seven male university level soccer-players completed one Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test level 1, two familiarization sessions, one peak speed assessment and four randomized, counterbalanced experimental trials of the intermittent Soccer Performance Test (iSPT) at 32°C. Four experimental trials consisted of cooling during a soccer-specific prematch warm-up (~24 min), downtime prior to kick-off (12 min) and half-time interval (10 min) via (1) Ice Vest (VEST); (2) Neck Cooling (NECK); (3) VEST and NECK (VEST+NECK) used concurrently; or with no-cooling (CON). Physical performance [total distance (TD), highspeed distance (HSD), sprint distance, variable run distance (VRD) and low-speed distance (LSD) covered], body temperatures [rectal temperature (Tre), mean skin temperature (Tsk) and neck temperature (neckTsk)], physiological [heart-rate (HR) and change in body-mass] and perceptual response [rate of perceived exertion (RPE), thermal comfort (TC), thermal sensation (TS) and neck thermal sensation (TSneck)] were all measured. When compared to CON, sprint distance covered was significantly improved (P < 0.05) during the first and last 15 min in NECK, final 15 min in VEST, and final 30 min in VEST+NECK during iSPT, respectively. In xvi VEST, Tsk was significantly reduced (P < 0.05) until 15 min of iSPT compared to CON. In NECK and VEST+NECK, TSneck and neckTsk were significantly reduced (P < 0.01) prior to the start of iSPT with neckTsk also significantly lower post half-time cooling, compared to CON. Furthermore, VEST+NECK also significantly reduced (P < 0.05) TS prior to the start of iSPT, compared to CON. No further significance (P > 0.05) was observed for physical performance, physiological or perceptual responses during iSPT for all conditions. Pre- and half-time cooling via VEST+NECK was most ergogenic and significantly improved sprint performance during the final 30 min of iSPT in 32°C, important given the prominence of sprinting prior to goals and assists during soccer match-play (Faude et al., 2012). Further research with a larger sample size is warranted to further elucidate the mechanisms for the enhanced performance.
    • Pressure sensor array model for collecting user’s responses to test action in active robot learning

      Zou, Weidong (University of Bedfordshire, 2010-10)
      Active robot learning (ARL) is an approach to the development of beliefs of the robots on their users’ intentions and preferences, which is needed by the robots to facilitate the seamless cooperation with users. Such approach allows the robots to perform tests on its users and to form high-order beliefs according to the users’ responses. This study carried out primary research on designing a pressure sensor array model attached to the robot’s finger tips to collect the user’s responses to test action in the ARL system. A mathematical model and the reference value threshold which decides the pressure distribution were proposed through a benchmark scenario experiment. The robot holds an object and presents it to the user. When the user does not take over the object, the pressure distribution on the robot’s finger tips shown on the pressure sensor array is uneven. When the user takes over the object, the pressure distribution on the robot’s finger tips is even. According to the relationship between the pressure distribution and the user’s responses, the user’s responses to test action can be recognized by the robot. Two cases of the benchmark scenario which is the robot passing an object to the user is simulated in a simulation software, GraspIt, in this study. The simulation results proved the developed pressure sensor array model can successfully collect the user’s responses to test actions in the ARL.
    • Pro inflammatory cytokine production by polymorphonuclear neutrophils following a 12-day period of intensified training

      Thorley, Josh (University of Bedfordshire, 2019-01-15)
      This thesis investigated whether resting and/or exercise-induced interleukin-8 (IL-8) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) production by antigen-stimulated polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMN) would alter over a 12-day intensified training period (ITP). Ten physically active males completed seventeen exercise sessions in total, including: two main trials (30-min self-paced treadmill run (RPETR), 10 km time trial), completed before (MTPRE) and after (MTPOST) a twelve day ITP, and two V̇O2max tests completed before (VO2PRE) and after (VO2POST) the ITP. Blood samples were collected via venepuncture before and after the RPETR at MTPRE and MTPOST. PMN were isolated from whole blood and incubated for 18 h with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) antigen. IL-8 and TNF-α production by LPS-stimulated PMN was determined using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) tests. TNF-α production by LPS-stimulated PMN significantly elevated in response to the RPETR at MTPRE (P = 0.004) and MTPOST (P = 0.047). IL-8 production only significantly increased in response to the RPETR at MTPRE (P = 0.033) but not at MTPOST (P = 0.199). The absolute RPETR-induced increase in TNF-α and IL-8 concentrations by LPS-stimulated PMN were lower at MTPOST compared to MTPRE. Blood PMN concentration increased significantly following the completion of RPETR at MTPRE (P = 0.02) and MTPOST (P = 0.016). Resting and RPETR-induced blood PMN concentrations did not significantly differ between MTPRE and MTPOST (P = 0.521). Following the completion of the ITP, V̇O2max (P = 0.696) and 10 km time to completion scores (P = 0.457; d = 0.32) did not change. The severity of upper-respiratory tract symptoms (URTS) increased in six out of ten participants following the ITP. Self-reported general (P = 0.040) and sport-related (P = 0.005) stress scores were higher at MTPOST compared to MTPRE. The identification of increased stress states, more severe URTS, and decreased physical performance capacities in participants indicates that overreaching may have been achieved following the ITP. Reduced pro-inflammatory cytokine production in response to acute exercise following a period of intensified training may predispose athletes to impaired inflammatory responses during exercise which may contribute to the pathogenesis of reported URTS in athletes who are overtraining.
    • Psychological contract experience of survivor first-line managers during organisational downsizing: the mediating influence of culture in Nigeria

      Uchenna, Christian Obi (University of Bedfordshire, 2015-06)
      Purpose: The purpose of this research is to investigate the effect of breaches psychological contract on survivor first-line managers during organisational downsizing in Nigeria. Secondly, the influence of national culture on their responses to such perceived breaches Literature: Psychological contract PC is an important concept in understanding work relationships, and the obvious impact the construt has on organisational outcomes (Zhao et al., 2007). It is described as a mental model or schema which helps individuals to understand and interprete employment relationships (Rousseau, 1989). The study of PC has increased in recent times because of increasing emphasis on lean management or cost cutting which usually result in perception of breach (Datta et al., 2010). In the past, researches on psychological contract have focused on the understanding of the conditions under which perception of breach arise; the conditions under which perceptions of breach are stronger or weaker; and the conditions that mediate the effects and feeling of breach (Zhao et al., 2007). Most studies on PC have focussed on victims and have been carried out in western context (Sronce and McKinley, 2006; Sparrow, 1998). Researchers have therefore advocated the need for a research to be carried in a non-western context as cognition and perception of PC is said to be influenced by culture. This informed the focus of this investigation, and to focus on survivor-managerial employees because paucity of research on survivors in Nigeria. Research Methodology: The research study adopted a qualitative approach using one-to-one interviews. The data were collected in two staged interviews process. The first started with review of extant literature in the subject area. Semi-structured interviews were used to interview seven participants of managerial cadre who survived downsizing exercise. The second stage equally employed Semi-structured interviews with identified survivor managers. In this stage 13 interviews were conducted. The two stages are complimentary in order to deepen knowledge and gain insight into lived experiences of surviving managers and how culture influences their attitudinal behaviours during downsizing. All data were analysed inductively using interpretative phenomenological analysis IPA Findings: Findings from this study had shown that emotional/psychological experiences and feelings such as anxiety, uncertainty, job insecurity, reduced motivation, and reduced effort/productivity as well as intention to leave experienced by survivor managerial employees consistent with findings from Anglo-American cultures are not cultural bound. The findings indicate that, although managerial survivors were unhappy and dissatisfied with events in the workplace, their work-related attitudes and behavioural responses such as commitment & loyalty were positive. This positive attitudinal response is said to be mediated or influenced by societal cultural values like religious beliefs, extended family obligations, the value of dependency, faith in God, spirituality and high level of unemployment. The findings also indicate the valence of religious beliefs, and faith in God when survivor employees face unforeseen, difficult and unpleasant situations including downsizing in Nigeria.
    • The reality of rights, independence, choice and inclusion for adults with learning disabilities

      Presland, John Richard (University of Bedfordshire, 2013-07)
      The aim of this qualitative research study is to explore the reality of rights, independence, choice and inclusion for adults with learning disabilities; these represent key principles in government policy on this service user group, as set out in Valuing People (2001). The role of professionals (specifically Care Managers) in acting as allies to people with learning disabilities is also considered. The literature review explores the impact of social policy, the interventions arising from it, and the role of professionals, in the lives of people with learning disabilities over the last one hundred years. Focus Groups are used to explore the themes emerging from the literature review with a local group of people with learning disabilities and Care Managers. Originally Direct Payments and now Personal Budgets offer a means of making choices outside of specialist services. Expectations of people with learning disabilities regarding the relationships and models of support to which they aspire are explored, together with issues of communication – written and verbal. The importance of connecting people’s past influences and experiences with the present and future are identified, acknowledging that the story of social policy is also a personal story of people’s lived experiences. The dilemmas Care Managers face in carrying out their assessment role also emerge from the research. The application of social work values and reflective practice for Care Managers is identified as a significant aspect of professional practice.
    • Recovery-based rescheduling and optimisation of batch production processes

      Tan, Yaqing (University of Bedfordshire, 2012-09)
      Batch production processes are widely used in the process industries, applied to produce high-value added products with great varieties but in small volumes. The dynamic features of batch production processes contribute to the flexibility of the processes, but also pose big challenges to process scheduling problems. Moreover, disturbances in such a dynamic environment intensify its complexity. In this work, scheduling and rescheduling models on batch production processes are proposed, considering parallel machines allocation, storage capacity and waiting. The rescheduling model addresses process disturbances, such as machine breakdown and rush orders, in a recovery-based approach, which uses the original schedules as a guide to diminish the deviations between new and original schedules. Genetic Algorithms (GA) and Constraint Programming (CP) are applied to solve the models, but the rescheduling model built by CP can be applied to original schedules created by any techniques. According to case studies and experiments on the proposed scheduling and rescheduling approaches, it is found that CP has a better performance for scheduling and rescheduling problems with complex constraints although it cost longer time than GA. It is also found that rush orders exerted bigger influences on the batch production process than machine breakdowns, especially when the breakdowns do not happen on the ‘bottleneck’ machines.
    • Reducing edible food waste in the UK food manufacturing supply chain through collaboration

      Shah, Pramitkumar (University of Bedfordshire, 2017-06)
      The aim of this study is to examine the relationship between food manufacturing supply chain (FMSC) collaboration, collaborative effectiveness and edible food waste (EF) waste reduction; and also identify the key dimensions of collaboration and collaborative effectiveness in the context of the FMSC. A conceptual framework was built based on thorough relevant literature review and theory. Then all items of the conceptual framework were revised by academics and practitioners. The model was empirically tested with survey data using 122 responses from food manufacturing firms, using PLS-SEM. The findings indicated that the structural paths support hypotheses that FMSC collaboration has a positive effect related to collaborative effectiveness, and collaborative effectiveness has a strong contribution in EF waste (over-production of EF waste, processing of EF waste and storage of EF waste) reduction. However, the direct impact of FMSC collaboration on EF waste (over-production of EF waste, processing of EF waste and storage of EF waste) reduction is insignificant. A mediation analysis showed that the relationship between FMSC collaboration and EF waste is fully mediated by collaborative effectiveness. This research brought relational view theory for the concept of FMSC collaboration and collaborative effectiveness into the FMSC context, which has not previously been done, and developed and validated those constructs and relationships. The UK FMSC members would benefit from applying all dimensions of FMSC collaboration in this study to their supply chain operation to achieve greater collaborative effectiveness, and that will lead to reducing EF waste.
    • A rental Digital Rights Management framework which allows user to lend books and notes

      Vyas, Rohit (University of Bedfordshire, 2012-01)
      With new technologies come new challenges and opportunities. The upsurge in use of tablets and readers has led to increase in eBooks usage in recent years. But there lies some key differences in eBooks and print books which are often seen as a hurdle in the growth of eBook market. Firstly an eBook provider delivers eBooks with access control technologies known as Digital Rights Management which makes it difficult for the consumers to use eBooks as print Books. Secondly eBook renting is not widely used as print book renting and lastly users cannot lend eBooks as they do in case of print books. This project analyses the digital rights management schemes and provides a suitable framework which has an interoperable rental DRM framework which allows users to lend eBooks and notes.
    • Replication and availability in decentralised online social networks

      Hassan, Adil (University of Bedfordshire, 2017)
      During the last few years’ online social networks (OSNs) have become increasingly popular among all age groups and professions but this has raised a number of issues around users’ privacy and security. To address these issues a number of attempts have been made in the literature to create the next generation of OSNs built on decentralised architectures. Maintaining high data availability in decentralised OSNs is a challenging task as users themselves are responsible for keeping their profiles available either by staying online for longer periods of time or by choosing trusted peers that can keep their data available on their behalf. The major findings of this research include algorithmically determining the users’ availability and the minimum number of replicas required to achieve the same availability as all mirror nodes combined. The thesis also investigates how the users’ availability, replication degree and the update propagation delay changes as we alter the number of mirror nodes their online patterns, number of sessions and session duration. We found as we increase the number of mirror nodes the availability increases and becomes stable after a certain point which may vary from node to node as it directly depends on the node’s number of mirror nodes and their online patterns. Moreover, we also found the minimum number of replicas required to achieve the same availability as all mirror nodes combined and update propagation delay directly depends on mirror nodes’ number of sessions and session duration. Furthermore, we also found as we increase the number of sessions with reduced session lengths the update propagation delay between the mirror nodes starts to decrease. Thus resulting in spreading the updates faster as compared to mirror nodes with fewer sessions but of longer durations.
    • Representation, immigration, experience and memory: a study of representational dynamics of “the other” in post imperial Britain (1947-1990s) with special reference to African and African Caribbean immigrants

      Holt, Dollin Wilson Ovaroh (University of Bedfordshire, 2007-07)
      The study is an assessment of the proposition that the British media coverage of African and African Caribbean minority ethnic communities is permeated with 'othering'. It analysed the mode of accounting and explaining mobilised by some of the national press regarding racial unrest, focusing particularly on those major events that served to narrativise and recompose the image of immigrants as the 'other' in the context of articulating Britishness. These are Enoch Powell's Rivers of Blood speech in 1968 and the Brixton disturbance of 1981. A content/frame analysis of newspaper coverage of these events was carried out. Seymore-Ure's analysis of the media's response to Powell's speech in The Political Impact of Mass Media (1974) served as major point of reference. In addition, the study explored through in-dept interviews the relationship between lived experiences and popular media discourses in an attempt to gauge the extent to which interviewees' memories cohered or not with the media's account of events involving black people; and which news stories have had significant and formative impact on the experiences of other-ness.