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Computers, Volume 13, Issue 5 (May 2024) – 17 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): OpenFOAM is a CFD software widely used in both industry and academia. For the assessment of the software components and the code profiling during the exaFOAM project, lightweight but significant benchmarks should be used. The answer was to develop microbenchmarks covering a broad band of applications, including incompressible and compressible flow, combustion, viscoelastic flow and adjoint optimisation. The performances using HPC systems with Intel and AMD processors (x86_64 architecture) and Arm processors (aarch64 architecture) have been benchmarked. For the workloads in this study, the mean performance with the AMD CPU is 62% higher than with Arm and 42% higher than with Intel. The AMD processor seems particularly suited, resulting in an overall shorter time-to-solution. View this paper
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17 pages, 4179 KiB  
Article
A Wireless Noninvasive Blood Pressure Measurement System Using MAX30102 and Random Forest Regressor for Photoplethysmography Signals
by Michelle Annice Tjitra, Nagisa Eremia Anju, Dodi Sudiana and Mia Rizkinia
Computers 2024, 13(5), 125; https://doi.org/10.3390/computers13050125 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 392
Abstract
Hypertension, often termed “the silent killer”, is associated with cardiovascular risk and requires regular blood pressure (BP) monitoring. However, existing methods are cumbersome and require medical expertise, which is worsened by the need for physical contact, particularly during situations such as the coronavirus [...] Read more.
Hypertension, often termed “the silent killer”, is associated with cardiovascular risk and requires regular blood pressure (BP) monitoring. However, existing methods are cumbersome and require medical expertise, which is worsened by the need for physical contact, particularly during situations such as the coronavirus pandemic that started in 2019 (COVID-19). This study aimed to develop a cuffless, continuous, and accurate BP measurement system using a photoplethysmography (PPG) sensor and a microcontroller via PPG signals. The system utilizes a MAX30102 sensor and ESP-WROOM-32 microcontroller to capture PPG signals that undergo noise reduction during preprocessing. Peak detection and feature extraction algorithms were introduced, and their output data were used to train a machine learning model for BP prediction. Tuning the model resulted in identifying the best-performing model when using a dataset from six subjects with a total of 114 records, thereby achieving a coefficient of determination of 0.37/0.46 and a mean absolute error value of 4.38/4.49 using the random forest algorithm. Integrating this model into a web-based graphical user interface enables its implementation. One probable limitation arises from the small sample size (six participants) of healthy young individuals under seated conditions, thereby potentially hindering the proposed model’s ability to learn and generalize patterns effectively. Increasing the number of participants with diverse ages and medical histories can enhance the accuracy of the proposed model. Nevertheless, this innovative device successfully addresses the need for convenient, remote BP monitoring, particularly during situations like the COVID-19 pandemic, thus making it a promising tool for cardiovascular health management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Machine and Deep Learning in the Health Domain 2024)
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22 pages, 5829 KiB  
Article
Enhancing Brain Segmentation in MRI through Integration of Hidden Markov Random Field Model and Whale Optimization Algorithm
by Abdelaziz Daoudi and Saïd Mahmoudi
Computers 2024, 13(5), 124; https://doi.org/10.3390/computers13050124 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 332
Abstract
The automatic delineation and segmentation of the brain tissues from Magnetic Resonance Images (MRIs) is a great challenge in the medical context. The difficulty of this task arises out of the similar visual appearance of neighboring brain structures in MR images. In this [...] Read more.
The automatic delineation and segmentation of the brain tissues from Magnetic Resonance Images (MRIs) is a great challenge in the medical context. The difficulty of this task arises out of the similar visual appearance of neighboring brain structures in MR images. In this study, we present an automatic approach for robust and accurate brain tissue boundary outlining in MR images. This algorithm is proposed for the tissue classification of MR brain images into White Matter (WM), Gray Matter (GM) and Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF). The proposed segmentation process combines two algorithms, the Hidden Markov Random Field (HMRF) model and the Whale Optimization Algorithm (WOA), to enhance the treatment accuracy. In addition, we use the Whale Optimization Algorithm (WOA) to optimize the performance of the segmentation method. The experimental results from a dataset of brain MR images show the superiority of our proposed method, referred to HMRF-WOA, as compared to other reported approaches. The HMRF-WOA is evaluated on multiple MRI contrasts, including both simulated and real MR brain images. The well-known Dice coefficient (DC) and Jaccard coefficient (JC) were used as similarity metrics. The results show that, in many cases, our proposed method approaches the perfect segmentation with a Dice coefficient and Jaccard coefficient above 0.9. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Image Processing and Computer Vision)
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23 pages, 5802 KiB  
Article
Assessing the Legibility of Arabic Road Signage Using Eye Gazing and Cognitive Loading Metrics
by Mohammad Lataifeh, Naveed Ahmed, Shaima Elbardawil and Somayeh Gordani
Computers 2024, 13(5), 123; https://doi.org/10.3390/computers13050123 - 15 May 2024
Viewed by 410
Abstract
This research study aimed to evaluate the legibility of Arabic road signage using an eye-tracking approach within a virtual reality (VR) environment. The study was conducted in a controlled setting involving 20 participants who watched two videos using the HP Omnicept Reverb G2. [...] Read more.
This research study aimed to evaluate the legibility of Arabic road signage using an eye-tracking approach within a virtual reality (VR) environment. The study was conducted in a controlled setting involving 20 participants who watched two videos using the HP Omnicept Reverb G2. The VR device recorded eye gazing details in addition to other physiological data of the participants, providing an overlay of heart rate, eye movement, and cognitive load, which in combination were used to determine the participants’ focus during the experiment. The data were processed through a schematic design, and the final files were saved in .txt format, which was later used for data extraction and analysis. Through the execution of this study, it became apparent that employing eye-tracking technology within a VR setting offers a promising method for assessing the legibility of road signs. The outcomes of the current research enlightened the vital role of legibility in ensuring road safety and facilitating effective communication with drivers. Clear and easily comprehensible road signs were found to be pivotal in delivering timely information, aiding navigation, and ultimately mitigating accidents or confusion on the road. As a result, this study advocates for the utilization of VR as a valuable platform for enhancing the design and functionality of road signage systems, recognizing its potential to contribute significantly to the improvement of road safety and navigation for drivers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extended or Mixed Reality (AR + VR): Technology and Applications)
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27 pages, 1788 KiB  
Article
Securing Critical Infrastructure with Blockchain Technology: An Approach to Cyber-Resilience
by Jaime Govea, Walter Gaibor-Naranjo and William Villegas-Ch
Computers 2024, 13(5), 122; https://doi.org/10.3390/computers13050122 - 15 May 2024
Viewed by 448
Abstract
Currently, in the digital era, critical infrastructure is increasingly exposed to cyber threats to their operation and security. This study explores the use of blockchain technology to address these challenges, highlighting its immutability, decentralization, and transparency as keys to strengthening the resilience of [...] Read more.
Currently, in the digital era, critical infrastructure is increasingly exposed to cyber threats to their operation and security. This study explores the use of blockchain technology to address these challenges, highlighting its immutability, decentralization, and transparency as keys to strengthening the resilience of these vital structures. Through a methodology encompassing literature review, use-case analysis, and the development and evaluation of prototypes, the effective implementation of the blockchain in the protection of critical infrastructure is investigated. The experimental results reveal the positive impact of the blockchain on security and resilience, presenting a solid defense against cyber-attacks due to its immutable and decentralized structure, with a 40% reduction in security incidents. Despite the observed benefits, blockchain integration faces significant challenges in scalability, interoperability, and regulations. This work demonstrates the potential of the blockchain to strengthen critical infrastructure. It marks progress towards the blockchain’s practical adoption, offering a clear direction for future research and development in this evolving field. Full article
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20 pages, 5333 KiB  
Article
Indoor Scene Classification through Dual-Stream Deep Learning: A Framework for Improved Scene Understanding in Robotics
by Sultan Daud Khan and Kamal M. Othman
Computers 2024, 13(5), 121; https://doi.org/10.3390/computers13050121 - 14 May 2024
Viewed by 427
Abstract
Indoor scene classification plays a pivotal role in enabling social robots to seamlessly adapt to their environments, facilitating effective navigation and interaction within diverse indoor scenes. By accurately characterizing indoor scenes, robots can autonomously tailor their behaviors, making informed decisions to accomplish specific [...] Read more.
Indoor scene classification plays a pivotal role in enabling social robots to seamlessly adapt to their environments, facilitating effective navigation and interaction within diverse indoor scenes. By accurately characterizing indoor scenes, robots can autonomously tailor their behaviors, making informed decisions to accomplish specific tasks. Traditional methods relying on manually crafted features encounter difficulties when characterizing complex indoor scenes. On the other hand, deep learning models address the shortcomings of traditional methods by autonomously learning hierarchical features from raw images. Despite the success of deep learning models, existing models still struggle to effectively characterize complex indoor scenes. This is because there is high degree of intra-class variability and inter-class similarity within indoor environments. To address this problem, we propose a dual-stream framework that harnesses both global contextual information and local features for enhanced recognition. The global stream captures high-level features and relationships across the scene. The local stream employs a fully convolutional network to extract fine-grained local information. The proposed dual-stream architecture effectively distinguishes scenes that share similar global contexts but contain different localized objects. We evaluate the performance of the proposed framework on a publicly available benchmark indoor scene dataset. From the experimental results, we demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed framework. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Autonomous Vehicle Solutions)
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21 pages, 2758 KiB  
Article
Enhancing Workplace Safety through Personalized Environmental Risk Assessment: An AI-Driven Approach in Industry 5.0
by Janaína Lemos, Vanessa Borba de Souza, Frederico Soares Falcetta, Fernando Kude de Almeida, Tânia M. Lima and Pedro Dinis Gaspar
Computers 2024, 13(5), 120; https://doi.org/10.3390/computers13050120 - 13 May 2024
Viewed by 725
Abstract
This paper describes an integrated monitoring system designed for individualized environmental risk assessment and management in the workplace. The system incorporates monitoring devices that measure dust, noise, ultraviolet radiation, illuminance, temperature, humidity, and flammable gases. Comprising monitoring devices, a server-based web application for [...] Read more.
This paper describes an integrated monitoring system designed for individualized environmental risk assessment and management in the workplace. The system incorporates monitoring devices that measure dust, noise, ultraviolet radiation, illuminance, temperature, humidity, and flammable gases. Comprising monitoring devices, a server-based web application for employers, and a mobile application for workers, the system integrates the registration of workers’ health histories, such as common diseases and symptoms related to the monitored agents, and a web-based recommendation system. The recommendation system application uses classifiers to decide the risk/no risk per sensor and crosses this information with fixed rules to define recommendations. The system generates actionable alerts for companies to improve decision-making regarding professional activities and long-term safety planning by analyzing health information through fixed rules and exposure data through machine learning algorithms. As the system must handle sensitive data, data privacy is addressed in communication and data storage. The study provides test results that evaluate the performance of different machine learning models in building an effective recommendation system. Since it was not possible to find public datasets with all the sensor data needed to train artificial intelligence models, it was necessary to build a data generator for this work. By proposing an approach that focuses on individualized environmental risk assessment and management, considering workers’ health histories, this work is expected to contribute to enhancing occupational safety through computational technologies in the Industry 5.0 approach. Full article
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29 pages, 40648 KiB  
Article
Detection of Crabs and Lobsters Using a Benchmark Single-Stage Detector and Novel Fisheries Dataset
by Muhammad Iftikhar, Marie Neal, Natalie Hold, Sebastian Gregory Dal Toé and Bernard Tiddeman
Computers 2024, 13(5), 119; https://doi.org/10.3390/computers13050119 - 11 May 2024
Viewed by 440
Abstract
Crabs and lobsters are valuable crustaceans that contribute enormously to the seafood needs of the growing human population. This paper presents a comprehensive analysis of single- and multi-stage object detectors for the detection of crabs and lobsters using images captured onboard fishing boats. [...] Read more.
Crabs and lobsters are valuable crustaceans that contribute enormously to the seafood needs of the growing human population. This paper presents a comprehensive analysis of single- and multi-stage object detectors for the detection of crabs and lobsters using images captured onboard fishing boats. We investigate the speed and accuracy of multiple object detection techniques using a novel dataset, multiple backbone networks, various input sizes, and fine-tuned parameters. We extend our work to train lightweight models to accommodate the fishing boats equipped with low-power hardware systems. Firstly, we train Faster R-CNN, SSD, and YOLO with different backbones and tuning parameters. The models trained with higher input sizes resulted in lower frames per second (FPS) and vice versa. The base models were highly accurate but were compromised in computational and run-time costs. The lightweight models were adaptable to low-power hardware compared to the base models. Secondly, we improved the performance of YOLO (v3, v4, and tiny versions) using custom anchors generated by the k-means clustering approach using our novel dataset. The YOLO (v4 and it’s tiny version) achieved mean average precision (mAP) of 99.2% and 95.2%, respectively. The YOLOv4-tiny trained on the custom anchor-based dataset is capable of precisely detecting crabs and lobsters onboard fishing boats at 64 frames per second (FPS) on an NVidia GeForce RTX 3070 GPU. The Results obtained identified the strengths and weaknesses of each method towards a trade-off between speed and accuracy for detecting objects in input images. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from Computer Graphics & Visual Computing (CGVC 2023))
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29 pages, 1895 KiB  
Article
An Efficient Attribute-Based Participant Selecting Scheme with Blockchain for Federated Learning in Smart Cities
by Xiaojun Yin, Haochen Qiu, Xijun Wu and Xinming Zhang
Computers 2024, 13(5), 118; https://doi.org/10.3390/computers13050118 - 9 May 2024
Viewed by 591
Abstract
In smart cities, large amounts of multi-source data are generated all the time. A model established via machine learning can mine information from these data and enable many valuable applications. With concerns about data privacy, it is becoming increasingly difficult for the publishers [...] Read more.
In smart cities, large amounts of multi-source data are generated all the time. A model established via machine learning can mine information from these data and enable many valuable applications. With concerns about data privacy, it is becoming increasingly difficult for the publishers of these applications to obtain users’ data, which hinders the previous paradigm of centralized training through collecting data on a large scale. Federated learning is expected to prevent the leakage of private data by allowing users to train models locally. The existing works generally ignore architectures designed in real scenarios. Thus, there still exist some challenges that have not yet been explored in federated learning applied in smart cities, such as avoiding sharing models with improper parties under privacy requirements and designing satisfactory incentive mechanisms. Therefore, we propose an efficient attribute-based participant selecting scheme to ensure that only someone who meets the requirements of the task publisher can participate in training under the premise of high privacy requirements, so as to improve the efficiency and avoid attacks. We further extend our scheme to encourage clients to take part in federated learning and provide an audit mechanism using a consortium blockchain. Finally, we present an in-depth discussion of the proposed scheme by comparing it to different methods. The results show that our scheme can improve the efficiency of federated learning by enabling reliable participant selection and promote the extensive use of federated learning in smart cities. Full article
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21 pages, 6859 KiB  
Systematic Review
A Systematic Review of Using Deep Learning in Aphasia: Challenges and Future Directions
by Yin Wang, Weibin Cheng, Fahim Sufi, Qiang Fang and Seedahmed S. Mahmoud
Computers 2024, 13(5), 117; https://doi.org/10.3390/computers13050117 - 9 May 2024
Viewed by 654
Abstract
In this systematic literature review, the intersection of deep learning applications within the aphasia domain is meticulously explored, acknowledging the condition’s complex nature and the nuanced challenges it presents for language comprehension and expression. By harnessing data from primary databases and employing advanced [...] Read more.
In this systematic literature review, the intersection of deep learning applications within the aphasia domain is meticulously explored, acknowledging the condition’s complex nature and the nuanced challenges it presents for language comprehension and expression. By harnessing data from primary databases and employing advanced query methodologies, this study synthesizes findings from 28 relevant documents, unveiling a landscape marked by significant advancements and persistent challenges. Through a methodological lens grounded in the PRISMA framework (Version 2020) and Machine Learning-driven tools like VosViewer (Version 1.6.20) and Litmaps (Free Version), the research delineates the high variability in speech patterns, the intricacies of speech recognition, and the hurdles posed by limited and diverse datasets as core obstacles. Innovative solutions such as specialized deep learning models, data augmentation strategies, and the pivotal role of interdisciplinary collaboration in dataset annotation emerge as vital contributions to this field. The analysis culminates in identifying theoretical and practical pathways for surmounting these barriers, highlighting the potential of deep learning technologies to revolutionize aphasia assessment and treatment. This review not only consolidates current knowledge but also charts a course for future research, emphasizing the need for comprehensive datasets, model optimization, and integration into clinical workflows to enhance patient care. Ultimately, this work underscores the transformative power of deep learning in advancing aphasia diagnosis, treatment, and support, heralding a new era of innovation and interdisciplinary collaboration in addressing this challenging disorder. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Machine and Deep Learning in the Health Domain 2024)
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14 pages, 6899 KiB  
Article
A Hybrid Deep Learning Architecture for Apple Foliar Disease Detection
by Adnane Ait Nasser and Moulay A. Akhloufi
Computers 2024, 13(5), 116; https://doi.org/10.3390/computers13050116 - 7 May 2024
Viewed by 510
Abstract
Incorrectly diagnosing plant diseases can lead to various undesirable outcomes. This includes the potential for the misuse of unsuitable herbicides, resulting in harm to both plants and the environment. Examining plant diseases visually is a complex and challenging procedure that demands considerable time [...] Read more.
Incorrectly diagnosing plant diseases can lead to various undesirable outcomes. This includes the potential for the misuse of unsuitable herbicides, resulting in harm to both plants and the environment. Examining plant diseases visually is a complex and challenging procedure that demands considerable time and resources. Moreover, it necessitates keen observational skills from agronomists and plant pathologists. Precise identification of plant diseases is crucial to enhance crop yields, ultimately guaranteeing the quality and quantity of production. The latest progress in deep learning (DL) models has demonstrated encouraging outcomes in the identification and classification of plant diseases. In the context of this study, we introduce a novel hybrid deep learning architecture named “CTPlantNet”. This architecture employs convolutional neural network (CNN) models and a vision transformer model to efficiently classify plant foliar diseases, contributing to the advancement of disease classification methods in the field of plant pathology research. This study utilizes two open-access datasets. The first one is the Plant Pathology 2020-FGVC-7 dataset, comprising a total of 3526 images depicting apple leaves and divided into four distinct classes: healthy, scab, rust, and multiple. The second dataset is Plant Pathology 2021-FGVC-8, containing 18,632 images classified into six categories: healthy, scab, rust, powdery mildew, frog eye spot, and complex. The proposed architecture demonstrated remarkable performance across both datasets, outperforming state-of-the-art models with an accuracy (ACC) of 98.28% for Plant Pathology 2020-FGVC-7 and 95.96% for Plant Pathology 2021-FGVC-8. Full article
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16 pages, 3979 KiB  
Article
Performance Comparison of CFD Microbenchmarks on Diverse HPC Architectures
by Flavio C. C. Galeazzo, Marta Garcia-Gasulla, Elisabetta Boella, Josep Pocurull, Sergey Lesnik, Henrik Rusche, Simone Bnà, Matteo Cerminara, Federico Brogi, Filippo Marchetti, Daniele Gregori, R. Gregor Weiß and Andreas Ruopp
Computers 2024, 13(5), 115; https://doi.org/10.3390/computers13050115 - 7 May 2024
Viewed by 458
Abstract
OpenFOAM is a CFD software widely used in both industry and academia. The exaFOAM project aims at enhancing the HPC scalability of OpenFOAM, while identifying its current bottlenecks and proposing ways to overcome them. For the assessment of the software components and the [...] Read more.
OpenFOAM is a CFD software widely used in both industry and academia. The exaFOAM project aims at enhancing the HPC scalability of OpenFOAM, while identifying its current bottlenecks and proposing ways to overcome them. For the assessment of the software components and the code profiling during the code development, lightweight but significant benchmarks should be used. The answer was to develop microbenchmarks, with a small memory footprint and short runtime. The name microbenchmark does not mean that they have been prepared to be the smallest possible test cases, as they have been developed to fit in a compute node, which usually has dozens of compute cores. The microbenchmarks cover a broad band of applications: incompressible and compressible flow, combustion, viscoelastic flow and adjoint optimization. All benchmarks are part of the OpenFOAM HPC Technical Committee repository and are fully accessible. The performance using HPC systems with Intel and AMD processors (x86_64 architecture) and Arm processors (aarch64 architecture) have been benchmarked. For the workloads in this study, the mean performance with the AMD CPU is 62% higher than with Arm and 42% higher than with Intel. The AMD processor seems particularly suited resulting in an overall shorter time-to-solution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Best Practices, Challenges and Opportunities in Software Engineering)
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20 pages, 601 KiB  
Article
Harnessing Machine Learning to Unveil Emotional Responses to Hateful Content on Social Media
by Ali Louati, Hassen Louati, Abdullah Albanyan, Rahma Lahyani, Elham Kariri and Abdulrahman Alabduljabbar
Computers 2024, 13(5), 114; https://doi.org/10.3390/computers13050114 - 29 Apr 2024
Viewed by 836
Abstract
Within the dynamic realm of social media, the proliferation of harmful content can significantly influence user engagement and emotional health. This study presents an in-depth analysis that bridges diverse domains, from examining the aftereffects of personal online attacks to the intricacies of online [...] Read more.
Within the dynamic realm of social media, the proliferation of harmful content can significantly influence user engagement and emotional health. This study presents an in-depth analysis that bridges diverse domains, from examining the aftereffects of personal online attacks to the intricacies of online trolling. By leveraging an AI-driven framework, we systematically implemented high-precision attack detection, psycholinguistic feature extraction, and sentiment analysis algorithms, each tailored to the unique linguistic contexts found within user-generated content on platforms like Reddit. Our dataset, which spans a comprehensive spectrum of social media interactions, underwent rigorous analysis employing classical statistical methods, Bayesian estimation, and model-theoretic analysis. This multi-pronged methodological approach allowed us to chart the complex emotional responses of users subjected to online negativity, covering a spectrum from harassment and cyberbullying to subtle forms of trolling. Empirical results from our study reveal a clear dose–response effect; personal attacks are quantifiably linked to declines in user activity, with our data indicating a 5% reduction after 1–2 attacks, 15% after 3–5 attacks, and 25% after 6–10 attacks, demonstrating the significant deterring effect of such negative encounters. Moreover, sentiment analysis unveiled the intricate emotional reactions users have to these interactions, further emphasizing the potential for AI-driven methodologies to promote more inclusive and supportive digital communities. This research underscores the critical need for interdisciplinary approaches in understanding social media’s complex dynamics and sheds light on significant insights relevant to the development of regulation policies, the formation of community guidelines, and the creation of AI tools tailored to detect and counteract harmful content. The goal is to mitigate the impact of such content on user emotions and ensure the healthy engagement of users in online spaces. Full article
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21 pages, 1302 KiB  
Article
Enhancing Reliability in Rural Networks Using a Software-Defined Wide Area Network
by Luca Borgianni, Davide Adami, Stefano Giordano and Michele Pagano
Computers 2024, 13(5), 113; https://doi.org/10.3390/computers13050113 - 28 Apr 2024
Viewed by 724
Abstract
Due to limited infrastructure and remote locations, rural areas often need help providing reliable and high-quality network connectivity. We propose an innovative approach that leverages Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) architecture to enhance reliability in such challenging rural scenarios. Our study focuses on [...] Read more.
Due to limited infrastructure and remote locations, rural areas often need help providing reliable and high-quality network connectivity. We propose an innovative approach that leverages Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) architecture to enhance reliability in such challenging rural scenarios. Our study focuses on cases in which network resources are limited to network solutions such as Long-Term Evolution (LTE) and a Low-Earth-Orbit satellite connection. The SD-WAN implementation compares three tunnel selection algorithms that leverage real-time network performance monitoring: Deterministic, Random, and Deep Q-learning. The results offer valuable insights into the practical implementation of SD-WAN for rural connectivity scenarios, showing its potential to bridge the digital divide in underserved areas. Full article
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23 pages, 2765 KiB  
Article
Fruit and Vegetables Blockchain-Based Traceability Platform
by Ricardo Morais, António Miguel Rosado da Cruz and Estrela Ferreira Cruz
Computers 2024, 13(5), 112; https://doi.org/10.3390/computers13050112 - 26 Apr 2024
Viewed by 871
Abstract
Fresh food is difficult to preserve, especially because its characteristics can change, and its nutritional value may decrease. Therefore, from the consumer’s point of view, it would be very useful if, when buying fresh fruit or vegetables, they could know where it has [...] Read more.
Fresh food is difficult to preserve, especially because its characteristics can change, and its nutritional value may decrease. Therefore, from the consumer’s point of view, it would be very useful if, when buying fresh fruit or vegetables, they could know where it has been cultivated, when it was harvested and everything that has happened from its harvest until it reached the supermarket shelf. In other words, the consumer would like to have information about the traceability of the fruit or vegetables they intend to buy. This article presents a blockchain-based platform that allows institutions, consumers and business partners to track, back and forward, quality and sustainability information about all types of fresh fruits and vegetables. Full article
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19 pages, 434 KiB  
Article
Applying Bounding Techniques on Grammatical Evolution
by Ioannis G. Tsoulos, Alexandros Tzallas and Evangelos Karvounis
Computers 2024, 13(5), 111; https://doi.org/10.3390/computers13050111 - 23 Apr 2024
Viewed by 677
Abstract
The Grammatical Evolution technique has been successfully applied to some datasets from various scientific fields. However, in Grammatical Evolution, the chromosomes can be initialized at wide value intervals, which can lead to a decrease in the efficiency of the underlying technique. In this [...] Read more.
The Grammatical Evolution technique has been successfully applied to some datasets from various scientific fields. However, in Grammatical Evolution, the chromosomes can be initialized at wide value intervals, which can lead to a decrease in the efficiency of the underlying technique. In this paper, a technique for discovering appropriate intervals for the initialization of chromosomes is proposed using partition rules guided by a genetic algorithm. This method has been applied to feature construction techniques used in a variety of scientific papers. After successfully finding a promising interval, the feature construction technique is applied and the chromosomes are initialized within that interval. This technique was applied to a number of known problems in the relevant literature, and the results are extremely promising. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Computers 2024)
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13 pages, 858 KiB  
Article
User Experience in Neurofeedback Applications Using AR as Feedback Modality
by Lisa Maria Berger, Guilherme Wood and Silvia Erika Kober
Computers 2024, 13(5), 110; https://doi.org/10.3390/computers13050110 - 23 Apr 2024
Viewed by 686
Abstract
Neurofeedback (NF) is a brain–computer interface in which users can learn to modulate their own brain activation while receiving real-time feedback thereof. To increase motivation and adherence to training, virtual reality has recently been used as a feedback modality. In the presented study, [...] Read more.
Neurofeedback (NF) is a brain–computer interface in which users can learn to modulate their own brain activation while receiving real-time feedback thereof. To increase motivation and adherence to training, virtual reality has recently been used as a feedback modality. In the presented study, we focused on the effects of augmented reality (AR) based visual feedback on subjective user experience, including positive/negative affect, cybersickness, flow experience, and experience with the use of this technology, and compared it with a traditional 2D feedback modality. Also, half of the participants got real feedback and the other half got sham feedback. All participants performed one NF training session, in which they tried to increase their sensorimotor rhythm (SMR, 12–15 Hz) over central brain areas. Forty-four participants received conventional 2D visual feedback (moving bars on a conventional computer screen) about real-time changes in SMR activity, while 45 participants received AR feedback (3D virtual flowers grew out of a real pot). The subjective user experience differed in several points between the groups. Participants from the AR group received a tendentially higher flow score, and the AR sham group perceived a tendentially higher feeling of flow than the 2D sham group. Further, participants from the AR group reported a higher technology usability, experienced a higher feeling of control, and perceived themselves as more successful than those from the 2D group. Psychological factors like this are crucial for NF training motivation and success. In the 2D group, participants reported more concern related to their performance, a tendentially higher technology anxiety, and also more physical discomfort. These results show the potential advantage of the use of AR-based feedback in NF applications over traditional feedback modalities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extended or Mixed Reality (AR + VR): Technology and Applications)
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15 pages, 1664 KiB  
Article
A Novel Hybrid Vision Transformer CNN for COVID-19 Detection from ECG Images
by Mohamed Rami Naidji and Zakaria Elberrichi
Computers 2024, 13(5), 109; https://doi.org/10.3390/computers13050109 - 23 Apr 2024
Viewed by 835
Abstract
The emergence of the novel coronavirus in Wuhan, China since 2019, has put the world in an exotic state of emergency and affected millions of lives. It is five times more deadly than Influenza and causes significant morbidity and mortality. COVID-19 mainly affects [...] Read more.
The emergence of the novel coronavirus in Wuhan, China since 2019, has put the world in an exotic state of emergency and affected millions of lives. It is five times more deadly than Influenza and causes significant morbidity and mortality. COVID-19 mainly affects the pulmonary system leading to respiratory disorders. However, earlier studies indicated that COVID-19 infection may cause cardiovascular diseases, which can be detected using an electrocardiogram (ECG). This work introduces an advanced deep learning architecture for the automatic detection of COVID-19 and heart diseases from ECG images. In particular, a hybrid combination of the EfficientNet-B0 CNN model and Vision Transformer is adopted in the proposed architecture. To our knowledge, this study is the first research endeavor to investigate the potential of the vision transformer model to identify COVID-19 in ECG data. We carry out two classification schemes, a binary classification to identify COVID-19 cases, and a multi-class classification, to differentiate COVID-19 cases from normal cases and other cardiovascular diseases. The proposed method surpasses existing state-of-the-art approaches, demonstrating an accuracy of 100% and 95.10% for binary and multiclass levels, respectively. These results prove that artificial intelligence can potentially be used to detect cardiovascular anomalies caused by COVID-19, which may help clinicians overcome the limitations of traditional diagnosis. Full article
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