• Higher Order Time Stepping Methods for Subdiffusion Problems Based on Weighted and Shifted Grünwald–Letnikov Formulae with Nonsmooth Data

      Yan, yubin; Wang, Yanyong; Yan, Yuyuan; Pani, Amiya K.; University of Chester, Lvliang University, Jimei University, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay
      Two higher order time stepping methods for solving subdiffusion problems are studied in this paper. The Caputo time fractional derivatives are approximated by using the weighted and shifted Gr\"unwald-Letnikov formulae introduced in Tian et al. [Math. Comp. 84 (2015), pp. 2703-2727]. After correcting a few starting steps, the proposed time stepping methods have the optimal convergence orders $O(k^2)$ and $ O(k^3)$, respectively for any fixed time $t$ for both smooth and nonsmooth data. The error estimates are proved by directly bounding the approximation errors of the kernel functions. Moreover, we also present briefly the applicabilities of our time stepping schemes to various other fractional evolution equations. Finally, some numerical examples are given to show that the numerical results are consistent with the proven theoretical results.
    • An analysis of the L1 scheme for stochastic subdiffusion problem driven by integrated space-time white noise

      Yan, Yubin; Yan, Yuyuan; Wu, Xiaolei; University of Chester, Lvliang University, Jimei University (Elsevier, 2020-06-02)
      We consider the strong convergence of the numerical methods for solving stochastic subdiffusion problem driven by an integrated space-time white noise. The time fractional derivative is approximated by using the L1 scheme and the time fractional integral is approximated with the Lubich's first order convolution quadrature formula. We use the Euler method to approximate the noise in time and use the truncated series to approximate the noise in space. The spatial variable is discretized by using the linear finite element method. Applying the idea in Gunzburger \et (Math. Comp. 88(2019), pp. 1715-1741), we express the approximate solutions of the fully discrete scheme by the convolution of the piecewise constant function and the inverse Laplace transform of the resolvent related function. Based on such convolution expressions of the approximate solutions, we obtain the optimal convergence orders of the fully discrete scheme in spatial multi-dimensional cases by using the Laplace transform method and the corresponding resolvent estimates.
    • LevelEd VR: A virtual reality level editor and workflow for virtual reality level design

      Beever, Lee; Pop, Serban W.; John, Nigel W.; University of Chester
      Virtual reality entertainment and serious games popularity has continued to rise but the processes for level design for VR games has not been adequately researched. Our paper contributes LevelEd VR; a generic runtime virtual reality level editor that supports the level design workflow used by developers and can potentially support user generated content. We evaluated our LevelEd VR application and compared it to an existing workflow of Unity on a desktop. Our current research indicates that users are accepting of such a system, and it has the potential to be preferred over existing workflows for VR level design. We found that the primary benefit of our system is an improved sense of scale and perspective when creating the geometry and implementing gameplay. The paper also contributes some best practices and lessons learned from creating a complex virtual reality tool, such as LevelEd VR.
    • Impact Damage Characteristics of Carbon Fibre Metal Laminates: Experiments and Simulation

      Shi, Yu; Soutis, Constantinos; Pinna, Christophe; University of Chester; The University of Sheffield; The University of Manchester
      In this work, the impact response of carbon fibre metal laminates (FMLs) was experimentally and numerically studied with an improved design of the fibre composite lay-up for optimal mechanical properties and damage resistance. Two different stacking sequences (Carall 3–3/2–0.5 and Carall 5–3/2–0.5) were designed and characterised. Damage at relatively low energy impact energies (≤30 J) was investigated using Ultrasonic C-scanning and X–ray Computed Tomography (X-RCT). A 3D finite element model was developed to simulate the impact induced damage in both metal and composite layers using Abaqus/Explicit. Cohesive zone elements were introduced to capture delamination occurring between carbon fibre/epoxy plies and debonding at the interfaces between aluminium and the composite layers. Carall 5–3/2–0.5 was found to absorb more energy elastically, which indicates better resistance to damage. A good agreement is obtained between the numerically predicted results and experimental measurements in terms of force and absorbed energy during impact where the damage modes such as delamination was well simulated when compared to non-destructive techniques (NDT).
    • Interactive Three-Dimensional Simulation and Visualisation of Real Time Blood Flow in Vascular Networks

      John, Nigel; Pop, Serban; Holland, Mark, I (University of ChesterUnviersity of Chester, 2020-05)
      One of the challenges in cardiovascular disease management is the clinical decision-making process. When a clinician is dealing with complex and uncertain situations, the decision on whether or how to intervene is made based upon distinct information from diverse sources. There are several variables that can affect how the vascular system responds to treatment. These include: the extent of the damage and scarring, the efficiency of blood flow remodelling, and any associated pathology. Moreover, the effect of an intervention may lead to further unforeseen complications (e.g. another stenosis may be “hidden” further along the vessel). Currently, there is no tool for predicting or exploring such scenarios. This thesis explores the development of a highly adaptive real-time simulation of blood flow that considers patient specific data and clinician interaction. The simulation should model blood realistically, accurately, and through complex vascular networks in real-time. Developing robust flow scenarios that can be incorporated into the decision and planning medical tool set. The focus will be on specific regions of the anatomy, where accuracy is of the utmost importance and the flow can develop into specific patterns, with the aim of better understanding their condition and predicting factors of their future evolution. Results from the validation of the simulation showed promising comparisons with the literature and demonstrated a viability for clinical use.
    • Effects of inkjet printed toughener on delamination suppression in drilling of carbon fibre reinforced plastics (CFRPs)

      Shi, Yu; Wang, Xiaonan; Wang, Fuji; Gu, Tianyu; Xie, Pengheng; Jia, Yu; University of Chester; Dalian University of Technology; Aston University
      Delamination has been recognised as the predominant damage induced during the drilling of carbon fibre reinforced plastics (CFRPs). It could significantly reduce the bearing capacity and shorten the service life of the designed component. To enhance the delamination resistance of CFRPs for different applications, great affords have been done to improve their interlaminar fracture toughness. However, due to the difficulty in accurately controlling the amount of the toughener applied in the interface, effect of the toughener content on the toughening efficiency is rarely studied. In this work, an experimental research was developed to investigate the performance of the toughener on the improvement of delamination resistance in the drilling of CFRPs and parametrically optimise the toughener content with the consideration of different feed rates. Specifically, poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) solutions with various concentrations were selected to add on the CFRP prepreg, and co-cured together with layups. The inkjet printing technology was adopted to deposit the PMMA solutions for precisely controlled toughener contents. Through drilling experiments on the toughened CFRPs, it was found that the optimal content of the PMMA solution was 10 wt% to offer the least delamination, in particular, for the situation under the highest feed rate condition. The toughing mechanisms were also concluded by analysing the histories of the thrust force and torque in the drilling process. The results of this study is significantly contribute to the locally toughening of the composite interfaces and the improvement of the drilling quality, which is specifically helpful to strengthen the joint property for the structural design stage for the aircraft.
    • Optimisation and management of energy generated by a multifunctional MFC-integrated composite chassis for rail vehicles

      Liu, Yiding; Du, Sijun; Micallef, Christopher; Jia, Yu; Shi, Yu; Hughes, Darren; University of Warwick; University of California at Berkeley; Aston University; University of Chester
      With the advancing trend towards lighter and faster rail transport, there is an increasing interest in integrating composite and advanced multifunctional materials in order to infuse smart sensing and monitoring, energy harvesting and wireless capabilities within the otherwise purely mechanical rail structures and the infrastructure. This paper presents a holistic multiphysics numerical study, across both mechanical and electrical domains, that describes an innovative technique of harvesting energy from a piezoelectric micro fiber composites (MFC) built-in composite rail chassis structure. Representative environmental vibration data measured from a rail cabin have been critically leveraged here to help predict the actual vibratory and power output behaviour under service. Time domain mean stress distribution data from the Finite Element simulation were used to predict the raw AC voltage output of the MFCs. Conditioned power output was then calculated using circuit simulation of several state-of-the-art power conditioning circuits. A peak instantaneous rectified power of 181.9 mW was obtained when eight-stage Synchronised Switch Harvesting Capacitors (SSHC) from eight embedded MFCs were located. The results showed that the harvested energy could be sufficient to sustain a self-powered structural health monitoring system with wireless communication capabilities. This study serves as a theoretical foundation of scavenging for vibrational power from the ambient state in a rail environment as well as to pointing to design principles to develop regenerative and power neutral smart vehicles.
    • UV phototransistors based upon spray coated and sputter deposited ZnO TFTs

      Kumar, Dinesh; Gomes, Tiago; Santos, Lucas; Smith, Graham; Kettle, Jeff; Bangor University (Kumar, Kettle), Sao Paulo State University (Gomes, Alves, Santos), University of Chester (Smith)
      A comparison of Zinc Oxide (ZnO) phototransistors prepared by spray and sputter coating process is presented. The work shows that spray coated layers provide significant advantages in sensor response over ZnO phototransistors made by physical vapour deposition and we show that spray deposited ZnO phototransistors can exhibit state-of-the-art performances for UV photodetectors. Topographic images of the samples surface shows that there is increase in surface roughness in spray coated samples indicating increasing grain sizes, which is considered the source of the greater sensor responsivity. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) is also used to understand the root cause of the greater UV responsivity. It was observed that sprayed ZnO TFTs are more sensitive to UV radiation due to higher adsorption of oxygen level. Responsivity and external quantum efficiency (EQE) of the sprayed and sputtered ZnO TFTs are also evaluated.
    • New binary self-dual codes via a generalization of the four circulant construction

      Gildea, Joe; Kaya, Abidin; Yildiz, Bahattin; University of Chester ; Sampoerna University ; Northern Arizona University (Croatian Mathematical Society, 2020-05-31)
      In this work, we generalize the four circulant construction for self-dual codes. By applying the constructions over the alphabets $\mathbb{F}_2$, $\mathbb{F}_2+u\mathbb{F}_2$, $\mathbb{F}_4+u\mathbb{F}_4$, we were able to obtain extremal binary self-dual codes of lengths 40, 64 including new extremal binary self-dual codes of length 68. More precisely, 43 new extremal binary self-dual codes of length 68, with rare new parameters have been constructed.
    • 2^n Bordered Constructions of Self-Dual codes from Group Rings

      Dougherty, Steven; Gildea, Joe; Kaya, Abidin; University of Scranton; University of Chester; Sampoerna Academy
      Self-dual codes, which are codes that are equal to their orthogonal, are a widely studied family of codes. Various techniques involving circulant matrices and matrices from group rings have been used to construct such codes. Moreover, families of rings have been used, together with a Gray map, to construct binary self-dual codes. In this paper, we introduce a new bordered construction over group rings for self-dual codes by combining many of the previously used techniques. The purpose of this is to construct self-dual codes that were missed using classical construction techniques by constructing self-dual codes with different automorphism groups. We apply the technique to codes over finite commutative Frobenius rings of characteristic 2 and several group rings and use these to construct interesting binary self-dual codes. In particular, we construct some extremal self-dual codes length 64 and 68, constructing 30 new extremal self-dual codes of length 68.
    • Formal Verification of Astronaut-Rover Teams for Planetary Surface Operations

      Webster, Matt; Dennis, Louise A; Dixon, Clare; Fisher, Michael; Stocker, Richard; Sierhuis, Maarten; University of Liverpool; University of Chester; Ejenta, inc.
      This paper describes an approach to assuring the reliability of autonomous systems for Astronaut-Rover (ASRO) teams using the formal verification of models in the Brahms multi-agent modelling language. Planetary surface rovers have proven essential to several manned and unmanned missions to the moon and Mars. The first rovers were tele- or manuallyoperated, but autonomous systems are increasingly being used to increase the effectiveness and range of rover operations on missions such as the NASA Mars Science Laboratory. It is anticipated that future manned missions to the moon and Mars will use autonomous rovers to assist astronauts during extravehicular activity (EVA), including science, technical and construction operations. These ASRO teams have the potential to significantly increase the safety and efficiency of surface operations. We describe a new Brahms model in which an autonomous rover may perform several different activities including assisting an astronaut during EVA. These activities compete for the autonomous rovers “attention’ and therefore the rover must decide which activity is currently the most important and engage in that activity. The Brahms model also includes an astronaut agent, which models an astronauts predicted behaviour during an EVA. The rover must also respond to the astronauts activities. We show how this Brahms model can be simulated using the Brahms integrated development environment. The model can then also be formally verified with respect to system requirements using the SPIN model checker, through automatic translation from Brahms to PROMELA (the input language for SPIN). We show that such formal verification can be used to determine that mission- and safety critical operations are conducted correctly, and therefore increase the reliability of autonomous systems for planetary rovers in ASRO teams.
    • Finite-time blow-up of a non-local stochastic parabolic problem

      Kavallaris, Nikos; Yan, Yubin; University of Chester
      The main aim of the current work is the study of the conditions under which (finite-time) blow-up of a non-local stochastic parabolic problem occurs. We first establish the existence and uniqueness of the local-in-time weak solution for such problem. The first part of the manuscript deals with the investigation of the conditions which guarantee the occurrence of noise-induced blow-up. In the second part we first prove the $C^{1}$-spatial regularity of the solution. Then, based on this regularity result, and using a strong positivity result we derive, for first in the literature of SPDEs, a Hopf's type boundary value point lemma. The preceding results together with Kaplan's eigenfunction method are then employed to provide a (non-local) drift term induced blow-up result. In the last part of the paper, we present a method which provides an upper bound of the probability of (non-local) drift term induced blow-up.
    • Systems Based Mechanisms of Aging

      Proctor, Carole; Morgan, Amy; Mc Auley, Mark; Newcastle University; University of Chester
      The last number of decades have witnessed an unrelenting global rise in the number of older people. This demographic shift is laudable; however, many older people are burdened by poor health. The main reason so many older people have their healthspan compromised is due to the complex biology which underpins ageing and the diseases which are associated with this intriguing phenomenon. Fortunately, however, in recent years there has been a paradigm shift within biological research which has seen the emergence of systems biology. In contrast to a reductionist approach which was commonplace in biological research for many years, systems biology seeks to understand biological systems in an integrated manner. Investigating ageing and age related disease in this way is becoming increasingly effective. In this article we discuss the methods which underpin systems and provide examples of their application to biogerontology research.
    • Production of Biomethane from Agricultural Waste Using a Cryogenic Carbon Capture Process

      Font Palma, Carolina; Lychnos, George; Willson, Paul; University of Chester; PMW Technology Limited (Energy Proceedings, 2019)
      This paper evaluates a novel cryogenic carbon capture process to upgrade biogas produced from agricultural waste. The A3C cryogenic process offers simplicity and compactness with lower capital and operating costs compared to many alternative processes. The work addresses potential technical issues presented by trace contaminants in the raw biogas including hydrogen sulphide, organics and siloxanes. It is found that the A3C process offers high CO2 removal with minimal biomethane losses while requiring simple raw gas treatment.
    • Graphene Oxide Bulk Modified Screen-Printed Electrodes Provide Beneficial Electroanalytical Sensing Capabilities

      Rowley-Neale, Samuel; Brownson, Dale; Smith, Graham; Banks, Craig; Manchester Metropolitan University; University of Chester
      We demonstrate a facile methodology for the mass production of graphene oxide (GO) bulk modified screen-printed electrodes (GO-SPEs) that are economical, highly reproducible and provide analytically useful outputs. Through fabricating GO-SPEs with varying percentage mass incorporations (2.5, 5, 7.5 and 10%) of GO, an electrocatalytic effect towards the chosen electroanalytical probes is observed, that increases with greater GO incorporated compared to bare/ graphite SPEs. The optimum mass ratio of 10% GO to 90% carbon ink displays an electroanalytical signal towards dopamine (DA) and uric acid (UA), which is ca. ×10 greater in magnitude than that achievable at a bare/unmodified graphite SPE. Furthermore, 10% GO-SPEs exhibit a competitively low limit of detection (3σ) towards DA at ca. 81 nM, which is superior to that of a bare/unmodified graphite SPE at ca. 780 nM. The improved analytical response is attributed to the large number of oxygenated species inhabiting the edge and defect sites of the GO nanosheets, which are available to exhibit electrocatalytic responses towards inner-sphere electrochemical analytes. Our reported methodology is simple, scalable, and cost effective for the fabrication of GO-SPEs, that display highly competitive LODs, and is of significant interest for use in commercial and medicinal applications
    • Towards Cyber-User Awareness: Design and Evaluation

      Oyinloye, Toyosi; Eze, Thaddeus; Speakman, Lee; University of Chester
      Human reliance on interconnected devices has given rise to a massive increase in cyber activities. There are about 17 billion interconnected devices in our World of about 8 billion people. Like the physical world, the cyber world is not void of entities whose activities, malicious or not, could be detrimental to other users who remain vulnerable as a result of their existence within cyberspace. Developments such as the introduction of 5G networks which advances communication speed among interconnected devices, undoubtedly proffer solutions for human living as well as adversely impacting systems. Vulnerabilities in applications embedded in devices, hardware deficiencies, user errors, are some of the loopholes that are exploited. Studies have revealed humans as weakest links in the cyber-chain, submitting that consistent implementation of cyber awareness programs would largely impact cybersecurity. Cyber-active systems have goals that compete with the implementation of cyber awareness programs, within limited resources. It is desirable to have cyber awareness systems that can be tailored around specific needs and considerations for important factors. This paper presents a system that aims to promote user awareness through a flexible, accessible, and cost-effective design. The system implements steps in a user awareness cycle, that considers human-factor (HF) and HF related root causes of cyber-attacks. We introduce a new user testing tool, adaptable for administering cybersecurity test questions for varying levels and categories of users. The tool was implemented experimentally by engaging cyber users within UK. Schemes and online documentations by UK Cybersecurity organisations were harnessed for assessing and providing relevant recommendations to participants. Results provided us with values representing each participants’ notional level of awareness which were subjected to a paired-T test for comparison with values derived in an automated assessment. This pilot study provides valuable details for projecting the efficacy of the system towards improving human influence in cybersecurity.
    • The Evolution of Ransomware Variants

      Wood, Ashley; Eze, Thaddeus
      Abstract: This paper investigates how ransomware is continuing to evolve and adapt as time progresses to become more damaging, resilient and sophisticated from one ransomware variant to another. This involves investigating how each ransomware sample including; Petya, WannaCry and CrySiS/Dharma interacts with the underlying system to implicate on both the systems functionality and its underlying data, by utilising several static and dynamic analysis tools. Our analysis shows, whilst ransomware is undoubtedly becoming more sophisticated, fundamental problems exist with its underlying encryption processes which has shown data recovery to be possible across all three samples studied whilst varying aspects of system functionality can be preserved or restored in their entirety.
    • MoS2-graphene-CuNi2S4 nanocomposite an efficient electrocatalyst for the hydrogen evolution reaction

      Adarakatti, Prashanth Shivappa; Mahanthappa, Mallappa; Hughes, Jack; Rowley-Neale, Samuel; Smith, Graham; S, Ashoka; Banks, Craig; Manchester Metropolitan University, University of Chester, Bengaluru
      We present a facile methodology for the synthesis of a novel 2D-MoS2, graphene and CuNi2S4 (MoS2-g-CuNi2S4) nanocomposite that displays highly efficient electrocatalytic activity towards the production of hydrogen. The intrinsic hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) activity of MoS2 nanosheets was significantly enhanced by increasing the affinity of the active edge sites towards Hþ adsorption using transition metal (Cu and Ni2) dopants, whilst also increasing the edge sites exposure by anchoring them to a graphene frame- work. Detailed XPS analysis reveals a higher percentage of surface exposed S at 17.04%, of which 48.83% is metal bonded S (sulfide). The resultant MoS2-g-CuNi2S4 nanocomposites are immobilized upon screen-printed electrodes (SPEs) and exhibit a HER onset potential and Tafel slope value of -0.05 V (vs. RHE) and 29.3 mV dec-1, respectively. These values are close to that of the polycrystalline Pt electrode (near zero potential (vs. RHE) and 21.0 mV dec-1, respectively) and enhanced over a bare/unmodified SPE (-0.43 V (vs. RHE) and 149.1 mV dec-1, respectively). Given the efficient, HER activity displayed by the novel MoS2-g-CuNi2S4/SPE electrochemical platform and the comparatively low associated cost of production for this nanocomposite, it has potential to be a cost-effective alternative to Pt within electrolyser technologies.
    • Modelling the effects of glucagon during glucose tolerance testing

      Kelly, Ross A; Fitches, Molly J; Webb, Steven D; Pop, Serban R; Chidlow, Stewart J; Liverpool John Moores University; University of Dundee; University of Chester
      Background Glucose tolerance testing is a tool used to estimate glucose effectiveness and insulin sensitivity in diabetic patients. The importance of such tests has prompted the development and utilisation of mathematical models that describe glucose kinetics as a function of insulin activity. The hormone glucagon, also plays a fundamental role in systemic plasma glucose regulation and is secreted reciprocally to insulin, stimulating catabolic glucose utilisation. However, regulation of glucagon secretion by α-cells is impaired in type-1 and type-2 diabetes through pancreatic islet dysfunction. Despite this, inclusion of glucagon activity when modelling the glucose kinetics during glucose tolerance testing is often overlooked. This study presents two mathematical models of a glucose tolerance test that incorporate glucose-insulin-glucagon dynamics. The first model describes a non-linear relationship between glucagon and glucose, whereas the second model assumes a linear relationship. Results Both models are validated against insulin-modified and glucose infusion intravenous glucose tolerance test (IVGTT) data, as well as insulin infusion data, and are capable of estimating patient glucose effectiveness (sG) and insulin sensitivity (sI). Inclusion of glucagon dynamics proves to provide a more detailed representation of the metabolic portrait, enabling estimation of two new diagnostic parameters: glucagon effectiveness (sE) and glucagon sensitivity (δ). Conclusions The models are used to investigate how different degrees of patient glucagon sensitivity and effectiveness affect the concentration of blood glucose and plasma glucagon during IVGTT and insulin infusion tests, providing a platform from which the role of glucagon dynamics during a glucose tolerance test may be investigated and predicted.
    • New Extremal Self-Dual Binary Codes of Length 68 via Composite Construction, F2 + uF2 Lifts, Extensions and Neighbors

      Dougherty, Steven; Gildea, Joe; Korban, Adrian; Kaya, Abidin; University of Scranton; University of Chester; University of Chester; Sampoerna Academy;
      We describe a composite construction from group rings where the groups have orders 16 and 8. This construction is then applied to find the extremal binary self-dual codes with parameters [32, 16, 8] or [32, 16, 6]. We also extend this composite construction by expanding the search field which enables us to find more extremal binary self-dual codes with the above parameters and with different orders of automorphism groups. These codes are then lifted to F2 + uF2, to obtain extremal binary images of codes of length 64. Finally, we use the extension method and neighbor construction to obtain new extremal binary self-dual codes of length 68. As a result, we obtain 28 new codes of length 68 which were not known in the literature before.