• A multi-agent architecture for outsourcing SMEs manufacturing supply chain.

      Kumari, Sushma; Singh, Akshit; Mishra, Nishikant; Garza-Reyes, Jose Arturo; Aberystwyth University; University of Derby (Elsevier, 2015-01-31)
      In the present, global and competitive market customer's demands are very volatile. It is very difficult for small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) to satisfy their customer with quality product in reasonable price. Large firms are spending huge amount of their budget in generating technology development. To cope with this competitive market, usually, SMEs concentrate on their core expertise and outsource some non-core items or activities. The outsourcing decision (when, what, whom) is very crucial for small-scale industries. Realizing this scenario, in this article, an automated self-adaptive multi-agent system has been proposed. The proposed system will help SMEs to take an appropriate decision to mitigate the uncertainty in supply chain. The developed system exploits the “Outsourcing of operations” feature by its agents to conclude the manufacturing processes faster and reduce the idle time of certain machines with less human intervention. The communication protocol for agents has been described to give an insight of their communication. It was explained how various agents like outsourcing, material planning and supplier selection will come into action at different stages and take appropriate outsourcing decisions. Therefore, this multi-agent architecture will facilitate small scale manufacturing industries to execute their manufacturing processes and complex logistics issues efficiently. The execution of proposed architecture has been described in the simulated case study.
    • Narcissism, social anxiety and self-presentation in exercise.

      Akehurst, Sally; Thatcher, Joanne; Aberystwyth University (Elsevier, 2010-04-10)
      In an exercise setting where impression motivation might be high but self-presentation efficacy low, social anxiety is likely to occur (Schlenker & Leary, 1982). Narcissism is, however, associated with low anxiety, high confidence, and a keenness for social evaluation (Wallace, Baumeister, & Vohs, 2005) and therefore may protect exercisers from social anxiety. One hundred and sixty undergraduates (88 males and 72 females; Mage = 20.45 years, SD = 2.49 years) completed measures of narcissism, social anxiety, and self-presentation in exercise. In females, narcissism moderated the impression motivation/construction– social anxiety relationships. Findings extend our understanding of the self-presentational processes involved in exercise and, specifically, how narcissism protects individuals from experiencing high social anxiety.
    • Obsessive passion: a dependency associated with injury-related risky behaviour in dancers.

      Akehurst, Sally; Oliver, Emily J.; University of Derby; Aberystwyth University (Routledge, 2013-09-09)
      Grounded in self-determination theory, obsessive passion for an activity has been associated with increased risky behaviour and rigid persistence, both symptomatic of dependence. However, it is unknown whether obsessive passion may predict the development of dependence, and furthermore, theoretically important relationships between basic need satisfaction, passion, exercise dependence and subsequent risky behaviour have not been fully explored. A sample of 100 professional dancers (50fs; 50ms; Mage = 20.88; SD = 2.69) completed self-ratings of risk-related behaviours (doctor visits; following treatment, and warming up), passion for dance and dance dependence. Findings supported the maladaptive nature of obsessive passion in relation to risky behaviour and as predicted dance dependence mediated this relationship. Interestingly, need satisfaction was positively related to both obsessive passion and harmonious passion. Results are discussed in the light of self-determination theory and dysfunctions of obsessive passion, suggesting that professional dancers are at risk of employing maladaptive behaviours if high in obsessive passion, which may be detectable via symptoms of dance dependence.
    • Self-confidence and performance: A little self-doubt helps.

      Woodman, Tim; Akehurst, Sally; Hardy, Lew; Beattie, Stuart; Aberystwyth University; Bangor University (Elsevier, 2010-06-04)
      Objectives: To test the hypothesis that a decrease in confidence on a well-learned task will increase effort and performance. Design: A 2 (group: control, experimental) 2 (trial: practice, competition) mixed-model with repeated measures on the second factor. Method: Expert skippers’ (n ¼ 28) self-confidence was reduced via a combination of task (i.e., change of rope) and competitive demands. Performance was the number of skips in a 1-min period. On-task effort was measured via the verbal reaction time to an auditory probe. Results: The group trial interaction (F (1, 26) ¼ 6.73, p < .05, h2 ¼ .21) supported the hypothesis: Posthoc tests revealed a significant decrease in self-confidence and a significant improvement in performance from practice to competition for the experimental group only. No significant effort effects were revealed. Conclusions: Some self-doubt can benefit performance, which calls into question the widely accepted positive linear relationship between self-confidence and performance. As effort did not increase with decreased confidence, the precise mechanisms via which self-confidence will lead to an increase or a decrease in performance remain to be elucidated.
    • Topographic shading influences cryoconite morphodynamics and carbon exchange.

      Cook, J. M.; Sweet, Michael J.; Cavalli, Ottavia; Taggart, Angus; Edwards, Arwyn; University of Derby; Aberystwyth University; University of Sheffield (Taylor and Francis, 2018-03-13)
      Cryoconite holes are the most active and diverse microbial habitats on glacier and ice-sheet surfaces. In this article the authors demonstrate that the shape of cryoconite holes varies depending on ice-surface topography and that this has implications for the carbon cycling regime within. Net ecosystem production is shown to be controlled primarily by sediment thickness within holes. The authors show that irregular hole shapes are indicative of hole migration away from topographic shade, which promotes carbon fixation at the mesoscale on ice surfaces. A cellular automaton is used in conjunction with sediment-delivery experiments to show that migration is the result of simple sediment transfer processes, implying a relationship between ice-surface evolution and cryoconite biogeochemistry that has not previously been examined.
    • Topographic shading influences cryoconite morphodynamics and carbon exchange.

      Cook, J. M.; Sweet, Michael J.; Cavalli, O.; Taggart, A.; Edwards, A.; University of Derby; University of Sheffield; Aberystwyth University; Department of Geography, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK; Environmental Sustainability Research Centre, College of Life and Natural Science, University of Derby, Derby, UK; et al. (Taylor & Francis., 2018-03-13)
      Cryoconite holes are the most active and diverse microbial habitats on glacier and ice-sheet surfaces. In this article the authors demonstrate that the shape of cryoconite holes varies depending on ice-surface topography and that this has implications for the carbon cycling regime within. Net ecosystem production is shown to be controlled primarily by sediment thickness within holes. The authors show that irregular hole shapes are indicative of hole migration away from topographic shade, which promotes carbon fixation at the mesoscale on ice surfaces. A cellular automaton is used in conjunction with sediment-delivery experiments to show that migration is the result of simple sediment transfer processes, implying a relationship between ice-surface evolution and cryoconite biogeochemistry that has not previously been examined.