Torah is a concept in the Judaic tradition that can be very confusing based on the numerous definitions that many people have of it in various concepts. However, the simplest definition of Torah is that it refers to the five books of Moses. These books include Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. In English, Torah is known as Pentateuch. The word Torah can also be used to refer to the whole Jewish bible that non-Jews call the Old Testament. To the Jews, it is known as the Written Torah or Tanakh.
According to the Jews, the New Testament that is found in the bible is non-existent. In fact, they are not part of the Jewish scriptures. What the Christians today refer to as the Old Testament is called the Written Torah in Jewish culture. It contains a list of books with Jewish translations. The texts of these books in Jewish translations are more or less similar to what you see in the Christian bibles today. However, there are some occasional and slight differences that exist in the way the verses are numbered.
The five books of Moses that refer to Torah are as follows in Jewish translations:
To the Jews, the concept of Torah is much wider than just the books themselves. Apart from the written Torah, there is also the oral Torah also known as the Talmud. This refers to a tradition that explains what is meant by the scriptures in the above books, how they should be interpreted and application of the laws. Orthodox Jews believe that the Oral Torah was passed on to Moses by God who further taught it to other people whom he mandated to pass it down to the coming generations. The tradition was only kept in oral form until around 2D century when its compilation was done in writing in a document called Mishnah.
Both the written and oral teachings and laws that are contained in the Torah were given to Moses by God. Moses received part of the Torah at Mount Sinai while others at the Tabernacle. He is the sole author of all the teachings that are contained therein. Going by the Hebrew translation of the word Torah, it means to teach or guide. Thus, it was established for the purpose of offering lessons to Christians in the Jewish culture.
The Torah gives a documentation of God’s creation of the world, how the family of Abraham and Sarah grew with regards to their relationship with God in the land of Canaan, exile and also how the redemption from Egypt occurred. It gives an account of how the family grew to become Israel. Torah also contains the rules that God gave to Moses for the governing of a just society and establishment of appropriate worship.
Torah still remains a significant part of the Jewish culture and a centerpiece of their Sabbath, thus, its laws, stories and poetry are still held in high regards.
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Causes of Hurricanes
Hurricanes are areas of extreme low pressure that normally appear over warm water. Mostly these areas appear during specified seasons of, early fall and summer. Water vapour fuels hurricanes by releasing the latent heat of condensation. This normally occurs when the water vapour condenses and warms the area around and also forms clouds and the rain. The two most important things that bring about the occurrence of hurricanes are moist warm air and warm water. This is majorly the reason why hurricanes begin in the tropics.
The lay man will notice a hurricane when a whole process has already occurred. Hurricanes start to form when warm air that is moist begins to rise from the surface of the ocean. The rising of this warm air happens very rapidly. The warm air gets in contact with cool air and that causes condensation to take place. The condensed warm water vapour forms clouds that turn into rain drops.
The condensation process also brings about latent heat. The latent heat heats up the air above making it to rise and hence allows room for the warm humid air from the ocean to rise. The cycle is now picking up moment as the hurricane is now taking form.
More and more of the moist is now attracted to the atmosphere. As the heat increases and is transferred from the ocean’s surface, the great storm starts developing. The water in this area starts spiralling form one central point. This central part where the swirling storm starts from is referred to as the eye of the hurricane. This rhythmic exchange of heat brings about a pattern in which the hurricane swirls.
The speed of the hurricane gets faster as the speed of wind gets faster and faster. This happens due to the high pressure being drawn into the low pressure areas. The high pressure area by this time is at high altitudes 30,000 feet. The storm is now building in strength and size and it will soon become a massive hurricane.
First, the tropical depression forms. These are winds that are at a speed of over 61.15 kilometres per hour. The tropical storm then forms. At this point winds are blowing at a high rate of up to 117.48 kilometres per hour. Finally at this very high speed the hurricane is formed.
Scientist are still carrying out research and debating on the exact causes of hurricanes. Different experts in the field have diverse views regarding the causes of hurricanes. Some suggests that human activities that negatively affect the environment are the cause of global warming that cause hurricanes. The occurrence of hurricanes have been on the increase in the recent past and the scientists claim that this is a true indicator that hurricanes are caused by the negative human activities.The occurrence of hurricanes has also been attributed to temperature changes and an increase in the salinity of waters in the oceans.
It is common for people to confuse financial management and accounting. Financial management is a decision making process that entails the use of theories, concepts and tools to make better financial decisions. Accounting simply provides a way to gauge the financial performance of a business as well as budget for its functions. From these two definitions it is quite overt that financial management is very crucial in the healthcare sector.
Initially financial management was viewed in a very simplistic manner. In an organisation, the project’s financial demands would be made for goods and services. The management would estimate the amounts that should be spend on the project. Finally the accounting department will see how the funds would be raised to meet these needs. However, with the advancements in the study of financial management, other factors are now considered including: planning for, acquisition and utilizing funds to improve the efficiency of the organisation.
Every organisation must have their own set of financial management goals. These goals and objectives will depend on the line of business that they are involved in. For example for organisations in the healthcare business, they need to come up with financial management objectives that target their specific functions with reference to their mission and vision.
Financial management has various benefits to an organisation in the healthcare sector including:
Evaluation and planning
Financial management is all about gauging the financial effectiveness of the present activities. The organisation also has to forecast and see where the financial position will be in the near and far future. This kind of planning entails considering all the activities and initiatives of an organisations against the supposed value.
Future investments and expansion is in the future of every organisation. Financial management ensures that decisions like acquisition of fixed assets like equipment and facilities are made strategically. This way the organisation is able to make calculated risks and avert disappointments in the future. Wrong investments that are not well thought through can be the beginning of the end of an organisation.
Organisations working in the healthcare sector deal with a lot of contracts. For example the issuing of contracts to drugs manufacturing companies. This function is normally in the docket of a few of the executive managers. Such decisions have to be made based on specified criteria.
Working capital management
When the working capital of a given organisation is not handled properly, then the organization is bound to experience unnecessary losses. In order to be effective, financial management principles have to be applied when handling the working capital. This is where financial management becomes a function of not just a few but all the managers within the organisation.
Financial risk management
It is important to be proactive as a healthcare organisation. Being proactive is demonstrated when an organisation comes up with initiatives that avert financial risk instead of coming up with fire fighting measures when they are already in trouble.
Importance of Procurement Management In Public Sector
Procurement is applied so as to increase the profitability of a given organisation. Profit in this context is not necessarily defined in monetary terms. Procurement in the public sector entails streamlining processes, reducing the prices and costs of raw material and finding better supply sources. This function of reducing the bottom line is placed in the docket of high executives in the public sector. The executive board is responsible with handling procurement functions in the public sector.
Perhaps the fact that the procurement function at an organisation is in the job description of a selected few is why it is one department that is mostly marred by corruption. Especially in the public sector, it is common to find that money exchanges hands in order for the procurement process to go in the favour of particular people. This is normally a source of a lot of conflict in most organisations. However, when handled in the proper way, procurement management normally works to the advantage of the organisation and its clients.
Since there are no stakeholders passé when we are looking at procurement management in the public sector, it is necessary to focus on the gross output. In this case the public sector can come up with strategies to maximise this output. For example they can focus on training their staff in order to make them more efficient and in the long run make their services better and hence improve their output.
The stakeholders at the public sector level are the taxpayers. The finds that the public sector carries out its functions with is basically gotten from the taxpayers. The taxpayers therefore expect that the public sector will carry out all its functions accordingly and be accountable. Procurement management procedures are done according to the law of the land and high levels of transparency and accountability are applied. For example, issuing of government tenders normally follows an elaborate procedure. The companies awarded such tenders have to meet certain criteria that are already described by law. This structured procurement management wards off a lot of disputes and even court charges on the claim that the taxpayers’ funds are being misused or unfairly distributed.
The law of the law also greatly affects how all other functions of procurement management are undertaken. For example, these functions lie in the docket of procurement officers in a given sector. Government officials are not supposed to influence these processes in any way. Using their political influence control the procurement functions is illegal. Therefore, proper procurement management ensures fairness, openness and accountability in the public sector. When a truly deserving company is issued a tender then the public sector flourishes because they will not be paying high prices for substandard services or goods.
In a sense, procurement management in the public sector is important because it ensures that the sector is getting value for money.
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Importance of Strategic Management in Healthcare
Strategic management entails the coming up with a mission and vision for an organization. It deals with the strategic planning of activities and initiatives so that they are in line with the goals and objectives of the organisation. Strategic management largely involves the understanding of the cultural, political and demographic changes that affect the functions of a given organisation. These changes are both those experienced locally as internationally that affect the organisation in the long run.
Organisations that are in the healthcare business like any other organisation need strategic management. This is because, regardless of the kind of initiatives a given organisation does, they must have a mission, vision, goals and objectives. Without clearly stating these factors, the organisation may find itself being irrelevant. Lack of or poor planning of an organisation that deals with healthcare will cause the organisation to become ineffective in its product and service delivery.
In the healthcare sector, strategic planning entails coming up with long term and short term initiatives that are aimed at meeting the organisations’ goals and objectives. These functions are usually privy to the executive members of an organisation.
In a sense, healthcare facilities are also businesses. They are in the business of helping people but not for free. Although they may be rather unique, the hospital still faces challenges like any other business. They also have a market to grab a share of. For high end health facilities have defined a certain niche to whom they have designed their products and services. to achieve their desired end, they must apply strategic management techniques in their plans.
Carrying out strategic management in the healthcare sector is important because the management will ask themselves the three critical questions that every business must think of including:
Where are we?
In order to solve any problem in a business one has to understand it in its totality. In hindsight, every health organisation must analyse their present situation by considering their plans and achievements in the past that has go them to where they are. At this stage the company has to consider their strengths and weaknesses.
Where do we want to go?
Secondly, every organisation must have a vision. Without a desired destination, how will you even know when you get there? It is important for the management to paint a clear picture so that the employees can understand that what they are working towards. Have major long-term goals and then break it down to short term goals that are time bound. This way, you will be able to easily monitor and evaluate your progress according to the time frame you have set aside to achieve every single one of them.
How will we get there?
Come up with clear initiatives and activities that will user you to your desired goal. You must have very clearly laid out plans.
Infant Mortality in Africa and America
Infant mortality refers to the deaths that occur during infancy and especially in the first year of life. Infant mortality rate varies from one continent to another. In essence, infant mortality rate is the widely used health status of a country and it is helpful when it comes to international comparisons. Africa and America are two widely known continents that have high infant mortality rates and there are few similarities and differences that come up when looking at this issue.
Globally, infant mortality rate has declined between 1960 and 2001 in both less developed countries [LDCs] and more in developed countries MDCs]. In both Africa and America, this has been possible due to the health and mortality reduction initiatives in each continent. In 2008, America ranked 29th globally in infant mortality according to CDC reports. The report further stated that nearly seven babies in U.S die out of 1000 live births and this is more than 28, 000 American babies who die before their first birthday. When it comes to Africa, a report by WHO showed that 63 per 1000 live births occurred in many parts of Africa. This rate was six times higher than in the American regions.
Globally, the infant mortality rate has decreased from an estimated rate of 63 deaths per 1000 live births in 1990 to 35 deaths per 1000 live births in 2012. In the case of American, birth defects and low birth weight were cited as the leading causes of increased infant mortality. This was a survey conducted by National Center for Health Statistics. Babies born to teenage mothers were the most likely to weight too little as report said.
In the United States for instance, an infant is counted if she or he exhibits any sign of life as alive regardless of the month of gestation. It also differs when it comes to African. The American rates of infant mortality were due to high rates of premature babies as compared to other European countries. Other factors that were termed to lead to high rates of infant mortality included obesity or poor prenatal care.
In the case of Africa, infant mortality is inversely related to war, corruption in health related institutions and political unrest. In most cases, war has been the key cause of increased infant mortality in Africa. A war that takes place where a woman is planning to have a baby is quite stressful. Such a case does not affect the woman, but also the fetus. Countries such as Somalia, Angola, and democratic republic of Congo have all reported high cases of infant mortality.
The good news in both infant mortality cases in Africa and America [South and North America] every nation is trying hard to reduce the infant mortality rate. The establishment of the Millennium Development Goals [MDGs] is one of the great initiatives aimed towards reducing infant mortality. Unfortunately, Africa is not likely to meet the goals by 2015. WHO is also focused on reducing the effects of malaria, HIV/AIDS and provide family planning solutions.
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Chandra Bahadur Dangi
A lot of incredible information is available in the Guinness Book of World Records. This is a reference book published annually, containing a collection of world records. This includes both human achievements and the extremes of natural world. One of the interesting extremes of nature is the case of Chandra Bahadur Dangi. Dangi is the shortest man in the world and he measures 1.ft 9 inch [0.546 m].
A doctor and a Guinness official measured Dangi to confirm that he is actually the smallest person in the world. He had travelled from Kathmandu in order to be measured by the officials and this marked the first time he had travelled away from his home village. Chandra Bahadur Dangi lives with his nephews in a remote village of Nepal.
He broke a record that was held by Gul Mohammed [1957-1997] the then shortest adult who stood at 1 ft. 10 inch [0.57 m]. He also takes the record of the shortest man in the world from Junrey Balawing of the Philippines who is 23.5 inches [60 centimeters]. Dangi came into the news highlight of the local media when a wood contractor saw him in his Nepal village.
He lives in the isolated Nepalese village of Reemkholi in Dang district. The village has 200 homes, no television and a few solar panels that provide the online electricity. Dangi is looked after by his immediate older brother and his family. He is the seventh sibling and three of his brothers were less than four feet tall, whereas his two sisters and two brothers are of an average height.
Chandra Bahadur Dangi was born on November 30, 1939 and he is a primordial dwarf. This is a form of dwarfism that results in a smaller body size in all stages of life starting from birth. Despite his age, Chandra Bahadur Dangi claims that he has never taken any kind of medication. In addition, he says that he has never been examined by a doctor. He has a normal sized head and regularly shaves, but his body is abnormally small. Moreover, he can walks and climb small stairs. On daily meals, Dangi eats mainly rice and vegetable and occasionally meat and in small portions.
Dangi managed to escape being discovered and his condition exposed for more than 70 years before Guinness found him in the remote areas of Nepal on the Nepalese mountain village of Rhimkholi. According to Guinness, and he spends most of his time making placemats and head straps for villagers. He also helps look cows and buffalos in his village.
After his worldwide recognition, Chandra Bahadur Dangi has been able to travel across Nepal and to foreign countries. He said that he does not want to get married or have his own children. In 2012, Chandra Bahadur Dangi met the world shortest woman, Jyoti Amge of Nagpur, India. In 2013, Dangi and Jyoti posed together for the 57th edition of the Guinness World Records. Chandra Bahadur Dangi is happy to be recognized in the book of records, and hopes good things will come his way and family.
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An epileptic spasm is one of the widely known disorders affecting human beings. Epileptic spasms can also be referred to as juvenile spasms, west syndrome or infantile spasms. This is a rare epileptic condition that affects infants, children and sometimes adults. It is one of the catastrophic childhood epilepsies this is simply because it is difficult to control seizures and mental retardation.
Epileptic spasms is one the epilepsy syndromes and most enigmatic because of its symptoms and its effects. The syndrome is called “west syndrome” after Dr. William James West. Dr. West described the condition after studying his own four month son in 1841. This is an epilepsy type that affects about one in 2000- 3000 children. In the UK about 350-400 children will develop epileptic spasms. In essence, there is a rich history out there about infantile spasms [IS].
West syndrome starts between 3 and 12 months of age and may stop by the age of 2 to 4 years. This syndrome is quite rare and about 60% of infants affected have some brain injury or disorder before seizures start appearing. For some infants or children is different as they may not have injuries, but the condition may develop normally.
Young children having epileptic spasms usually experienced a number of symptoms. In all cases, infantile spasms occur in the first year of life and the attacks are brief and infrequent. This condition is characterized by epileptic seizures which can be observed as sudden, severe myoclonic convulsions of the entire body , convulsions of the throat and neck flexor muscles and as jackknife attacks or a rapid bending of the head and torso forward. Some children develop autism or develop other kinds of epilepsy.
The key mechanisms that cause epileptic spasms are still unknown. In many cases, it is imagined to be as a result of malfunction of neurotransmitter. More precisely, it is conjectured that Infant spasms is as a result of a malfunction in the regulation of the GABA transmission process. With ever growing number of medical researchers, it is believed that epileptic spasms may be as a result of the Corticotropin-releasing hormone [CRH]. Effects of certain medications administered to young children may also be the core cause of infantile spasms.
The epileptogenic mechanisms or infantile spasms is not well understood, but there are ways through which this condition has been diagnosed or treated. Compared to other types of epilepsy, epileptic spasms is difficult to treat. To increase the chances of successful treatment and be able to take care of any long lasting effects, it is wise to go for early diagnosis. The treatment should also start right away.
Treatment differs from one individual to another and depends on the cause of the West syndrome and the state of the brain development of the young child. Steroid therapy [Adrenocorticotropic hormone [ACTH] injection or prednisone] can help greatly. It is also wise to go for a therapy with Vigabatrin [Sabril], Topamax [topiramate] or Valproate [Depakote] before steroid therapy. Noteworthy, as you seek treatment for epileptic spasms, make sure that you go for an experienced center and deal with professionals as a lot of caution is essential while administering these medications.
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Infant mortality is the death of a child less than one year of age. It is also grouped together by the national statistics with childhood mortality which is the death of a child before the child can celebrate his or her fifth birthday. There are ten millions of infants and children who died on annual basis in the globe and this is usually before their fifth birthday. 99% of these deaths are known to occur in developing countries.
Infant mortality rate [IMR] is the number of deaths of children who are less than one year of age and as per 1000 live births. It is easy to calculate the IMR of an area or region. Here, experts have to take the number of children dying under the age of one year and divide by the number of live births during the year and multiply it by 1000. There are different forms of infant mortality that you need to be well-versed with. This includes neonatal mortality which is the newborn death occurring within 28 days of postpartum and it is attributed to lack of adequate health care during pregnancy or after delivery.
Postneonatal mortality is the death of children age 29 days to one year and it is attributed to malnutrition, environment problems and infectious diseases. Perinatal mortality is the other form of infant mortality. It is the late fetal death [within 22 weeks gestation to birth] or the death of a newborn within one week of postpartum. These deaths are usually used a way to measure the well-being and health of a nation. Factors that affect the health of a country can also impact the mortality rate of newborns. Factors such as age, race and ethnicity also create differences in infant mortality in globe.
There are factors that are cited as the core causes of infant mortality. In many occasion newborns grow and thrive, but for every 1000 babies born, six die within their first year. Many cases of infant deaths are because of the fact that some babies are born with serious birth defect, born too small or too early. There are other infants who are victims of sudden infant death syndrome, injuries or affected by maternal complications of pregnancy. Environmental or social barriers are the other common causes of increased infant mortality. 86% of the deaths that occur in developing countries are due to infections, premature births and perinatal asphyxia.
With the improving economy and advancing technology, it is easy to prevent and reduce the high cases of infant mortality. With improved health and well-being of the people in the globe, it is easy to enjoy every moment in life. Through the Millennium Development Goals [MDGs], it has been easy to reduce the number of mortalities within the infants and childhood population by two-thirds.
This means that the set goals are to decrease mortality from 95 to 31 deaths per 1000. With such goals in mind, it is a great strategy for the involved countries to abide and reduce the infant mortality rate within the set period. Granting women employment and education is another great way to reduce the mortality rates in our countries. Availability of modernized and affordable medical care and facilities will also help reduce death of infants and children.
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International Law Association
International law is a set of rules that are generally regarded and accepted as binding in relations between nations and states. It serves as the framework for the practice of stable and organized international relations. International law differs from the common state-based legal systems and it is primarily applicable to countries rather than private citizens. In some cases, national law may become international law when treaties delegate national jurisdiction to international criminal court or the European Court of Human Rights.
International law association [ILA] is a non-profit organization that is based Great Britain with its headquarters in London and it was founded in Brussels in 1873. The ILA holds it biennial conferences and releases reports of the same for the benefits of the international community. The conference does not have any restrictions as members and outsiders can participate in the conference at a cost.
The International Law Association keeps several committees and study groups that analyze specific facets of the international law. The law findings of these groups are distributed to its members a number of times in a year. The association has 75 conferences that have enough target audience every day. The main objectives of the International Law Association are to promote the study, interpretation and advancement of international law, public and private, making of proposals for the solution of conflicts of law and the study of comparative law.
The international law association also helps in furthering international understanding and goodwill among people of Australian citizenship and the native residents in Australia. International law has helped promote co-operation and mutual development in many countries. Effectiveness of the international law has also helped the international community to create a better legislative net that would aid in the regulation of the relationship between the involved communities.
International law is no longer restricted to regulating relationships between states and can aid in any issue that presents elements of international character. Today, the international law has extended its hand and it has made it easy to offer protection against the criminal actions or cases such as genocide and crimes against humanity especially if these criminal actions are made by individuals. Such responsibilities have been assigned to judicial bodies such as International Criminal Court.
There are numerous activities that are performed by the international law association. This is includes organizing special events such as public lecturers and other functions of relevant international law. The ILA also provides members of its committees by effectively conducting research and preparing reports on topics of the international law. Finally, they also help arranging prizes and internships.
It is easy to become a member of the international law association. Joining the association makes it easy to enjoy corporate support. From the Australian Branch, firms such as Allens, Baker & McKenzie, Clayton Utz and Marque Lawyers make it easy to get the much needed corporate support. Interested students can also join the ILA and gain more experience on the field. Those who are competent enough can also gain job opportunities and succeed in the law field.
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Definition of activation function
An activation function in computational networks as a node that defines an output depending on its set of inputs. Generally, an activation function is said to be one of the most essential parameters in neural networks. When selecting specific nodes of an activation function it is necessary to be careful. It is also important to ensure proper training is done with a neural network because this determines how an activation function works with the network.
The roles and types of activation function
However in biological neural networks it is an abstract representation of the actual potential of the firing in a cell. The activation function in this case can be binary in the sense that it is not firing any cell.
There are several types of activation functions and they each play a unique role:
- Identity function. This is usually used with input unit. In some instances the net input can be multiplied with a constant in order to form a linear function. It is illustrated using the equation below:
g(x) = x
- Binary step function. This is usually used with single layer networks and is sometimes referred to as the Heaviside function or Threshold function. The output of this function is limited to two values, 1 or 0. If x is greater or equal to theta (θ) then the output value will be one. However, where x is less than theta then the output value will be equal to 0. It is illustrated using the equation below:
g(x) = 1 if x ≥ θ
g(x) = 0 if x < θ
- Sigmoid function. This function is best used with the neural networks especially when they are trained using backward propagation method. It is mainly preferred because it can dramatically reduce the burden of computing during training and is also very easy to identify. This function is used with the outputs which lie between 0 and 1. It is illustrated using the equation below:
- Binary sigmoid function. This function bears similar characteristics with those of the sigmoid function. However, these functions are usually used with the outputs whose values lie between -1 and 1. They can be illustrated using the following equation:
Choosing activation functions
Generally, sigmoid functions are more popular than any other types of activation functions. Where there is need to
introduce the element of non-linearity into a network, activation functions are used together with hidden units. Even though linear functions are important, the non-linearity or capability to characterize a non-linear function is the element that makes multilayer networks more powerful in training. Non-linear functions can therefore facilitate training over any network.
Nevertheless, it is important to consider the methods used in the training. For instance, in back propagation method, the non-linear function must be differentiable. It might also be necessary to bind the values. Activation functions should also be chosen carefully so as to suit the distribution of target values especially when used with output units. When used with sigmoid functions, the outputs should be scaled so that they are in the same range as the output of the activation function.
Where a target value has no bounded range, then it is better to use the unbounded activation functions. In most cases, the identity function is preferred under such circumstances. An exponential output activation function is also used in instances where the target values are positive yet have no known upper limit.
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Association Rule Learning
Definition of association rule learning
Association rule learning is a technique used to discover underlying relationships in a large repository of information found in a relational database. It is used mostly by businesses to determine the relationships between their sales, supplies, employees and clientele among other things. Most association rules are made in formulaic or statement form. For instance if a client purchases eggs and bread, they are 80% likely to purchase milk as well.
In association rule learning, association rules are usually split into two:
- An antecedent (if) which is found in the data
- A consequent (then) which is found after combining the antecedent with a particular item
Useful concepts in Association Rule Learning
The association rules are created through analysis of data in order to determine frequent “if/then” relationships. There are some vital concepts that are normally used to determine the most important frequent relationships:
- Support – this is an indicator of the frequency with which particular items appear within the repository or relational database. It measures the significance of a particular data set or variable. It also helps to eliminate or prune the items that appear infrequently from the database and hence narrow down the variable-relationship search. The main downside of this concept is that it can prune out important items from the data set especially if they appear less frequently.
- Confidence – this is an indicator of the number of times the “if/then” relationships deduced have been confirmed as true. It is also called strength and data derived from support calculations is used to determine the confidence. The downside of confidence as a concept is that it is calculated in such a way that any consequents which have support levels will automatically have high confidence regardless of whether the items involved have minimum or maximum association.
- Conviction – this is a concept that was developed with the aim of accurately capturing the directions of associations between items. Since confidence failed to take into account the accuracy of the associations, the conviction would do so by taking into account information regarding the absence of the consequent.
- Leverage – this concept measures the difference of the units appearing together in order to determine which independent variables can still be categorized together as an antecedent and consequent.
- Lift – this concept determines the probability that two variables would co-occur even if they were independent statistically.
Importance of association rule learning
Association rule learning is a subject that has been extensively researched and written about. It is important in different fields and has been used in the following areas:
- Businesses use association rules to predict customer behavior and shopping patterns.
- Association rules are used in shopping basket data analysis which is commonly done by supermarkets and chain stores.
- It also helps in product clustering and positioning especially for products that have high association levels.
- Association rules are used in designing catalogs in accordance with the preferences and tastes of a targeted clientele.
- These rules can also be used in store layouts and designs.
- In programming, the association rules are used in building programs that have machine learning abilities.
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How Backpropagation Works with Artificial Neural Networks
What is backpropagation?
Backpropagation is an abbreviation which originally stands for “backward propagation of errors”. It is a technological method used in training artificial neural networks. Artificial neural networks are ideally used to solve problems that cannot be solved using the traditional computational methods. The artificial neural networks learn from different inputs how to carry out desired tasks and generate varied outputs. Backpropagation is generally used in situations where there are huge sets of input or output data yet it is difficult to relate this to the output.
In general, backpropagation is a supervised learning method that generalizes the delta rule and works with a particular dataset of outputs. These desired outputs for the different inputs form the training set for the artificial neural networks. Backpropagation is very useful in training of feed forward networks and it requires for activation functions used in the artificial neurons to be easily differentiated. Most networks that use backpropagation therefore do not have feedback.
Phases of backpropagation
The backpropagation learning is carried out using specific algorithm. This algorithm is divided into two major phases. During training, each of these phases is repeated until the performance of the artificial neural network is satisfactory.
- This is also divided into two steps. The forward propagation is the first step and it is where the training pattern’s input is fed through the neural network so that the propagation’s desired output activations can be generated. The backward output is the second step and this involves generating the deltas of every output and hidden neuron by propagating output activations using training pattern targets.
- Weight update. There are two steps involved here. First, the output delta is multiplied with the input activation to get the gradient of the weight. Then the ration or percentage of the gradient is subtracted from the weight. In this case, the ratio is important because it determines the learning rate as it influences the quality and speed of learning. A greater ratio therefore indicates faster training for the neutrons. A lower ratio on the other hand indicates high accuracy of the training. The gradient sign of the weight can be positive or negative and it will indicate areas where the errors are on an increase. The weight must therefore be updated in opposite direction.
Modes of learning in backpropagation
In backpropagation, there are three modes of learning that can be used with the neural networks.
- The online mode of learning. This mode of learning is preferred with dynamic environments especially those that provide continuous streams of new patterns during training. Here the propagation is immediately followed by a weight update.
- Stochastic mode of learning. This is used with more static patterns. This method goes through the data sets in a random order. It is also fast because like the online mode of learning, the weights are updated immediately after the propagation.
- Batch mode. It is more or less similar to the stochastic mode of learning in that it also makes use of static patterns. However in this mode of learning, several propagations must occur before the weights are updated.
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Business Intelligence Application
Definition of business intelligence
Business intelligence is a set of techniques, theories and technologies that businesses use in order to transform large amounts of raw data into meaningful and useful information for the purposes of improving the business. Business intelligence is mostly done through varied software applications. Some of the activities included in business intelligence are:
- Online analytical processing
- Data mining
- Multidimensional aggregation of information and allocation
- Optimizing key performance indicators
- Statistical inference
- Budgeting and forecasting
- Process management
- Group consolidation
- Open item management
- Business analytics
- Complex event processing
- Text mining
- Predictive and prescriptive analytics
- Online analytical processing
Application of business intelligence
Business intelligence is now being used by several renowned companies including several supermarket chains, restaurant chains and even professional sport teams. These companies have experienced success by utilizing business intelligence software in the following manner:
- Using measurement programs that create a history and hierarchy of performance. This shows the management the progress the business is making towards achieving its set goals and objectives.
- Using the analytics programs to assess the performance of the business against set goals and market trends. This helps the business managers and leaders to come up with optimal decisions that can propel the business forward and also utilize resources at hand more effectively. It may involve several technological processes such as data mining, predictive modeling and prescriptive analysis.
- Use enterprise reporting program and software such as data visualization and executive information system to build relevant infrastructure for strategic reporting. This enables to focus on and execute strategic decisions in the business and as such employ strategic management effectively.
- Use collaboration platform program to get perspectives of both internal and external stakeholders of the business. This is done through electronic data interchange and data sharing. It helps the business leaders to encompass relevant data and ideas in their decision making.
- Using knowledge management program to facilitate practical strategic management and adoption of insights that are based on factual business knowledge. This helps the business leaders to gain better management skills and also effect regulatory compliance practices.
How to make business intelligence work
Since every business is different, business intelligence cannot be incorporated as a one-size-fits-all measure. It requires technical planning and a specific focus on the business goals at hand. Not every business will automatically succeed by implementing business intelligence software. It is thus important to consider the following criteria before launching any software for business intelligence:
- Before initiating business intelligence it is very important to establish a committed and realistic sponsorship team for the project. This team should not only comprise of the management of the business but also external sponsors with a reputable business profile. Apart from offering financial support, the sponsors should set goals and closely monitor the business intelligence project.
- Business needs and goals. The business intelligence project should be initiated after establishing specific goals and objectives that need to be assessed or analyzed. It should not just be launched haphazardly. Rather a team should be set up to establish the needs of the organization and market trends before initiating the project with a specific objective.
- Availability of relevant data. It is necessary to profile the data an organization has before embarking on any business intelligence project. Data used should always reflect the true picture of the organization. It should be rich in content, relevant and consistent. Without proper, high quality data, business intelligence cannot work.
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Advantages of Foreign Direct investment in Developing Countries
Foreign direct investments can have very good impacts on the global economic growth. As a result of this, it is always of great importance to the emerging economies or developing countries as some refer to them. It should be noted that through foreign direct investment, developing countries are able to get funding and expertise that is highly needed by smaller domestic companies for their expansion. Over the years, there are quite a number of developing countries that have benefited from foreign direct investment initiatives.
There are several benefits that developing countries have already acquired and will receive from foreign direct investments. One of the advantages is that foreign direct investments allows finances to freely move into the businesses or projects that present the best prospects for growth in developing countries. This is because; investors are always in the rush to acquire the best returns for their investments with the least risk. As a result of this, several companies in emerging economies have been able to get boosts that have earned them great profits, thereby driving upward the GDP of their respective countries.
As a result of the foreign direct investments that developing countries have been receiving, quite a number of businesses within their borders have acquired competitive advantage. Even though this does not completely eliminate the impacts of politics, bribery and cronyism, it has significantly reduced them. This has enabled many businesses to be able to bring their goods and services to the market at the right time and in turn, rake in great rewards. With this, developing countries generate revenues from increased imports and exports, further enhancing their economic stability.
In most developing countries, lack of skilled workforce is one of the major setbacks. However, this is a problem that has been solved by foreign direct investment to grater lengths. To foreign firms that invest in developing countries or any other part of the world, skilled labor is a major concern. Since most developing countries lack have for a long period of time run low on skilled labor, most foreign firms have been pushed to training and education a larger percentage of the workforce in order to conduct their operations. As a result of this, most developing countries can now boast of having skilled labor. In fact, foreign direct investment plays a critical role in human capital development in emerging economies.
Foreign direct investment is also beneficial to developing countries since it allows for the transfer of technology especially in the form of new capital inputs. Since various developing countries lack sophisticated technology but present better prospects for investments, foreign investors bring in advanced technology when starting up projects. The technology not only benefits the investors in their operations but also the residents of the countries where the investments are made.
The profits that are generated through foreign direct investment in developing countries make great contributions to corporate tax revenues in the countries where the investments are made. Thus, the investors as well as consumers will be well cushioned against taxes that may be incurred as a result of high-level taxation.
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