Research Picks – November 2015

Who clicks ads?

As ad-blocking plugins become more and more popular among web users, whether on their desktops or tablets and phones, the advertising industry and the commercial world it serves is increasingly concerned for a future of lost revenue and lost sales. As such understanding what makes users (who aren’t using ad-blocking software) click particular advertisements is increasingly important. US researchers have now taken a new approach to understanding click-through of online banner ads as rates continue to decline. The team’s models offers new insights for the practical design and implementation of more enticing banner ads that will be increasingly important to websites, and app designers.

Idemudia, E.C. and Jones, D.R. (2015) ‘An empirical investigation of online banner ads in online market places: the cognitive factors that influence intention to click’, Int. J. Information Systems and Management, Vol. 1, No. 3, pp.264–293.

 

Safer mobiles

Among the most popular and well-known operating systems on mobile devices, such as smart phones and tablet computers, is Android. Android is currently developed by Google and at its core is based on the Linux operating system. All operating systems face security issues such as the possibility of being “infected” with computer viruses. There are many “antivirus” programs a user might run on their device, but while this may protect the device from some problems it comes at a cost in terms of usability of the device as the antivirus software must use the device’s resources to run, which ultimately means reduced battery life and less computer power available for other applications. Researchers in China have now devised a new approach to detecting malware based on “permission” requests made to the Android operating system by a newly installed application that reduces amount of computing power the antivirus software would need as well as cutting the number of false positives significantly.

Liu, Z., Lai, Y. and Chen, Y. (2015) ‘Android malware detection based on permission combinations’, Int. J. Simulation and Process Modelling, Vol. 10, No. 4, pp.315–326.

 

A flight of fancy

Airport connectivity can be better understood in terms of two newly introduced metrics – average shortest travel time and average highest path velocity – according to German researchers. Their approach to assessing connectivity on the global scale is an important factor for passenger transport and air freight logistics. These two new indicators sidestep some of the limitations of earlier metrics and should provide public institutions and airport operators with information on the connectivity of airports and regions. Conversely, airlines may use the indicators to highlight their individual contribution to the connectivity of an airport or city by their presence. The research could help inform companies, planners and policymakers. Moreover the same approach might be equally application to other logistical chains and transport systems.

Nieße, H. and Grimme, W. (2015) ‘How to measure airport connectivity? – average shortest travel time and average highest path velocity as indicators’, Int. J. Aviation Management, Vol. 2, Nos. 3/4, pp.226–240.

 

A nose for a smell

The artificial nose that could be used in the food and drinks industry, in perfumery, even in the detection of explosives and illicit drugs has been the focus of analytical science for many years. Now, a team in India has developed a pattern recognition system that handles the outputs from an array of gas detectors – tin oxide semiconductor devices – to mimic the way the human olfactory system works and so identify different odours effectively. Proof of principle has been successfully carried out with some well-known and common chemical compounds – benzene, acetone and ethanol at different low levels of concentration.

Sharma, V. and Panchariya, P.C. (2015) ‘Experimental use of electronic nose for odour detection’, Int. J. Engineering Systems Modelling and Simulation, Vol. 7, No. 4, pp.238–243.

Author: David Bradley

Award-winning, freelance science writer based in Cambridge, England.