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  • Energy Efficiency: Indicator, Estimation, and a New Idea

    Ku-Hsieh Chen; Jen-Chi Cheng; Joe-Ming Lee; Liou-Yuan Li; Sheng-Yu Peng (MDPI AG, 2020-06-01)
    Energy efficiency has long been an important issue to the global economic and political theaters; however, searching for an effective and concise measure for efficiency remains a contentious and intriguing topic. There are two obvious flaws with the commonly used metrics in existing literature. First, there is a sense of confusion and misunderstanding between the definitions of energy efficiency and efficacy. As a result, the formulae and methods for measuring efficiency are often the subject of criticism. Second, even if the definition of efficiency is clear, the method of estimation can be quite cumbersome, making it difficult to comprehend or implement. This study attempts to address these two issues. With an OECD comparative dataset, it first presents the contradiction between efficiency and efficacy, explains the loss of effectiveness with the existing measurements, and then proposes a new and easy-to-use method for gauging energy efficiency, so that the succinctness and robustness of the measurement can be re-established. The paper serves as a guide to those who are interested in the controversial issues related to measuring energy efficiency. Both practitioners and policy makers will find an easy and reliable tool from this paper for measuring energy efficiency.
  • Is the Value Added Tax System Sustainable? The Case of the Czech and Slovak Republics

    Kateřina Krzikallová; Filip Tošenovský (MDPI AG, 2020-06-01)
    The value added tax is an important part of revenues of the European Union and its Member States. The aim of the paper is to statistically analyse the extent of positive impact of selected legislative measures introduced in the fight against tax evasion and discuss subsequently the sustainability of the current value added tax system in the European context. The analysis was conducted for the Czech and Slovak Republics, two traditionally strong trading partners, and for an important commodity, copper. In the analysis, regression methods applied to official time series data on copper export from the Czech Republic to Slovakia were employed together with appropriate statistical tests to detect potential significance of the new legislative tools, the value added tax control statement and reverse charge mechanism. Moreover, the study considers fundamental economic factors that affect foreign trade in parallel. Based on the analysis, there is sound evidence that the major historical turnaround experienced by the time series took place due to the then forthcoming legislative measures that were to restrain the possibility of carousel frauds. The results confirm the positive impact of the measures and also suggest the necessity of more systematic changes in the tax system.
  • Improvement of Indoor Thermal Environments Through Green Refurbishment

    Kyu-In Lee (MDPI AG, 2020-06-01)
    This study investigates the performance of the “green refurbishment” of existing buildings. Two ordinary rooms in an existing building were chosen for examination. Refurbishment measures such as additional insulation, high-performance glazing, and air-tightening were applied to the control room. Temperature and electricity use were monitored to identify heating performance in winter and then compared with a baseline. The results of the field tests showed that green refurbishment significantly improved heating performance. Lowered heating load and electricity use with increased airtightness were also verified through building performance simulations. The empirical investigation suggests a predictive model to obtain indoor minimum temperatures as a function of outdoor temperature swings.
  • The Impact of Low-Carbon Service Operations on Responsible Tourist Behavior: The Psychological Processes of Sustainable Cultural Tourism

    Shu-Hsien Chang; R. J. Hernández-Díaz; Wei-Shuo Lo (MDPI AG, 2020-06-01)
    This paper explores the impact of low-carbon service operations on responsible tourist behavior within sustainable cultural tourism. A proposed conceptual framework is used to examine this largely ignored situation through the case study of Xiao Liuqiu Island. The small island in Taiwan reveals a previously understudied phenomenon in sustainable island tourism. The psychological processes connecting cultural and cross-cultural experiences with sustainable tourism are explored using primary and secondary data collected through in-depth interviews of domestic tourists and online reviews of foreign tourists, respectively. Data analysis reveals the significant result that sustainable island tourism comprises two important elements: a supply and a demand side of a destination. The supply side describes low-carbon service operations—which include food, lodging, and ecological tourist activities—while the demand side reflects tourist behaviors—expressed through cognition, emotion, and motivation as well as authenticity. In addition, this paper makes an important contribution to management by emphasizing the need for careful attention to tourism psychology, particularly in natural and ecological environments that use tourism as a marketing strategy in cultural ecosystems services (CES).
  • Prevention and Fighting against Web Attacks through Anomaly Detection Technology. A Systematic Review

    Tomás Sureda Riera; Juan-Ramón Bermejo Higuera; Javier Bermejo Higuera; José-Javier Martínez Herraiz; Juan-Antonio Sicilia Montalvo (MDPI AG, 2020-06-01)
    Numerous techniques have been developed in order to prevent attacks on web servers. Anomaly detection techniques are based on models of normal user and application behavior, interpreting deviations from the established pattern as indications of malicious activity. In this work, a systematic review of the use of anomaly detection techniques in the prevention and detection of web attacks is undertaken; in particular, we used the standardized method of a systematic review of literature in the field of computer science, proposed by Kitchenham. This method is applied to a set of 88 papers extracted from a total of 8041 reviewed papers, which have been published in notable journals. This paper discusses the process carried out in this systematic review, as well as the results and findings obtained to identify the current state of the art of web anomaly detection.