2014年10月13日星期一

CityU Big Data Forum

As one of CityU 30th Anniversary celebration activities, the College of Science and Engineering organized the Celebration Lectures by World Renowned Scholars entitled “Big Data Forum: Development, Analysis and Utilization” on 13 October 2014. I was invited to attend the seminar but I had only joined 3 topics among 7 topics and summarized as follows.


The first speaker was Professor Way Kuo (President, CityU) and his presentation topic entitled “Big Data and Small Data”. Prof. Kuo said too many data points were just like too few data points to present the real solution to some of the problems encountered. In the beginning, Prof. Kuo showed a diagram with a straight line of three point and he said “Don’t draw conclusion in very limited of data. Then examples on safety of nuclear energy and the effectiveness of teaching were discussed.


Prof. Kuo showed the big data (ten years data) for scatter plot of course rating vs class size. It was also difficult to draw conclusion. The he demonstrated the rating by three class size set and no significant different was found. The next set of data was research productivity vs age of professors. It was found middle aged professors had higher research productivity (including paper, book, conference and funding) than senior one. Then the case of Fukushima nuclear accident was discussed. Even though fault tree analysis was employed in many nuclear power plants to analysis how likely it would be fail, some critical elements were not identified. Nuclear power plants control mechanism provided huge data but the crisis data were only three cases (1979 - Three Mile Island accident, 1986 - Chernobyl disaster and 2011 - Fukushima nuclear accident).


Finally, Prof. Kuo concluded Big Data benefit on agriculture, World cup winner – German and Cloud computing. However, many arguments in education were because of small data. On the other side, Philosophy attracted many followers without data!


The second speaker was Prof. Yunhe Pan (Member of Chinese Academy of Engineering) and his presentation named “Big Data and Knowledge Service”. He said the big data would become the “power” driving the economic development in the 21st century, like the petroleum in the 20th century. It was come from the United Nations white paper of “Big Data for Development: Challenges and Opportunities” on 10 July 2012.


Big Changes in the World were discussed below.
(I) Industrial revolution (The 3rd Industrial Revolution through converging the internet with renewable energies will lead to the big revolutions in production, living, society and economy.)
(II) Technological revolution (new manufacturing technologies, new energy sources and smart city)
(III) Economic revolution (e-Commerce booming in China and online trade)
(IV) New space in the world (among Cyber Space (C), Human Society (H) and Physical World (P) interactions)
(V) The view of President Xi Jinping about Information Industry


After that Prof. Pan introduced some new services of Information and Knowledge below.
Service 1: New Organization of CADAL Medical Bibliographies. The whole human body structure in the image and all photos, slides and books related each organ could be found after one click!
Service 2: Incident Prediction (e.g. GDP forecasting using enterprise (business) development index)
Service 3: Crowd-sourcing (e.g. attaching sensors to the mobile phones of residents would create millions of monitoring points)
Service 4: Planning Optimization
Service 5: Deepening of cognition (e.g. TCM Knowledge System)


Finally, Prof. Pan introduced China Knowledge Centre for Engineering Sciences and Technology by Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE) which aimed to establish a knowledge platform. The age of big data is today and the age of big knowledge is tomorrow.

The third speaker was Prof. Hsiang-tsung Kung (Member of US National Academy of Engineering, and Academia Sinica) and his topic was “Big Data and Internet of Things”. These two subjects were highly related such as use of IoT devices in getting massive data for data analytics. Others might not be immediately obvious such as the use of IoT-device detected contextual information to enhance big data analytics.

The forth speaker was Prof. Deren Li (Member of Chinese Academy of Engineering, and Chinese Academy of Sciences) and his talk entitled “Big Data in Smart City”. The huge data collected by ubiquitous sensor networks of the smart city can be transferred to the cloud computing center for computation and understanding, providing intelligent service for economic development, city management and publics. Then our life can become “smart”.

The fifth speaker was Prof. Qiang Yang (Head of Huawei Noah’s Ark Laboratory, and Professor of HKUST) and his topic named “User Modeling in Social Media and Big Data”. High-quality user models could enable superior services and functions for end users. Prof. Yang briefed one billion user network transfer in Tencent QQ and Weibo in 2013.


Then he describe the research in modelling users’ information preferences on Microblogs using a novel user message model and discussed the work on extracting users’ daily activities (e.g. dinning and shopping). The following diagram showed location-based analysis in each hotspot area.


After that Prof. Yang mentioned the Heterogeneous Transfer Learning and he said using about 1000 words (text) to identify the image in English but only using 200 words (text) to identify the image in Chinese. Finally, he summarized to store, move and manage big data and to discover knowledge from it. User modeling research was employed O2O in Social Data and Mobile Data.


At the end, Prof. Yang showed a video “MoKA” which was their imagination future product using big data for your life from baby to elder.

The last speaker was Prof. King-ning Tu (Fellow of The Metallurgical Society (TMS), and Member of Academia Sinica) and his topic named “Statistical Analysis of Reliability Data in VLSI Interconnect Technology”. The analysis of reliability data in very-large-scale-integration (VLSI) of interconnects in silicon devices was reviewed. To complete the scan of an area of 1mm x 1mm on a silicon chip, typically over 1 million data was needed.

Reference:
CityU - http://www.cityu.edu.hk/
Renowned academicians discuss big data at CityU - http://wikisites.cityu.edu.hk/sites/newscentre/en/Pages/201410131340.aspx


2014年10月4日星期六

Public Forum on Gutter Oil (地溝油)

The public forum named “Gutter Oil: Technical, Trade, Heath and Regulatory Perspectives” was organized by Hong Kong Food and Science Technology Association (HKFSTA) and supported by Hong Kong Society for Quality (HKSQ) on 4th Oct 2014. Minda and I represented HKSQ attended the seminar and I would like to summarize the content for sharing.

In the beginning, Dr. Jennifer Wan (Chairlady, HKFSTA) briefed the missions of HKFSTA and she showed a video named “The Making Of Gutter Oil” as introduction.


The first speaker was Mr. Stephen Choi (HKFSTA) and his topic named “Gutter Oil Incident from History to Legislation”. Firstly, he defined what is Gutter Oil as below:
i) Illicit Cooking Oil which has been recycled from waste oil from drains and gutters near to restaurants which is later treated and resold to businesses and consumers.
ii) Discarded Animal Parts (Lard) is another version of gutter oil which uses discarded animal parts, animal fat and skins, internal organs, and expired or otherwise low-quality meat which is then cooked in large vats in order to extract the oil.


Then Mr. Choi mentioned the reprocessing techniques included very rudimentary Filtration to Boiling to Refining to Removal of Adulterant and then Package & Sold. After that Mr. Choi briefed the history of gutter oil as follows:
- In 1960, Japanese businessman cooperated with Taiwanese businessman to sold gutter oil into Taiwan.
- In 1985, Taiwan found the first self-development of gutter oil and sold upto 2.2 Million ton within 10 years.
- In 1986, 22 people were charged for this illegal production.
- In 2010, Chinese expert estimated about 1 to 10 of editable oil was come from gutter oil. It estimated animal and plant oil used to be 22.5 Million ton in 2010 but the production amount was only 20 Million ton.
- In 2011, gutter oil was found in Shenzhen government canteen.
- In Aug 2012, a company in Shenzhen was found to use gutter oil as raw material for medicine!
- In 4th Sep 2014, Taiwan found 200 ton of gutter oil got into the market from Taiwan famous oil supplier in which some industrial grade oil was from Hong Kong.

The following diagrams showed China Standard for edible oil such as GB2716-2005, NY5306-2005 & GB10146-2005 against Codex; as well as Taiwan’s test standard. However, it was not able to guarantee that oil passing the test was safe.


Taiwan standard requirement


China standard requirement


Mr. Choi concluded that there was no scientific method to identify the gutter oil in Hong Kong this moment, even though Benzo(a)pyrene was tested internationally. (Limited of Benzo(a)pyrene in HK & China is 10mg/kg = 10ppm)

The second speaker was Dr. Albert Chiu and his presentation entitled “Edible Oil Processing & Quality Control Practices”. He explained the processing of edible oils from Oil Bearing Tissue (Process: 1 – dehulling, 2 – flaking; 3 – heat conditioning; and 4 – mechanical pressing) to Oil Cake + Crude Oil; then through solvent extraction (n-hexan) followed by desolventization to Crude Oil. Or Animal Tissue is directly through heat rendering to Crude Oil.
 

Then Dr. Chiu explained the chemical refining of Crude Oil which was a complex process. He also introduced different downstream processes included Winterization, Fractionation and Hydrogenation / Interesterification.


After that Dr. Chiu mentioned quality assurance through Free Fatty Acid (FFA) test, Peroxide Value (PV) test and Anisidine Value (AV) test. Therefore, Total toxic (Totox) = AV + 2PV. Totox is more relevant to test oil freshness. Totox of fresh oil should be less than 10 (<10). The following tables are shown technical data of different parameter among Soybean Oil, RBD Lard and Gutter Oil.


The third speaker was Dr. Ka-Sing Leung (Visiting Associate Professor, ABCT Dept., PolyU) and his presentation was “Overview of Used Cooking Oil”. Firstly, he introduced edible fats and oils which defined in Codex and also mentioned the standard GB/T 8973-2006.


Then Dr. Leung said the edible oil upon cooking would be the following process: Degradation (change Triglycerides to free fatty acids that increasing acid value and decreasing smoke point), Oxidation (formation of H2O2), Polymerization (polymerized triglycerides) and possible contaminants (e.g. food residues and charred particles, as well as, Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs)). We needed to disposal and recycling of used cooking oil but not as edible oil. Even though health risk was low, it still got public concern because of quality issues. Dr. Leung concluded that the most important action was to establish traceability and control mechanism.


Dr.Jennifer Wan (Chairlady, HKFSTA; Associated Professor, SBS, HKU) was the last speaker and her topic entitled “Gutter Oil the Health Aspect”. She said PAH and Benzo(a)pyrene was by-products which was a dangerous organic pollutant capable of causing cancer with long-term consumption.


Dr. Wan added another lipid auto-oxidation by-products and toxic substances (e.g. free radicals) would be produced through rancidity, oxidation and decomposition of gutter oil. The short term and long term effects of consuming gutter oils were briefed as following diagram.


She mentioned quality control at food supply chains were important. Current Chinese law (2012) states that industrial animal fat is not allowed for use in food products because it doesn’t meet basic hygiene standards and contains high levels of potentially toxic chemical substances. However, there are not any nationwide standards in place to assist with this process at present.

After the seminar, Dr. Edmund Li (Associate Professor, SBS, HKU) chaired the discussion panel.
 

Albert said CSR was very important to avoid this kind of contamination. During the audit, they would consider documentation and operation traceability. Stephen said auditor might not have oil process knowledge that could be missing some important points such as additive and ingredient ratio. I asked there were not chemical indicator to identify the gutter oil even though we were able to use ecotoxicology test to find the total toxicity of oil. Moreover, I also stated“HKQAA - Hong Kong Cooking Oil Registration” Scheme to be one of solution to raise consumers’ confidence.

Reference:
HKFSTA - http://www.hkfsta.com.hk/index.html
HKSQ - http://www.hksq.org/


2014年9月30日星期二

ASQ InfVoices – Quality Strategy Approach

Mr. Bill Troy shared his five key questions about strategy as August topic of ASQ Influence Voices entitled “Charting A Strategy For Quality – And Beyond”. He would like us to share our strategy in organization, business, professional association or even in our personal life. The photo of Troy’s article was a man in front of Maze and it seems to find the road to the other side. I used a photo which a leader with his people on the top of Transmutation Circle (練成陣) to go to another space.


I would like to use Motorola’s 6 Step to Six Sigma in 1987 (Not GE’s DMAIC) to discuss our Quality Strategy in Hong Kong Society for Quality (HKSQ) when I was chairman in 2010 below.

Step 1: Understand your product and service.
HKSQ is a quality professional association and our products / services included Training Courses, Seminars, Symposiums / Conferences, Technology Visits, Study Missions and Student Project Competition. Through our service, we promoted quality awareness to community in Hong Kong.

Step 2: Identify who is your customer.
Our customers were identified as quality professionals, university students in related subjects, any person interested in the topic of quality and companies with quality commitment.

Step 3: Understand your necessary things to achieve your work.
That means necessary resource in HKSQ to provide such products / services including Human Resource, Materials, Venues, etc. HKSQ is a “Lean Society”. We haven’t full time staff and have only voluntary exco members. Our venues usually use University and rental cost is under non-profit organization rate and sometimes is waived for co-organized events. We haven’t office address and all are virtual things (website) but use a mail box service from Post Office. Even though the resource is limited, we still receive a very low membership fee (Only HK$250 per year).

Step 4: Understand how to do it right. Committee members are response to their own profession activities such as Seminar, Training and Visit activities. We all follow HKSQ Administrative Handbook to make sure to do those activities right.

Step 5: Think how to do it better. Before provision of services, we would think how to do it better than the previous time including timing, schedule, venue and transportation. After that this activity (e.g. technology visit or student project competition) arrangement will be our standard operation procedure.

Step 6: Think how to evaluate how well your work done.
After each activity, we would send questionnaire to collect participants’ feedback. Then we analyze it for continuous improvement.

In every year, we will hold HKSQ strategy meeting to identify the theme and related activities to be launched in the coming year. When I was chairman in 2010, I led the theme on “Testing and Certification Era” and many activities were related or co-operated to this direction (See reference). In this year, our theme is “Quality and Innovation Today, Success Tomorrow”.

Reference:
A View from the Q - http://asq.org/blog/
HKCTC Report Summary (Testing & Certification) -http://qualityalchemist.blogspot.hk/2010/04/hkctc-report-summary-testing.html
HKSQ’s suggestions to the testing and certification industry posted at http://www.hksq.org/HKSQ_Suggestion_to_HKCTC_20100112.pdf


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