Mark Xu

University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, England, United Kingdom

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Publications (20)22.83 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: With continuous rise of table grapes consumption and increased public awareness of food safety, the quality control of grapes in storage after purchase is not sufficiently examined. Home storage constitutes the last and important stage in grape supply chain. Literature review shows that few researches on grape quality focus on the home storage stage compared with numerous researches reported on the quality control during postharvest and transportation process. This paper reports the performance evaluation of grape quality at home storage and consumers’ satisfaction using integrated sensory evaluations. The internal attributes, including Texture, Taste and Odor of the table grapes and the appearance indices, Color and Cleanliness are examined. Key results show that during home storage, all the internal attributes decrease rapidly as time goes on, and cleanliness and color appear to be deteriorating in a lower speed. A comprehensive quality index was created to measure the quality of table grape which has high correlation with the Overall acceptability perceived by consumers.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Journal of Food Science and Technology -Mysore-
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    ABSTRACT: Wireless Sensor Network (WSN) is applied widely in food cold chain logistics. However, traditional monitoring systems require significant real-time sensor data transmission which will result in heavy data traffic and communication systems overloading, and thus reduce the data collection and transmission efficiency. This research aims to develop a temperature Monitoring System for Frozen and Chilled Aquatic Products (MS-FCAP) based on WSN integrated with Compressed Sending (CS) to improve the efficiency of MS-FCAP. Through understanding the temperature and related information requirements of frozen and chilled aquatic products cold chain logistics, this paper illustrates the design of the CS model which consists of sparse sampling and data reconstruction, and shelf-life prediction. The system was implemented and evaluated in cold chain logistics between Hainan and Beijing in China. The evaluation result suggests that MS-FCAP has a high accuracy in reconstructing temperature data under variable temperature condition as well as under constant temperature condition. The result shows that MS-FCAP is capable of recovering the sampled sensor data accurately and efficiently, reflecting the real-time temperature change in the refrigerated truck during cold chain logistics, and providing effective decision support traceability for quality and safety assurance of frozen and chilled aquatic products.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · Food Control
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to estimate the technical efficiency of Chinese table grape wholesalers and subsequently to examine the degree to which the calculated efficiency correlates with a set of explanatory variables. Design/methodology/approach – A two-stage procedure is applied in this paper. First, a non-parametric data envelopment analysis (DEA) technique is applied to investigate the degree of technical efficiency for Chinese table grape wholesalers. Second, Tobit regression is used to analyze the factors influencing technical efficiency. Findings – Research results reveal that the mean technical efficiency of the sample is 0.544 and 0.860 under constant returns scale (CRS) and VRS assumptions, respectively, and the scale efficiency (SE) is 0.620. The variables of experiences, number of grape varieties on sale, daily selling volumes and fixed sale ratio have a significant effect on technical efficiency, while the other exogenous variables do not affect the efficiency in any significant way. Research limitations/implications – The findings of this research are specific to table grape wholesalers in China, however, the method used in this study is transferrable and applicable to the study of similar problems in others countries. Originality/value – This research has yielded some interesting and original insights into the efficiency level of Chinese grape wholesalers and the factors that influence the level of efficiency. The findings have practical implications for Chinese agriculture policy makers, and are able to stimulate further research of a similar type in the international agricultural research community.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2015 · British Food Journal
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    ABSTRACT: Temperature monitoring, shelf-life visibility and Least Shelf-life First Out (LSFO) stock strategy are important contents in perishable food cold chain logistics for both cold chain managers and workers in order to reduce quality and economic losses. This paper illustrates a wireless sensor network (WSN) based integrated Cold Chain Shelf Life Decision Support System (C2SLDS) designed for perishable food product cold chain management. The system is implemented based on the WSN and time temperature indicator (TTI) features. Compared with traditional cold chain management methods used before, the C2SLDS not only bridges the information gap which exists between different cold chain phase enterprises and provide a seamless information flow along the whole chain but also enables cold chain enterprises to predict perishable food's shelf-life and helps make a smart LSFO strategy to reduce the quality and economic loss. System test and evaluation shows that the infield radio transmission is reliable and the whole system meets most of the users' requirements raised in system analysis.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2014 · Food Control
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    ABSTRACT: Beef has become a kind of important food in China because of its nutritional value perceived by consumers. With increasing consumers' awareness and governments' regulations on beef quality and safety, traceability is becoming a mandatory requirement in cattle/beef industry. This paper developed and evaluated a cattle/beef traceability system that integrated RFID technology with PDA and barcode printer. The system requirements, the business flow of the cattle/beef chain, and the key traceability information for the system were identified through a survey. Then a conceptual model was proposed to describe the process of traceability information acquisition, transformation and transmission along the supply chain. Finally, the system was evaluated and optimized in the sampled supply chain.The results show that the major benefits gained from the RFID-enabled traceability system are the real-time and accurate data acquisition and transmission, and the high efficiency of information tracking and tracing across the cattle/beef supply chain; the main barriers for implementing the system are the inapplicable method of inputting information, the inefficient sequence of data input and communication mechanism associated with RFID reader, and the high implementation cost.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2013 · Food Control
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose – Table grape is one of the most important horticultural crops in China. However, quality and safety have become major constraints for the further development of the Chinese table grape industry, which is dominated by small-scale vinegrowers. Strategic partnership has been regarded as an effective mechanism to manage the supply chain. The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of a supply chain model based on different strategic partnerships on the effect of safety and quality control and small-scale vinegrowers' performance. Design/methodology/approach – The field survey was performed in seven representative districts in China, including Inner Mongolia, Gansu, Tianjin, Liaoning, Shandong, Jiangsu and Zhejiang Provinces. A semi-structured interview was adopted as the data collection method. Both quantitative and qualitative data were generated and analyzed in this research. All quantitative analyses were conducted using EXCEL 2003 version and a comparative analysis was conducted to test the hypotheses. Findings – The results show that modern supply chains are more efficient than the traditional one in improving the effect of safety and quality control and small-scale vinegrowers' performance. Originality/value – This paper first identified different models of table grape supply chain based on different strategic partnerships, and then analyzed the impact of supply chain model on the effect of quality and safety control and small-scale vinegrowers' performance. It concludes with some policy suggestions relative to further development of the table grape industry in China.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2012 · British Food Journal
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    ABSTRACT: According to Simon’s (1977) decision making theory, intelligence is the first and most important phase in the decision making process. With the escalation of information resources available to business executives, it is becoming imperative to explore the potential and challenges of using agent-based systems to support the intelligence phase of decision-making. This research examines UK executives’ perceptions of using agent-based support systems and the criteria for design and development of their “ideal” intelligent software agents. The study adopted an inductive approach using focus groups to generate a preliminary set of design criteria of “ideal” agents. It then followed a deductive approach using semi-structured interviews to validate and enhance the criteria. This qualitative research has generated unique insights into executives’ perceptions of the design and use of agent-based support systems. The systematic content analysis of qualitative data led to the proposal and validation of design criteria at three levels. The findings revealed the most desirable criteria for agent based support systems from the end users’ point view. The design criteria can be used not only to guide intelligent agent system design but also system evaluation.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2012 · Expert Systems with Applications
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    ABSTRACT: Aquaculture has moved from conventional open systems to high density and highly productive land-based recirculation systems. Consumers have increased consumption of fish and fish products due to recognition of their nutritional value along with social progress and the improvement of living standards. A traceability system is considered as an effective tool to guarantee safety in fish products and improve the supply chain transparency. This paper developed a Wireless Sensor Network (WSN) based Traceability System for Recirculation Aquaculture (RATS). System tests shows that the WSN-based traceability system has comparable data accuracy and advantage of easy installment and configuration.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2011 · Mathematical and Computer Modelling
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    ABSTRACT: Tilapia has been named as the 'food fish of the 21st century' and has become the most important farmed fish. China is the world leader in tilapia production and export. Identifying information and functional requirements is critical in developing an efficient traceability system because traceability has become a fundamental prerequisite for exporting aquaculture products. This paper examines the export-oriented tilapia chains and information flow in the chains, and identifies the key actors, information requirements and information-capturing points. Unified Modeling Language (UML) technology is adopted to describe the information and functionality requirement for chain traceability. The barriers of traceability system adoption are also identified. The results show that the traceability data consist of four categories that must be recorded by each link in the chain. The functionality requirement is classified into four categories from the fundamental information record to decisive quality control; the top three barriers to the traceability system adoption are: high costs of implementing the system, lack of experienced and professional staff; and low level of government involvement and support.
    No preview · Article · May 2011 · Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture
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    ABSTRACT: Using intelligent agent-based systems to support information processing for executives has not been significantly advanced in both theory and practice. Research into this field tends to focus more on technical aspects than on social perspective. When executives are faced with increasing information availability and uncertainty in the business environment, using intelligent agent-based systems to enhance executives’ information processing capability appears both an opportunity and a necessity. This study examines UK executives’ perceptions of intelligent agent-based systems for information scanning, filtering, interpretation and alerting. The study follows a deductive research design, i.e. hypothesis formulation and testing from the user’s perspective. Qualitative data was collected through focus groups and interviews with executives in the UK. The study produces rich evidence that challenges preconceptions of using agent-based information processing system by executives. The findings develop insight into executives’ behavior in information processing, which has implications for intelligent system developers and organizational information processing practice.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2011 · Information Processing & Management
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    ABSTRACT: Traceability has become an effective method of ensuring food safety and connecting stakeholders in the food chain. There is an increasing growth trend in developing IT-based traceability system in recent years. But implementing hastily traceability system is likely to fail to achieve its goal if the system requirement has not been well-defined according to the changing business environment. This paper adopted an evolutionary prototyping model and used longitudinal case study to elicit the traceability system requirement at the level of agribusiness. The results show that a traceability system can support not only information tracking at operational level, but also diagnostic analysis and strategic decision making at managerial level, Hence, system requirements can be categorized as fundamental, decisive and strategic levels. The evolutionary prototyping model can improve the effectiveness of requirement elicitation.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2010 · Food Control
  • Mark Xu · G. Roland Kaye
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    ABSTRACT: This paper defines strategic intelligence as a distinct organisational resource that differs from competitive intelligence CI and business intelligence BI. A literature review unfolds a number of deficiencies in intelligence practice and systems. The findings, based on a case study, suggest that there is a lack of systematic scanning, analysing and support for strategic intelligence. An integrative framework is proposed to guide and improve strategic intelligence activity, which comprises of Key External Intelligence KEI and internal Key Performance Indicators KPI. Implementation issues are discussed. The paper develops novel insight into strategic intelligence, and the proposed solution has implications on enhancing managers' and an organisations' sensibility and capability by detecting and responding to emerging strategic signals.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2010
  • Mark Xu · Ravni Rohatgi · Yanqing Duan

    No preview · Article · Jul 2009
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    Yanqing Duan · Mark Xu

    Full-text · Article · Jan 2009
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    Mark Xu · Roland Kaye
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    ABSTRACT: This chapter discusses the nature of strategic intelligence and the challenges of systematically scanning and processing strategic information. It reveals that strategic intelligence practice con- centrates on competitive intelligence gathering, non-competitive related intelligence have not yet been systematically scanned and processed. Much of the intelligence is collected through informal and manual based systems. Turning data into analyzed, meaningful intelligence for action is limited to a few industry leaders. The chapter proposed a corporate intelligence solution, which comprises of three key intelligence functions, namely organizational-wide intelligence scan- ning, knowledge enriched intelligent refining, and specialist support. A corporate radar system (CRS) for external environment scanning, which is a part of the organizational-wide intelligence scanning process is explored in light of latest technology development. Implementation issues are discussed. The chapter develops insight of strategic intelligence, and the solution could sig- nificantly enhance a manager's and a company's sensibility and capability in dealing with external opportunities and threats.
    Preview · Article · Jan 2008
  • Mark Xu · Ravni Rohatgi · Yanqing Duan
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    ABSTRACT: The lack of anticipated engagement in e-business by Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) is a rising concern to the UK government and service providers alike. This article is based on the e-adoption model to examine the current practice of e-business technology adoption in SMEs and the driving forces for and against the adoption. Through interviews with 40 owner managers in the electronic components industry, the article reveals that most of the small firms in this industry are at the lower level of the “e-adoption ladderâ€â€”predominantly using the Internet and e-mail. SMEs in this industry have not yet widely engaged in online transactions. The current level of adoption is driven by both internal and external factors, including operational benefits, industry common practice, and peer pressure. External forces such as a lack of push from suppliers and customers and a lack of strategic vision of using advanced e-business technology for competitive advantages have determinant effects on the level and scale of e-adoption in SME sector. The e-adoption ladder model is modified by incorporating the influential factors identified within this study. The findings have many implications for researchers, service providers, and policy makers.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2007
  • Mark Xu · John Walton
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose – This paper aims to examine how customer relationship management (CRM) systems are implemented in practice with a focus on the strategic application, i.e. how analytical CRM systems are used to support customer knowledge acquisition and how such a system can be developed. Design/methodology/approach – The current practice of CRM application is based on examining data reported from a four-year survey of CRM applications in the UK and an evaluation of CRM analytical functions provided by 20 leading software vendors. A conceptual model of an analytical CRM system for customer knowledge acquisition is developed based on the findings and literature review. Findings – Current CRM systems are dominated by operational applications such as call centres. The application of analytical CRM has been low, and the provision of these systems is limited to a few leading software vendors. Practical implications – The findings shed light on the potential area in which organisations can strategically use CRM systems. It also provides guidance for the IT industry as to how an analytical CRM system should be developed to support customer knowledge acquisition. Originality/value – The latest findings on CRM systems application are reported, and an innovative analytical CRM system is proposed for customer knowledge acquisition.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2005 · Industrial Management & Data Systems
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    ABSTRACT: This paper reviews the conventional studies of Executive Information Systems (EIS) and related research areas. It is found that conventional EIS studies contribute little insights to the success development and adoption on EIS. Notably, there is a need for revitalising EIS design and development. A focus group study is conducted to explore and identify challenges faced by current managers' information processing activities, and to obtain managers' perceptions on agent-based solutions for supporting executive information processing. The findings have challenged the conventional EIS design guidelines or framework to a greater extent. This paper provides implications on the uncertainty of executive information and executives' information processing activities. The implications suggest a three-levels agent-based EIS design model for supporting executive's information processing activities.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2004

  • No preview · Conference Paper · Jan 2002

  • No preview · Article · Jul 2000 · OR Insight