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The Impact of Management by Objectives (MBO) on Organizational Outcome in a Digital World: A Case Study in the Aviation Industry

  • Farid Abdallah 12 &
  • Walid Elhoss 12  
  • Conference paper
  • First Online: 21 September 2019

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Part of the Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing book series (LNBIP,volume 358)

Adopting new management techniques has allowed organizations to cope with changes and deliver better results. One of those techniques is Management by Objectives (hereinafter mentioned as MBO). MBO is a simple need-to-achieve principle that allows managers and subordinates to jointly identify organizational goals. This paper examines the impact of applying MBO on organizational outcome in terms of productivity and efficiency in the aviation industry. A survey was distributed to a population of 200 targeted participants. Out of 130 respondents, a sample of 106 participants from the aviation industry was selected based on purposive sampling. Additionally, three field interviews were conducted with senior officers in the aviation sector. Survey results were analyzed using Microsoft Excel Statistical Package, while field interviews were analyzed through coding. The findings indicated that applying MBO in the aviation industry delivered better results in terms of productivity and efficiency, especially when supported by investing in technology.

  • Management techniques
  • Productivity

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Lebanese International University – LIU, Beirut, Lebanon

Farid Abdallah & Walid Elhoss

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Correspondence to Farid Abdallah .

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ESEN, University of Manouba, Manouba, Tunisia

Rim Jallouli

Mohamed Anis Bach Tobji

Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, QC, Canada

Deny Bélisle

Université Laval, Quebec, QC, Canada

Sehl Mellouli

International University of Beirut, Mazraa, Lebanon

Farid Abdallah

American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon

Ibrahim Osman

Section 1: general information, please tick the checkbox when applicable

figure a

Section 2: Effect of MBO on Organizational Outcome*

Guidance: please express your opinion by stating whether applying MBO has helped in increasing overall output of the organization

Key: 5 = Strongly Agree (SA), 4 = Agree (A), 3 = Neutral (N), 2 = Disagree (D), and 1 = Strongly Disagree (SD).

Is Management by Objectives (MBO) applied at your organization: Yes ☐ No ☐ (if no please proceed to question number three)

What is the most important factor that needs to be considered under MBO to yield better productivity: (rank 5 best – 1 least)

figure b

Interview Questionnaire

Management by Objectives (MBO) is a management technique that allows organizations to set their objectives by molding employees’ goals and objectives. What do you think about this approach?

Do you think MBO is an effective tool to increase organizational output? What do you think are the determinants of MBO?

How did you apply MBO at your organization? And did you witness better output?

What implications was associated with MBO application? Is it behavioral? Lack of knowledge? Role stress and work overload? Please specify.

Do you think MBO will continue to spread in the presence of more flat organizational structures?

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Abdallah, F., Elhoss, W. (2019). The Impact of Management by Objectives (MBO) on Organizational Outcome in a Digital World: A Case Study in the Aviation Industry. In: Jallouli, R., Bach Tobji, M., Bélisle, D., Mellouli, S., Abdallah, F., Osman, I. (eds) Digital Economy. Emerging Technologies and Business Innovation. ICDEc 2019. Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing, vol 358. Springer, Cham.

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Management by Objectives - SMART Goals.pdf

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• Goals specific commitment to achieve a measurable result within a stated period of time also known as an objective strategic, tactical, operational • Action plan defines the course of action needed to achieve the stated goal

Related Papers

Zechariah Patterson

Management by objectives (MBO), designed in the mid-20th century, is an effective and commonly used strategy managers can use to achieve objectives more efficiently than they could without MBO, but it comes with responsibilities they must follow. MBO calls for strong leaders who are willing to discuss progress with their subordinates. Although MBO is usually associated with autocratic leadership because of the nature of MBO, democratic leaders can also apply MBO. Managers can use it in societal responsibility and in corporate social responsibility to meet the needs of the stakeholders and society at large. MBO can also spark motivation, and incentives are necessary for MBO to be effective. It encourages use of SMART and SMARTER goals, as they help organizations meet their objectives effectively. Although MBO can be used for specific goals, it is a general management paradigm, commonly associated with strategic managers and can facilitate the difficulties present in strategic management. Finally, it helps with total quality management (TQM) and new public management (NPM).

management by objectives research paper

Human Resource Management

Gerard Carvalho

JMSS, A2Z Journals

Journal of Management and Service Science (JMSS), A 2 Z Journals

Goals and objectives that are well-chosen guide a fledgling firm on the correct path and keep an established business up and running. Business objectives are an important element of creating priorities and positioning your firm for long-term success. Setting company goals and developing separate targets to assist you to achieve each goal will substantially improve your capacity to attain those goals. Here, we look at the concept of a business goal, the distinction between a business goal and an objective, as well as some recommendations and examples of short and long-term company goals. Goals define where you want to go and when you want to get there. They may help you enhance your company's overall performance, whether you want to gain market share or enhance customer service, for example. The more precisely you describe your objectives, the more likely you are to follow through and achieve what you set out to do in the first place. The exact measures you and your organization must take in order to accomplish each of your goals are known as objectives. They spell out exactly what you must do and when you must do it.

African journal of business management

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This review paper presents the second half of the 20th century research of Management by objectives (MBO) approach. The relevant research is spanning over the last five decades and an approach to position representative common characteristics of this wide spectrum of studies, is implemented through their grouping into 15 main areas of application. The presented studies were analyzed, revealing the favourable areas of application by using the MBO approach. Among 82 literature survey, it is found that the main area of MBO application is in the medical sector. The four main medical sub-groupings of healthcare, that is, healthcare, nursing, hospital management and hospital pharmacy account for 40% of the total references. The paper also denotes determining factors of potential MBO malfunction, such as the observing distortion between MBO introductory structure and its function in real business environments, which are proved detrimental to their operation.

mengtian zhang

Appropriate management methods are thought highly of, because they are directly related to a company's success or failure, so an efficient management strategy is needed. Management by objectives (MBO) was put forward by Drucker in 1954, which owns a significant influence on management. The MBO progress, according to Levinson(2003), aims at motivating employees by letting them set their own objectives and tries to ensure a fair judgement on performance. There are many reasons that can explain the necessity of objectives setting. Operational objectives have the capacity for changing abstract assignment into specific work demands (Drucker, 1976). Currently, this method is still popular but controversial. Although the majority of people regard MBO as a useful tool, the truth is that only when its several segments improved can MBO help a company. Now, however, MBO is still helpless to a company. This essay will evaluate the shortages of applying MBO in the company context, which are in objective setting, communication in companies and the process of implementing. It is claimed that MBO can be practical and widely used, especially in companies (Drucker, 1976). Generally, MBO owns several advantages, for example, it can be beneficial to enhancing the morale in an organization and through MBO, the evaluation of individual's performance will be more equitable and it can also highlight individuals' weakness for their further development (Management Study HQ, 2016). This is the reason why company managers are willing to apply MBO. Furthermore, according to Management Study HQ (2016), although the components of the MBO system are incomplete, however, once its function can cooperate with other systems such as budgeting and forecasting system, this system can well operate and be beneficial to a company. According to Drucker (1976), an another reason why MBO is practical is that its successful implementation largely depends on paperwork. This idea signifies that if quantities of time and energy are spent, MBO can play a crucial role in company management. Drucker (1976) also stated that when carefully risk evaluating and transaction decisions are made can MBO become an efficient tool. In these respects, MBO seems to be still widely applied in company management field, but actually it is not as helpful as most of people think.

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Management by Whose Objectives?

  • Harry Levinson

Most performance appraisal systems don’t take employees’ aspirations into account. Is it any wonder they fail?

The Idea in Brief

Is this how your company’s performance management system works: it clarifies the overall work to be done, links employees’ performance to company goals, and bases salaries and promotions on individual achievement? You may be surprised to know that your system is founded on “management by objectives” (MBO)—a performance-measurement approach popularized in the 1960s (though the term has since fallen out of fashion).

The trouble with all performance measurement systems based on MBO is that they usually result not in a superior workforce, but in demoralized employees doing mediocre work. Why? Objective-based performance systems utterly ignore individuals’ needs, dreams, and goals—focusing only on what employees can do for their companies. But people feel most powerfully motivated by work that stretches and excites them while also advancing their company’s goals.

To build a dedicated, exceptional workforce, craft performance measurement systems that mesh individual and organizational needs.

The Idea in Practice

Fatal Flaws

Objective-based performance measurement has serious shortcomings:

  • It misses the human point by ignoring key questions: What are employees’ personal objectives? What do they need from their work? What relevance do company objectives have to their dreams and aspirations? What will make them feel good about themselves?


A salesman who relishes cultivating relationships with hard-earned but low-volume customers is pressured by management to focus only on high-volume customers. The shift would cost him his favorite way of operating, demand technical knowledge he doesn’t possess in sophisticated detail—and make him feel like a cog in a machine. Yet no one recognizes his new pressures.

  • It sacrifices quality for quantity. By emphasizing quantification, it ignores the subtle, nonmeasurable elements of work that people find most satisfying.

A company’s appraisal program emphasizes customer-service subgoals (such as “less time per customer” or “fewer customer calls”) over the overarching goal of improving customer service. Costs decline and profits rise—but customer-service managers are killing the business and experiencing no joy in their work.

A Better Way

To build an effective performance management system:

  • Appraise your appraisal system. Does it view people as rats in a maze—driven and manipulated? Or, does it foster a genuine partnership between employees and the company—each influencing the other?
  • Include group goal setting and appraisal. Employees’ jobs are interdependent. So, formalize group and individual, as well as long- and short-term goal setting. Have people meet regularly to help each other and to assess their effectiveness on shared tasks. Offer bonuses based on group success.
  • Appraise appraisers. Have direct reports evaluate their managers’ performance—then compensate managers based on how well they help people do their jobs and develop professionally.
  • Encourage self-examination. Hold regular conversations with individual employees to help them clarify their needs and goals. Talk about experiences they’ve found most gratifying or exhilarating. Discern their lives’ central thrusts, then relate these to company objectives. You’ll make it safe to explore such feelings. Your reward? A committed, energized, and focused workforce.

If an individual’s needs don’t mesh with your company’s, evaluate the discrepancy together. Decide if the person would be better off elsewhere—and the organization better off with someone whose needs do mesh.

Despite the fact that the concept of management by objectives (MBO) has by this time become an integral part of the managerial process, the typical MBO effort perpetuates and intensifies hostility, resentment, and distrust between a manager and subordinates. As currently practiced, it is really just industrial engineering with a new name, applied to higher managerial levels, and with the same resistances intact.

management by objectives research paper

  • HL Harry Levinson is chairman of The Levinson Institute and clinical professor of psychology emeritus in the Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School.

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  • Research Objectives | Definition & Examples

Research Objectives | Definition & Examples

Published on July 12, 2022 by Eoghan Ryan . Revised on November 20, 2023.

Research objectives describe what your research is trying to achieve and explain why you are pursuing it. They summarize the approach and purpose of your project and help to focus your research.

Your objectives should appear in the introduction of your research paper , at the end of your problem statement . They should:

  • Establish the scope and depth of your project
  • Contribute to your research design
  • Indicate how your project will contribute to existing knowledge

Table of contents

What is a research objective, why are research objectives important, how to write research aims and objectives, smart research objectives, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about research objectives.

Research objectives describe what your research project intends to accomplish. They should guide every step of the research process , including how you collect data , build your argument , and develop your conclusions .

Your research objectives may evolve slightly as your research progresses, but they should always line up with the research carried out and the actual content of your paper.

Research aims

A distinction is often made between research objectives and research aims.

A research aim typically refers to a broad statement indicating the general purpose of your research project. It should appear at the end of your problem statement, before your research objectives.

Your research objectives are more specific than your research aim and indicate the particular focus and approach of your project. Though you will only have one research aim, you will likely have several research objectives.

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Research objectives are important because they:

  • Establish the scope and depth of your project: This helps you avoid unnecessary research. It also means that your research methods and conclusions can easily be evaluated .
  • Contribute to your research design: When you know what your objectives are, you have a clearer idea of what methods are most appropriate for your research.
  • Indicate how your project will contribute to extant research: They allow you to display your knowledge of up-to-date research, employ or build on current research methods, and attempt to contribute to recent debates.

Once you’ve established a research problem you want to address, you need to decide how you will address it. This is where your research aim and objectives come in.

Step 1: Decide on a general aim

Your research aim should reflect your research problem and should be relatively broad.

Step 2: Decide on specific objectives

Break down your aim into a limited number of steps that will help you resolve your research problem. What specific aspects of the problem do you want to examine or understand?

Step 3: Formulate your aims and objectives

Once you’ve established your research aim and objectives, you need to explain them clearly and concisely to the reader.

You’ll lay out your aims and objectives at the end of your problem statement, which appears in your introduction. Frame them as clear declarative statements, and use appropriate verbs to accurately characterize the work that you will carry out.

The acronym “SMART” is commonly used in relation to research objectives. It states that your objectives should be:

  • Specific: Make sure your objectives aren’t overly vague. Your research needs to be clearly defined in order to get useful results.
  • Measurable: Know how you’ll measure whether your objectives have been achieved.
  • Achievable: Your objectives may be challenging, but they should be feasible. Make sure that relevant groundwork has been done on your topic or that relevant primary or secondary sources exist. Also ensure that you have access to relevant research facilities (labs, library resources , research databases , etc.).
  • Relevant: Make sure that they directly address the research problem you want to work on and that they contribute to the current state of research in your field.
  • Time-based: Set clear deadlines for objectives to ensure that the project stays on track.

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Research objectives describe what you intend your research project to accomplish.

They summarize the approach and purpose of the project and help to focus your research.

Your objectives should appear in the introduction of your research paper , at the end of your problem statement .

Your research objectives indicate how you’ll try to address your research problem and should be specific:

Once you’ve decided on your research objectives , you need to explain them in your paper, at the end of your problem statement .

Keep your research objectives clear and concise, and use appropriate verbs to accurately convey the work that you will carry out for each one.

I will compare …

A research aim is a broad statement indicating the general purpose of your research project. It should appear in your introduction at the end of your problem statement , before your research objectives.

Research objectives are more specific than your research aim. They indicate the specific ways you’ll address the overarching aim.

Scope of research is determined at the beginning of your research process , prior to the data collection stage. Sometimes called “scope of study,” your scope delineates what will and will not be covered in your project. It helps you focus your work and your time, ensuring that you’ll be able to achieve your goals and outcomes.

Defining a scope can be very useful in any research project, from a research proposal to a thesis or dissertation . A scope is needed for all types of research: quantitative , qualitative , and mixed methods .

To define your scope of research, consider the following:

  • Budget constraints or any specifics of grant funding
  • Your proposed timeline and duration
  • Specifics about your population of study, your proposed sample size , and the research methodology you’ll pursue
  • Any inclusion and exclusion criteria
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EU AI Act: first regulation on artificial intelligence

The use of artificial intelligence in the EU will be regulated by the AI Act, the world’s first comprehensive AI law. Find out how it will protect you.

A man faces a computer generated figure with programming language in the background

As part of its digital strategy , the EU wants to regulate artificial intelligence (AI) to ensure better conditions for the development and use of this innovative technology. AI can create many benefits , such as better healthcare; safer and cleaner transport; more efficient manufacturing; and cheaper and more sustainable energy.

In April 2021, the European Commission proposed the first EU regulatory framework for AI. It says that AI systems that can be used in different applications are analysed and classified according to the risk they pose to users. The different risk levels will mean more or less regulation. Once approved, these will be the world’s first rules on AI.

Learn more about what artificial intelligence is and how it is used

What Parliament wants in AI legislation

Parliament’s priority is to make sure that AI systems used in the EU are safe, transparent, traceable, non-discriminatory and environmentally friendly. AI systems should be overseen by people, rather than by automation, to prevent harmful outcomes.

Parliament also wants to establish a technology-neutral, uniform definition for AI that could be applied to future AI systems.

Learn more about Parliament’s work on AI and its vision for AI’s future

AI Act: different rules for different risk levels

The new rules establish obligations for providers and users depending on the level of risk from artificial intelligence. While many AI systems pose minimal risk, they need to be assessed.

Unacceptable risk

Unacceptable risk AI systems are systems considered a threat to people and will be banned. They include:

  • Cognitive behavioural manipulation of people or specific vulnerable groups: for example voice-activated toys that encourage dangerous behaviour in children
  • Social scoring: classifying people based on behaviour, socio-economic status or personal characteristics
  • Biometric identification and categorisation of people
  • Real-time and remote biometric identification systems, such as facial recognition

Some exceptions may be allowed for law enforcement purposes. “Real-time” remote biometric identification systems will be allowed in a limited number of serious cases, while “post” remote biometric identification systems, where identification occurs after a significant delay, will be allowed to prosecute serious crimes and only after court approval.

AI systems that negatively affect safety or fundamental rights will be considered high risk and will be divided into two categories:

1) AI systems that are used in products falling under the EU’s product safety legislation . This includes toys, aviation, cars, medical devices and lifts.

2) AI systems falling into specific areas that will have to be registered in an EU database:

  • Management and operation of critical infrastructure
  • Education and vocational training
  • Employment, worker management and access to self-employment
  • Access to and enjoyment of essential private services and public services and benefits
  • Law enforcement
  • Migration, asylum and border control management
  • Assistance in legal interpretation and application of the law.

All high-risk AI systems will be assessed before being put on the market and also throughout their lifecycle.

General purpose and generative AI

Generative AI, like ChatGPT, would have to comply with transparency requirements:

  • Disclosing that the content was generated by AI
  • Designing the model to prevent it from generating illegal content
  • Publishing summaries of copyrighted data used for training

High-impact general-purpose AI models that might pose systemic risk, such as the more advanced AI model GPT-4, would have to undergo thorough evaluations and any serious incidents would have to be reported to the European Commission.

Limited risk

Limited risk AI systems should comply with minimal transparency requirements that would allow users to make informed decisions. After interacting with the applications, the user can then decide whether they want to continue using it. Users should be made aware when they are interacting with AI. This includes AI systems that generate or manipulate image, audio or video content, for example deepfakes.

On December 9 2023, Parliament reached a provisional agreement with the Council on the AI act . The agreed text will now have to be formally adopted by both Parliament and Council to become EU law. Before all MEPs have their say on the agreement, Parliament’s internal market and civil liberties committees will vote on it.

More on the EU’s digital measures

  • Cryptocurrency dangers and the benefits of EU legislation
  • Fighting cybercrime: new EU cybersecurity laws explained
  • Boosting data sharing in the EU: what are the benefits?
  • EU Digital Markets Act and Digital Services Act
  • Five ways the European Parliament wants to protect online gamers
  • Artificial Intelligence Act

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  2. Management by Objectives: An Overview

    The main finding from this review of Management by Objectives is a comprehensive detailed guide administrators and managers at any level in an organization can use to immediately implement this participative goal setting process in an effective manner.

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  4. The Limits of Management by Objectives

    Abstract Many companies today experience a critical strategic contradiction. Their corporate purpose and values have evolved into what could be described as a humanistic vision while, at the same time, their management systems, mostly built around management by objectives (MBO), are designed to maximize shareholder value.

  5. PDF The Limits of Management by Objectives

    of four decades of research, MBO has not been able to bring employees' full potential into play. In this chapter, we analyze the limits of manage-ment by objectives and their consequences at organizational and per-sonal levels. Keywords Goals • Management by objectives • Commitment • Management by missions

  6. Management by Objectives: An Overview

    Social Science Research Network The main finding from this review of Management by Objectives is a comprehensive detailed guide administrators and managers at any level in an organization can use to immediately implement this participative goal setting process in an effective manner.

  7. Half a century of management by objectives (MBO): A review

    This review paper presents the second half of the 20th century research of Management by objectives (MBO) approach. The relevant research is spanning over the last five decades and an approach to position representative common characteristics of this wide spectrum of studies, is implemented through their grouping into 15 main areas of application.

  8. The Appropriateness of Management-By-Objectives For Development and

    The differential e fects of a management by' objectives (MBO) program on the work satisfaction of development and research employee groups were examined. ... Dewhirst, H. D. & Avery, R. D. Accommodating management by objectives to research and development management (RMI Report A, Working Paper No. 26). Unpublished manuscript, University of ...

  9. PDF Management by Objectives (MBO) Imperatives for Transforming Higher ...

    Hence this paper presents the results of a survey conducted to determine the extent to which the stipulations, areas and visions of Management by Objectives (MBO) would be integrated in South Eastern Nigeria to enhance higher education transformation in a globalised world.

  10. Management By Objectives

    At the individual level, management by objectives (MBO) is an interactive process whereby a manager and an employee (i) jointly identify and agree upon the subordinate's work goals, (ii) define each of their responsibilities for achieving the agreed-upon goals, and (iii) then use goal accomplishment as a guide for examining and evaluating the su...

  11. (PDF) The management by objectives in modern ...

    Management by Objectives (MBO) is an administration strategy which is used for resolving the knowledge problems from the managers' side. The prospect of this strategy relies on the principal...

  12. The Impact of Management by Objectives (MBO) on ...

    pp 15-28 Home Digital Economy. Emerging Technologies and Business Innovation Conference paper The Impact of Management by Objectives (MBO) on Organizational Outcome in a Digital World: A Case Study in the Aviation Industry Farid Abdallah & Walid Elhoss Conference paper First Online: 21 September 2019 2141 Accesses 2 Citations

  13. Management by objectives.

    Management by Objectives aims to increase organizational performance by aligning goals and subordinate objectives throughout the organization by allowing management to focus on achievable goals and to attain the best possible results from available resources. ... This review paper presents the second half of the 20th century research of ...

  14. Management by Objectives

    This review paper presents the second half of the 20th century research of Management by objectives (MBO) approach. The relevant research is spanning over the last five decades and an approach to position representative common characteristics of this wide spectrum of studies, is implemented through their grouping into 15 main areas of application.

  15. Management by Whose Objectives?

    From the Magazine (January 2003) Despite the fact that the concept of management by objectives (MBO) has by this time become an integral part of the managerial process, the typical MBO effort ...

  16. PDF Emerging Trends in Commerce: Management by Objectives

    This paper includes objectives and approaches to the concept of MBO. It also highlights the suggestions to improve the organization both quantitatively and qualitatively. This research paper's data has been collected from the sources: annual reports, articles, magazines, related books and websites. The present paper is worked out theoretically.

  17. Behavioral Problems With Management by Objectives

    This paper is concerned with some of the often neglected behavioral problems associated with the practice of management by objectives. These include problems relating to managerial style, adapting to change, interpersonal skills, setting objectives, measurement, and management by objectives quality control. The paper concludes with some criticisms of the current state of management by ...

  18. Research Objectives

    Published on July 12, 2022 by Eoghan Ryan . Revised on November 20, 2023. Research objectives describe what your research is trying to achieve and explain why you are pursuing it. They summarize the approach and purpose of your project and help to focus your research.

  19. A new holistic definition of TQM towards sustainability

    After analysing the most recurring keywords and identifying the main topics, the research proposes a new definition of Total Quality Management, including the three pillars of sustainability. The proposal of a new definition supports managers in understanding the scope of a sustainability-oriented Total Quality Management approach.

  20. EU AI Act: first regulation on artificial intelligence

    In April 2021, the European Commission proposed the first EU regulatory framework for AI. It says that AI systems that can be used in different applications are analysed and classified according to the risk they pose to users. The different risk levels will mean more or less regulation. Once approved, these will be the world's first rules on ...

  21. Applied Sciences

    With the advancement of sensor technology, distributed processing technology, and wireless communication, Visual Sensor Networks (VSNs) are widely used. However, VSNs also have flaws such as poor data synchronization, limited node resources, and complicated node management. Thus, this paper proposes a sensor placement optimization method to save network resources and facilitate management ...