Maria C. Proença

Publications

2 Automatic Detection of Defects in Ornamental Limestone Using Wavelets

Authors: Maria C. Proença, Marco Aniceto, Pedro N. Santos, José C. Freitas

Abstract:

A methodology based on wavelets is proposed for the automatic location and delimitation of defects in limestone plates. Natural defects include dark colored spots, crystal zones trapped in the stone, areas of abnormal contrast colors, cracks or fracture lines, and fossil patterns. Although some of these may or may not be considered as defects according to the intended use of the plate, the goal is to pair each stone with a map of defects that can be overlaid on a computer display. These layers of defects constitute a database that will allow the preliminary selection of matching tiles of a particular variety, with specific dimensions, for a requirement of N square meters, to be done on a desktop computer rather than by a two-hour search in the storage park, with human operators manipulating stone plates as large as 3 m x 2 m, weighing about one ton. Accident risks and work times are reduced, with a consequent increase in productivity. The base for the algorithm is wavelet decomposition executed in two instances of the original image, to detect both hypotheses – dark and clear defects. The existence and/or size of these defects are the gauge to classify the quality grade of the stone products. The tuning of parameters that are possible in the framework of the wavelets corresponds to different levels of accuracy in the drawing of the contours and selection of the defects size, which allows for the use of the map of defects to cut a selected stone into tiles with minimum waste, according the dimension of defects allowed.

Keywords: Defects, Wavelets, automatic detection, fracture lines

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1 Ports and Airports: Gateways to Vector-Borne Diseases in Portugal Mainland

Authors: Maria C. Proença, Maria T. Rebelo, Maria J. Alves, Sofia Cunha

Abstract:

Vector-borne diseases are transmitted to humans by mosquitos, sandflies, bugs, ticks, and other vectors. Some are re-transmitted between vectors, if the infected human has a new contact when his levels of infection are high. The vector is infected for lifetime and can transmit infectious diseases not only between humans but also from animals to humans. Some vector borne diseases are very disabling and globally account for more than one million deaths worldwide. The mosquitoes from the complex Culex pipiens sl. are the most abundant in Portugal, and we dispose in this moment of a data set from the surveillance program that has been carried on since 2006 across the country. All mosquitos’ species are included, but the large coverage of Culex pipiens sl. and its importance for public health make this vector an interesting candidate to assess risk of disease amplification. This work focus on ports and airports identified as key areas of high density of vectors. Mosquitoes being ectothermic organisms, the main factor for vector survival and pathogen development is temperature. Minima and maxima local air temperatures for each area of interest are averaged by month from data gathered on a daily basis at the national network of meteorological stations, and interpolated in a geographic information system (GIS). The range of temperatures ideal for several pathogens are known and this work shows how to use it with the meteorological data in each port and airport facility, to focus an efficient implementation of countermeasures and reduce simultaneously risk transmission and mitigation costs. The results show an increased alert with decreasing latitude, which corresponds to higher minimum and maximum temperatures and a lower amplitude range of the daily temperature.

Keywords: Risk management, Vector-borne diseases, Human Health, Risk Assessment

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Abstracts

4 Ports and Airports: Gateways to Vector-Borne Diseases in Portugal Mainland

Authors: Maria C. Proença, Maria T. Rebelo, Maria J. Alves, Sofia Cunha

Abstract:

Vector-borne diseases are transmitted to humans by mosquitos, sandflies, bugs, ticks, and other vectors. Some are re-transmitted between vectors, if the infected human has a new contact when his levels of infection are high. The vector is infected for lifetime and can transmit infectious diseases not only between humans but also from animals to humans. Some vector borne diseases are very disabling and globally account for more than one million deaths worldwide. The mosquitoes from the complex Culex pipiens sl. are the most abundant in Portugal, and we dispose in this moment of a data set from the surveillance program that has been carried on since 2006 across the country. All mosquitos’ species are included, but the large coverage of Culex pipiens sl. and its importance for public health make this vector an interesting candidate to assess risk of disease amplification. This work focus on ports and airports identified as key areas of high density of vectors. Mosquitoes being ectothermic organisms, the main factor for vector survival and pathogen development is temperature. Minima and maxima local air temperatures for each area of interest are averaged by month from data gathered on a daily basis at the national network of meteorological stations, and interpolated in a geographic information system (GIS). The range of temperatures ideal for several pathogens are known and this work shows how to use it with the meteorological data in each port and airport facility, to focus an efficient implementation of countermeasures and reduce simultaneously risk transmission and mitigation costs. The results show an increased alert with decreasing latitude, which corresponds to higher minimum and maximum temperatures and a lower amplitude range of the daily temperature.

Keywords: Risk management, Vector-borne diseases, Human Health, Risk Assessment

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3 Automatic Detection of Defects in Ornamental Limestone Using Wavelets

Authors: Maria C. Proença, Marco Aniceto, Pedro N. Santos, José C. Freitas

Abstract:

A methodology based on wavelets is proposed for the automatic location and delimitation of defects in limestone plates. Natural defects include dark colored spots, crystal zones trapped in the stone, areas of abnormal contrast colors, cracks or fracture lines, and fossil patterns. Although some of these may or may not be considered as defects according to the intended use of the plate, the goal is to pair each stone with a map of defects that can be overlaid on a computer display. These layers of defects constitute a database that will allow the preliminary selection of matching tiles of a particular variety, with specific dimensions, for a requirement of N square meters, to be done on a desktop computer rather than by a two-hour search in the storage park, with human operators manipulating stone plates as large as 3 m x 2 m, weighing about one ton. Accident risks and work times are reduced, with a consequent increase in productivity. The base for the algorithm is wavelet decomposition executed in two instances of the original image, to detect both hypotheses – dark and clear defects. The existence and/or size of these defects are the gauge to classify the quality grade of the stone products. The tuning of parameters that are possible in the framework of the wavelets corresponds to different levels of accuracy in the drawing of the contours and selection of the defects size, which allows for the use of the map of defects to cut a selected stone into tiles with minimum waste, according the dimension of defects allowed.

Keywords: Defects, Wavelets, automatic detection, fracture lines

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2 Index of Suitability for Culex pipiens sl. Mosquitoes in Portugal Mainland

Authors: Maria C. Proença, Maria T. Rebelo, Maria J. Alves, Marília Antunes, Hugo Osório, Sofia Cunha and REVIVE team

Abstract:

The environment of the mosquitoes complex Culex pipiens sl. in Portugal mainland is evaluated based in its abundance, using a data set georeferenced, collected during seven years (2006-2012) from May to October. The suitability of the different regions can be delineated using the relative abundance areas; the suitablility index is directly proportional to disease transmission risk and allows focusing mitigation measures in order to avoid outbreaks of vector-borne diseases. The interest in the Culex pipiens complex is justified by its medical importance: the females bite all warm-blooded vertebrates and are involved in the circulation of several arbovirus of concern to human health, like West Nile virus, iridoviruses, rheoviruses and parvoviruses. The abundance of Culex pipiens mosquitoes were documented systematically all over the territory by the local health services, in a long duration program running since 2006. The environmental factors used to characterize the vector habitat are land use/land cover, distance to cartographed water bodies, altitude and latitude. Focus will be on the mosquito females, which gonotrophic cycle mate-bloodmeal-oviposition is responsible for the virus transmission; its abundance is the key for the planning of non-aggressive prophylactic countermeasures that may eradicate the transmission risk and simultaneously avoid chemical ambient degradation. Meteorological parameters such as: air relative humidity, air temperature (minima, maxima and mean daily temperatures) and daily total rainfall were gathered from the weather stations network for the same dates and crossed with the standardized females’ abundance in a geographic information system (GIS). Mean capture and percentage of above average captures related to each variable are used as criteria to compute a threshold for each meteorological parameter; the difference of the mean capture above/below the threshold was statistically assessed. The meteorological parameters measured at the net of weather stations all over the country are averaged by month and interpolated to produce raster maps that can be segmented according to the meaningful thresholds for each parameter. The intersection of the maps of all the parameters obtained for each month show the evolution of the suitable meteorological conditions through the mosquito season, considered as May to October, although the first and last month are less relevant. In parallel, mean and above average captures were related to the physiographic parameters – the land use/land cover classes most relevant in each month, the altitudes preferred and the most frequent distance to water bodies, a factor closely related with the mosquito biology. The maps produced with these results were crossed with the meteorological maps previously segmented, in order to get an index of suitability for the complex Culex pipiens evaluated all over the country, and its evolution from the beginning to the end of the mosquitoes season.

Keywords: Culex pipiens, suitability index, habitat evolution, GIS model

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1 The Culex Pipiens Niche: Assessment with Climatic and Physiographic Variables via a Geographic Information System

Authors: Maria C. Proença, Maria T. Rebelo, Maria J. Alves, Sofia Cunha, Marília Antunes, Hugo Osório, João Casaca

Abstract:

Using a geographic information system (GIS), the relations between a georeferenced data set of Culex pipiens sl. mosquitoes collected in Portugal mainland during seven years (2006-2012) and meteorological and physiographic parameters such as: air relative humidity, air temperature (minima, maxima and mean daily temperatures), daily total rainfall, altitude, land use/land cover and proximity to water bodies are evaluated. Focus is on the mosquito females; the characterization of its habitat is the key for the planning of chirurgical non-aggressive prophylactic countermeasures to avoid ambient degradation. The GIS allow for the spatial determination of the zones were the mosquito mean captures has been above average; using the meteorological values at these coordinates, the limits of each parameter are identified/computed. The meteorological parameters measured at the net of weather stations all over the country are averaged by month and interpolated to produce raster maps that can be segmented according to the thresholds obtained for each parameter. The intersection of the maps obtained for each month show the evolution of the area favorable to the species through the mosquito season, which is from May to October at these latitudes. In parallel, mean and above average captures were related to the physiographic parameters. Three levels of risk could be identified for each parameter, using above average captures as an index. The results were applied to the suitability meteorological maps of each month. The Culex pipiens critical niche is delimited, reflecting the critical areas and the level of risk for transmission of the pathogens to which they are competent vectors (West Nile virus, iridoviruses, rheoviruses and parvoviruses).

Keywords: Risk management, Risk Assessment, Culex pipiens, ecological niche

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