Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
Paper Count: 5

Search results for: Emanuela Sulaj

5 Characteristics of Meiofaunal Communities in Intertidal Habitats Along Albanian Adriatic Sea Coast

Authors: Fundime Miri, Emanuela Sulaj


Benthic ecosystems constitute important ecological habitats, providing fundamental services for spawning, foraging, and sheltering aquatic organisms. Benthic faunal communities are characterized by a large biological diversity, supported by a great physical variety of benthic habitats. Until late, the study of meiobenthic communities in Albania has been neglectedthus excluding an important component of benthos. The present study aims to bring characteristics of distribution pattern of meiofaunal communities with further focus on nematode genus-based diversity from different intertidal habitats along Albanian Adriatic Sea Coast. The investigation area is extended from Shkodra to Vlora District, including six sandy sampling sites in beaches and areas near river estuaries. Sediment samples were collected manually in low intertidal zone by using a cylindrical corer, with an internal diameter of 5 cm. The richness onmeiofaunalmajor taxon level did not show any significant change between different sampling sites compare to significant changes in nematode diversity at genus level, with distinct nematode assemblages per sampling sites and presence of exclusive genera. All meiofaunal communities under study were dominated by nematodes. Further assessment of functional diversity on nematode assemblages exhibited changes as well on trophic groups and life strategies due to diverse feeding behaviors and c-p values of nematode genera. This study emphasize the need for lower level taxonomic identification of meiofaunal organisms and extending of ecological assessments on trophic diversity and life strategies to understanding functional consequences.

Keywords: benthos, meiofauna, nematode genus-based diversity, functional diversity, intertidal, albanian adriatic coast

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4 Numerical Analysis and Design of Dielectric to Plasmonic Waveguides Couplers

Authors: Emanuela Paranhos Lima, Vitaly Félix Rodríguez Esquerre


In this work, efficient directional coupler composed of dielectric waveguides and metallic film has been analyzed in details by simulations using finite element method (FEM). The structure consists of a step-index fiber with dielectric core, silica cladding, and a metal nanowire parallel to the core. The results show that an efficient conversion of optical dielectric modes to long range plasmonic is possible. Low insertion losses in conjunction with short coupling length and a broadband operation can be achieved under certain conditions. This kind of couplers has potential applications for the design of photonic integrated circuits for signal routing between dielectric/plasmonic waveguides, sensing, lithography, and optical storage systems. A high efficient focusing of light in a very small region can be obtained.

Keywords: directional coupler, finite element method, metallic nanowire, plasmonic, surface plasmon polariton, superfocusing

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3 Joint Training Offer Selection and Course Timetabling Problems: Models and Algorithms

Authors: Gianpaolo Ghiani, Emanuela Guerriero, Emanuele Manni, Alessandro Romano


In this article, we deal with a variant of the classical course timetabling problem that has a practical application in many areas of education. In particular, in this paper we are interested in high schools remedial courses. The purpose of such courses is to provide under-prepared students with the skills necessary to succeed in their studies. In particular, a student might be under prepared in an entire course, or only in a part of it. The limited availability of funds, as well as the limited amount of time and teachers at disposal, often requires schools to choose which courses and/or which teaching units to activate. Thus, schools need to model the training offer and the related timetabling, with the goal of ensuring the highest possible teaching quality, by meeting the above-mentioned financial, time and resources constraints. Moreover, there are some prerequisites between the teaching units that must be satisfied. We first present a Mixed-Integer Programming (MIP) model to solve this problem to optimality. However, the presence of many peculiar constraints contributes inevitably in increasing the complexity of the mathematical model. Thus, solving it through a general purpose solver may be performed for small instances only, while solving real-life-sized instances of such model requires specific techniques or heuristic approaches. For this purpose, we also propose a heuristic approach, in which we make use of a fast constructive procedure to obtain a feasible solution. To assess our exact and heuristic approaches we perform extensive computational results on both real-life instances (obtained from a high school in Lecce, Italy) and randomly generated instances. Our tests show that the MIP model is never solved to optimality, with an average optimality gap of 57%. On the other hand, the heuristic algorithm is much faster (in about the 50% of the considered instances it converges in approximately half of the time limit) and in many cases allows achieving an improvement on the objective function value obtained by the MIP model. Such an improvement ranges between 18% and 66%.

Keywords: heuristic, MIP model, remedial course, school, timetabling

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2 The Multidisciplinary Treatment in Residence Care Clinic for Treatment of Feeding and Eating Disorders

Authors: Yuri Melis, Mattia Resteghini, Emanuela Apicella, Eugenia Dozio, Leonardo Mendolicchio


Aim: This retrospective study was created to analyze the psychometric, anthropometric and body composition values in patients at the beginning and the discharge of their of hospitalization in the residential care clinic for eating and feeding disorders (EFD’s). Method: The sample was composed by (N=59) patients with mean age N= 33,50, divided in subgroups: Anorexia Nervosa (AN) (N=28), Bulimia Nervosa (BN) (N=13) and Binge Eating Disorders (BED) (N=14) recruited from a residential care clinic for eating and feeding disorders. The psychometrics level was measured with self-report questionnaires: Eating Disorders Inventory-3 (EDI-3) The Body Uneasiness Test (BUT), Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI – 2). The anthropometric and nutritional values was collected by Body Impedance Assessment (B.I.A), Body mass index (B.M.I.). Measurements were made at the beginning and at the end of hospitalization, with an average time of recovery of about 8,6 months. Results: The all data analysis showed a statistical significance (p-value >0,05 | power size N=0,950) in variation from T0 (start of recovery) to T1 (end of recovery) in the clinical scales of MMPI-2, AN group (Hypocondria T0 64,14 – T1 56,39) (Depression T0 72,93 – T1 59,50) (Hysteria T0 61,29 – T1 56,17) (Psychopathic deviation T0 64,00 – T1 60,82) (Paranoia T0 63,82 – T1 56,14) (Psychasthenia T0 63,82 – T1 57,86) (Schizophrenia T0 64,68 – T1 60,43) (Obsessive T0 60,36 – T1 55,68); BN group (Hypocondria T0 64,08 – T1 47,54) (Depression T0 67,46 – T1 52,46) (Hysteria T0 60,62 – T1 47,84) (Psychopathic deviation T0 65,69 – T1 58,92) (Paranoia T0 67,46 – T1 55,23) (Psychasthenia T0 60,77 – T1 53,77) (Schizophrenia T0 64,68 – T1 60,43) (Obsessive T0 62,92 – T1 54,08); B.E.D groups (Hypocondria T0 59,43 – T1 53,14) (Depression T0 66,71 – T1 54,57) (Hysteria T0 59,86 – T1 53,82) (Psychopathic deviation T0 67,39 – T1 59,03) (Paranoia T0 58,57 – T1 53,21) (Psychasthenia T0 61,43 – T1 53,00) (Schizophrenia T0 62,29 – T1 56,36) (Obsessive T0 58,57 – T1 48,64). EDI-3 report mean value is higher than clinical cut-off at T0, in T1, there is a significant reduction of the general mean of value. The same result is present in the B.U.T. test in the difference between T0 to T1. B.M.I mean value in AN group is (T0 14,83 – T1 18,41) BN group (T0 20 – T1 21,33) BED group (T0 42,32 – T1 34,97) Phase Angle results: AN group (T0 4,78 – T1 5,64) BN (T0 6 – T1 6,53) BED group (T0 6 – T1 6,72). Discussion and conclusion: The evident presence that on the whole sample, we have an altered serious psychiatric and clinic conditions at the beginning of recovery. The interesting conclusions that we can draw from this analysis are that a multidisciplinary approach that includes the entire care of the subject: from the pharmacological treatment, analytical psychotherapy, Psychomotricity, nutritional rehabilitation, and rehabilitative, educational activities. Thus, this Multidisciplinary treatment allows subjects in our sample to be able to restore psychopathological and metabolic values to below the clinical cut-off.

Keywords: feeding and eating disorders, anorexia nervosa, care clinic treatment, multidisciplinary treatment

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1 Robust Batch Process Scheduling in Pharmaceutical Industries: A Case Study

Authors: Tommaso Adamo, Gianpaolo Ghiani, Antonio Domenico Grieco, Emanuela Guerriero


Batch production plants provide a wide range of scheduling problems. In pharmaceutical industries a batch process is usually described by a recipe, consisting of an ordering of tasks to produce the desired product. In this research work we focused on pharmaceutical production processes requiring the culture of a microorganism population (i.e. bacteria, yeasts or antibiotics). Several sources of uncertainty may influence the yield of the culture processes, including (i) low performance and quality of the cultured microorganism population or (ii) microbial contamination. For these reasons, robustness is a valuable property for the considered application context. In particular, a robust schedule will not collapse immediately when a cell of microorganisms has to be thrown away due to a microbial contamination. Indeed, a robust schedule should change locally in small proportions and the overall performance measure (i.e. makespan, lateness) should change a little if at all. In this research work we formulated a constraint programming optimization (COP) model for the robust planning of antibiotics production. We developed a discrete-time model with a multi-criteria objective, ordering the different criteria and performing a lexicographic optimization. A feasible solution of the proposed COP model is a schedule of a given set of tasks onto available resources. The schedule has to satisfy tasks precedence constraints, resource capacity constraints and time constraints. In particular time constraints model tasks duedates and resource availability time windows constraints. To improve the schedule robustness, we modeled the concept of (a, b) super-solutions, where (a, b) are input parameters of the COP model. An (a, b) super-solution is one in which if a variables (i.e. the completion times of a culture tasks) lose their values (i.e. cultures are contaminated), the solution can be repaired by assigning these variables values with a new values (i.e. the completion times of a backup culture tasks) and at most b other variables (i.e. delaying the completion of at most b other tasks). The efficiency and applicability of the proposed model is demonstrated by solving instances taken from Sanofi Aventis, a French pharmaceutical company. Computational results showed that the determined super-solutions are near-optimal.

Keywords: constraint programming, super-solutions, robust scheduling, batch process, pharmaceutical industries

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