Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 51

Search results for: Francesco Marinucci

51 Innovative In-Service Training Approach to Strengthen Health Care Human Resources and Scale-Up Detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Authors: Tsegahun Manyazewal, Francesco Marinucci, Getachew Belay, Abraham Tesfaye, Gonfa Ayana, Amaha Kebede, Tsegahun Manyazewal, Francesco Marinucci, Getachew Belay, Abraham Tesfaye, Gonfa Ayana, Amaha Kebede, Yewondwossen Tadesse, Susan Lehman, Zelalem Temesgen

Abstract:

In-service health trainings in Sub-Saharan Africa are mostly content-centered with higher disconnection with the real practice in the facility. This study intended to evaluate in-service training approach aimed to strengthen health care human resources. A combined web-based and face-to-face training was designed and piloted in Ethiopia with the diagnosis of tuberculosis. During the first part, which lasted 43 days, trainees accessed web-based material and read without leaving their work; while the second part comprised a one-day hands-on evaluation. Trainee’s competency was measured using multiple-choice questions, written-assignments, exercises and hands-on evaluation. Of 108 participants invited, 81 (75%) attended the course and 71 (88%) of them successfully completed. Of those completed, 73 (90%) scored a grade from A to C. The approach was effective to transfer knowledge and turn it into practical skills. In-service health training should transform from a passive one-time-event to a continuous behavioral change of participants and improvements on their actual work.

Keywords: Ethiopia, health care, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, training

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50 Italian Emigration to Germany as Represented in the Films Francesco Rosi and Toni Trupia

Authors: Patrizia Palumbo

Abstract:

There are only two Italian films dealing with the Italian emigration to Germany: I magliari directed by Francesco Rosi and Itaker. Vietato agli italiani directed by Toni Trupia. Consequently, the analysis of these two films is essential to any study of the representation of the Italians’ experience in Germany, their hosting country. Francesco Rosi’s I magliari and Toni Trupia’s Itaker. Vietato agli italiani, released respectively in 1959 and in 2012, are both set in the second half of the twentieth century and deal with door to door Italian cloth sellers in German cities, con artists marketing rags as fine fabric to exclusively German customers. However, the perspective of the directors and screenwriters are, if not antithetical, profoundly different. Indeed, from 1959 to 2012, years in which the two films were released, Italy went from being a country of emigration to a country of both immigration (albeit now temporary) and emigration. The paper entitled ‘Representation of the Italian Emigration to Germany in the Films of Francesco Rosi and Toni Trupia’ will analyze, therefore, the two substantially different historical contingencies in which the two movies were produced and cast light on how the same historical reality, that of Italian cloth sellers in German cities, is portrayed by Rosi and Trupia’s films. In particular, it will show how in both films the female character is the site on which power (or the lack of it) is contested. More precisely, it will highlight how the German blond woman in Rosi’s film and the dark haired Albanian woman in Trupia’s film are a reflection of the changes Italy underwent in the last fifty years. Finally, this paper will comment on why Italian emigration to Germany has been overlooked by Italian scholars. Although these scholars are all familiar with many of the films directed by Francesco Rosi, one of the auteurs of Italian cinema, no real critical study of I magliari exists. Rosi’s film, it can be argued, may have aroused the uneasiness engendered by all works dealing with facts evoking shameful and humiliating times. The same is true for Trupia’s film. Even though his Itaker. Vietato agli italiani is set in the sixties, it cannot prescind from the reality of contemporary Italian emigration to Germany and Italy’s economic and political crisis. Bringing attention to Rosi and Trupia’s film seems to be a valid way to rekindle the interest in Italian emigration to Germany, a phenomenon that has contributed to the economic, social and cultural history of both Italy and Germany.

Keywords: film, Germany, history, Italian emigration

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49 Computer Aided Engineering Optimization of Synchronous Reluctance Motor and Vibro-Acoustic Analysis for Lift Systems

Authors: Ezio Bassi, Francesco Vercesi, Francesco Benzi

Abstract:

The aim of this study is to evaluate the potentiality of synchronous reluctance motors for lift systems by also evaluating the vibroacoustic behaviour of the motor. Two types of synchronous machines are designed, analysed, and compared with an equivalent induction motor, which is the more common solution in such gearbox applications. The machines' performance are further improved with optimization procedures based on multiobjective optimization genetic algorithm (MOGA). The difference between the two synchronous motors consists in the rotor geometry; a symmetric and an asymmetric rotor design were investigated. The evaluation of the vibroacoustic performance has been conducted with a multi-variable model and finite element software taking into account electromagnetic, mechanical, and thermal features of the motor, therefore carrying out a multi-physics analysis of the electrical machine.

Keywords: synchronous reluctance motor, vibro-acoustic, lift systems, genetic algorithm

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48 Closed-Form Solutions for Nanobeams Based on the Nonlocal Euler-Bernoulli Theory

Authors: Francesco Marotti de Sciarra, Raffaele Barretta

Abstract:

Starting from nonlocal continuum mechanics, a thermodynamically new nonlocal model of Euler-Bernoulli nanobeams is provided. The nonlocal variational formulation is consistently provided and the governing differential equation for transverse displacement are presented. Higher-order boundary conditions are then consistently derived. An example is contributed in order to show the effectiveness of the proposed model.

Keywords: Bernoulli-Euler beams, nanobeams, nonlocal elasticity, closed-form solutions

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47 Current Design Approach for Seismic Resistant Automated Rack Supported Warehouses: Strong Points and Critical Aspects

Authors: Agnese Natali, Francesco Morelli, Walter Salvatore

Abstract:

Automated Rack Supported Warehouses (ARSWs) are structures currently designed as steel racks. Even if there are common characteristics, there are differences that don’t allow to adopt the same design approach. Aiming to highlight the factors influencing the design and the behavior of ARSWs, a set of 5 structures designed by 5 European companies specialized in this field is used to perform both a critical analysis of the design approaches and the assessment of the seismic performance, which is used to point out the criticalities and the necessity of new design philosophy.

Keywords: steel racks, automated rack supported warehouse, thin walled cold-formed elements, seismic assessment

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46 Electric Vehicles Charging Stations: Strategies and Algorithms Integrated in a Power-Sharing Model

Authors: Riccardo Loggia, Francesca Pizzimenti, Francesco Lelli, Luigi Martirano

Abstract:

Recent air emission regulations point toward the complete electrification of road vehicles. An increasing number of users are beginning to prefer full electric or hybrid, plug-in vehicle solutions, incentivized by government subsidies and the lower cost of electricity compared to gasoline or diesel. However, it is necessary to optimize charging stations so that they can simultaneously satisfy as many users as possible. The purpose of this paper is to present optimization algorithms that enable simultaneous charging of multiple electric vehicles while ensuring maximum performance in relation to the type of charging station.

Keywords: electric vehicles, charging stations, sharing model, fast charging, car park, power profiles

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45 Innovative Dissipative Bracings for Seismic-Resistant Automated Rack Supported Warehouses

Authors: Agnese Natali, Francesco Morelli, Walter Salvatore

Abstract:

Automated Rack Supported Warehouses (ARSWs) are storage buildings whose structure is made of the same racks where goods are placed. The possibility of designing dissipative seismic-resistant ARSWs is investigated. Diagonals are the dissipative elements, arranged as tense-only X bracings. Local optimization is numerically performed to satisfy the over-resistant connection request for the dissipative element, that is hard to be reached due the geometrical limits of the thin-walled diagonals and must be balanced with resistance, the limit of slenderness, and ductility requests.

Keywords: steel racks, thin-walled cold-formed elements, structural optimization, hierarchy rules, dog-bone philosophy

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44 The Impact of Corporate Governance on Risk Taking in European Insurance Industry

Authors: Francesco Venuti, Simona Alfiero

Abstract:

The aim of this paper is to develop an empirical research on the nature and consequences of corporate governance on Eurozone Insurance Industry risk taking attitude. More particularly, we analyzed the effect of public ownership on risk taking with respect to privately held Insurance Companies. We also analyzed the effects on risk taking attitude of different degrees of ownership concentration, directors compensation, and the dimension/diversity of the Board of Directors. Our results provide quite strong evidence that, coherently with the Agency Theory, publicly traded insurance companies with more concentrated ownership are less risky than the corresponding privately held.

Keywords: agency theory, corporate governance, insurance companies, risk taking

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43 F-IVT Actuation System to Power Artificial Knee Joint

Authors: Alò Roberta, Bottiglione Francesco, Mantriota Giacomo

Abstract:

The efficiency of the actuation system of lower limb exoskeletons and of active orthoses is a significant aspect of the design of such devices because it affects their efficacy. F-IVT is an innovative actuation system to power artificial knee joint with energy recovery capabilities. Its key and non-conventional elements are a flywheel, that acts as a mechanical energy storage system, and an Infinitely Variable Transmission (IVT). The design of the F-IVT can be optimized for a certain walking condition, resulting in a heavy reduction of both the electric energy consumption and of the electric peak power. In this work, by means of simulations of level ground walking at different speeds, it is demonstrated how F-IVT is still an advantageous actuator, even when it does not work in nominal conditions.

Keywords: active orthoses, actuators, lower extremity exoskeletons, knee joint

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42 Zoonotic Dirofilaria Repens: Geographic Spread and New Avenues for Control

Authors: Francesco La Torre, Angela Di Cesare, Donato Traversa

Abstract:

The mosquito-transmitted nematode Dirofilaria repens is the causative agent of subcutaneous filariosis in dogs, other animals and humans. Adults and circulating microfilariae may cause different forms of skin conditions, and various allergic reactions. The infection is distributed in several countries and spreading in several areas of Europe. The control of D. repens is pivotal to reduce the transmission in dogs and to minimize the risk of infection in humans, but only few information is available for the chemoprevention of subcutaneous filariosis of dogs. A recent clinical field study showed the efficacy and safety of a monthly administration of an oral formulation containing milbemycin oxime (Milbemax®, Novartis Animal Health) in the chemoprevention of D. repens infection in dogs. Most recent and focused insights into epidemiology and control of zoonotic canine subcutaneous filariosis are here discussed.

Keywords: Dirofilaria repens, epidemiology, zoonosis, control

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41 Mechanical Behaviour of High Strength Steel Thin-Walled Profiles for Automated Rack Supported Warehouses

Authors: Agnese Natali, Francesco Morelli, Walter Salvatore, José Humberto Matias de Paula Filho, Patrick Pol

Abstract:

In the framework of the evaluation of the applicability of high strength steel to produce thin-walled elements to be used in Automated Rack Supported Warehouses, an experimental campaign is carried outto evaluate the structural performance of typical profile shapes adopted for such purposes and made of high strength steel. Numerical models are developed to fit the observed failure modes, stresses, and deformation patterns, and proper directions are proposed to simplify the numerical simulations to be used in further applications and to evaluate the mechanical behavior and performance of profiles.

Keywords: Steel racks, Automated Rack Supported Warehouse, thin walled cold-formed elements, high strength steel.

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40 Research Facility Assessment for Biomass Combustion in Moving Grate Furnaces

Authors: Francesco Gallucci, Mariangela Salerno, Ettore Guerriero, Manfredi Amalfi, Giancarlo Chiatti, Fulvio Palmieri

Abstract:

The paper deals with the experimental activities on a biomass combustion test-bed. More in detail, experimental campaigns have been devoted to investigate the operation of a biomass moving grate furnace. A research-oriented facility based on a moving grate furnace (350kW) has been set up in order to perform experimental activities in a wide range of test configurations. The paper reports the description of the complete biomass-plant and the assessment of the system operation. As the first step, the chemical and physical properties of the used wooden biomass have been preliminarily investigated. Once the biomass fuel has been characterized, investigations have been devoted to point out the operation of the furnace. It has been operated at full load, highlighting the influence of biomass combustion parameters on particulate matter and gaseous emission.

Keywords: biomass, combustion, experimental, pollutants

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39 Variable-Fidelity Surrogate Modelling with Kriging

Authors: Selvakumar Ulaganathan, Ivo Couckuyt, Francesco Ferranti, Tom Dhaene, Eric Laermans

Abstract:

Variable-fidelity surrogate modelling offers an efficient way to approximate function data available in multiple degrees of accuracy each with varying computational cost. In this paper, a Kriging-based variable-fidelity surrogate modelling approach is introduced to approximate such deterministic data. Initially, individual Kriging surrogate models, which are enhanced with gradient data of different degrees of accuracy, are constructed. Then these Gradient enhanced Kriging surrogate models are strategically coupled using a recursive CoKriging formulation to provide an accurate surrogate model for the highest fidelity data. While, intuitively, gradient data is useful to enhance the accuracy of surrogate models, the primary motivation behind this work is to investigate if it is also worthwhile incorporating gradient data of varying degrees of accuracy.

Keywords: Kriging, CoKriging, Surrogate modelling, Variable- fidelity modelling, Gradients

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38 Representation of Contemporary Italian Migrants Through Photographic Portraiture in the Arc Lémanique (Switzerland): Methodological Challenges

Authors: Francesco Arese Visconti

Abstract:

The purpose of this paper is to question the methodological challenges that practice-based research on recent Italian migrants in Switzerland can pose. The entire development of the work has moved from the theorization to the production and back in a continuous exchange which is at the base of failures and successful results. The theoretical background leads to reflect on practical solutions to produce photographic portraits in the attempt to depict the cultural identity of a specific population. Thus, a series of key points of this challenging, visual, and intimate journey are discussed and developed. While analyzing, in the first stance, the psychological challenges resulting from the encounter of the photographer, the sitter, and the spectator, the challenges of the representation of a group of people with individual photographic portraits will secondly be highlighted. The paper underlines how previous work can be precursory of subsequent research and why the inclusion of the landscape versus maintaining a neutral background has links with paintings from the Italian Renaissance.

Keywords: photography, migration, Italians, Switzerland

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37 Investigation into the Role of Leadership in the Management of Digital Transformation for Small and Medium Enterprises

Authors: Francesco Coraci, Abdul-Hadi G. Abulrub

Abstract:

Digital technology is transforming the landscape of the industrial sector at a precedential level by connecting people, processes, and machines in real-time. It represents the means for a new pathway to achieve innovative, dynamic competitive advantages, deliver unique customers’ values, and sustain critical relationships. Thus, success in a constantly changing environment is governed by the ability of an organization to revolutionize their business models, deliver innovative solutions, and capture values from big data analytics and insights. Businesses need to re-strategize operations and develop extra capabilities to cope with the necessity for additional flexibility and agility. The traditional “command and control” leadership style is structurally and operationally incompatible with the digital era. In this paper, the authors discuss how transformational leaders can act as a glue in the social, organizational context, which is crucial to enable the workforce and develop a psychological attachment to the digital vision.

Keywords: internet of things, strategy, change leadership, dynamic competitive advantage, digital transformation

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36 Industrial Relations as Communication: The Strange Case of the FCA-UAW Agreement

Authors: Francesco Nespoli

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After having posed a theoretical framework combining framing theory and new rhetoric, the paper analyze the shift in communication both adopted by UAW and FCA during the negotiations in fall 2015. The paper argues that mistakes and adjustments played a determinant role respectively in the rejection of the first tentative agreement and in the ratification of the contract. The purpose of the paper is to set a new theoretical framework for the analysis of communication in industrial relations, by describing a narrative construction of reality from the perspective of the new rhetoric. The paper thus analyze all public text, speeches, tweets and Facebook posts by the union reading them as part of the narrative set by the organization condensed by the slogan 'it’s our time'. That narrative tried to gain consensus from the members matching the expectations due to the industry recovery after more than five years of workers' sacrifices. In doing so, the analysis points out a shift in the communication strategy of the union after the first rejection of a tentative agreement in 15 years. The findings suggest that, from the communication point of view, consultation in industrial relations can be conceived as a particular kind of political communication where identification with the audience through deliberate narrative may not be effective if it is not preceded by a listening campaign.

Keywords: communication, consultation, automotive, FCA

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35 One-Dimension Model for Positive Displacement Pump with Cavitation Algorithm

Authors: Francesco Rizzuto, Matthew Stickland, Stephan Hannot

Abstract:

The simulation of a positive displacement pump system with commercial software for Computer Fluid Dynamics (CFD), will result in an enormous computational effort due to the complexity of the pump system. This drawback restricts the use of it to a specific part of the pump in one simulation. This research focuses on developing an algorithm that provides a suitable result in agreement with experiment data, without that computational effort. The compressible equations are solved with an explicit algorithm. A comparison is presented between the FV method with Monotonic Upwind scheme for Conservative Laws (MUSCL) with slope limiter and experimental results. The source term for cavitation and friction is introduced into the algorithm with a slipping strategy and solved with a 4th order Runge-Kutta scheme (RK4). Different pumps are modeled and analyzed to evaluate the flexibility of the code. The simulation required minimal computation time and resources without compromising the accuracy of the simulation results. Therefore, this algorithm highlights the feasibility of pressure pulsation simulation as a design tool for an industrial purpose.

Keywords: cavitation, diaphragm, DVCM, finite volume, MUSCL, positive displacement pump

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34 A Blockchain-Based Protection Strategy against Social Network Phishing

Authors: Francesco Buccafurri, Celeste Romolo

Abstract:

Nowadays phishing is the most frequent starting point of cyber-attack vectors. Phishing is implemented both via email and social network messages. While a wide scientific literature exists which addresses the problem of contrasting email spam-phishing, no specific countermeasure has been so far proposed for phishing included into private messages of social network platforms. Unfortunately, the problem is severe. This paper proposes an approach against social network phishing, based on a non invasive collaborative information-sharing approach which leverages blockchain. The detection method works by filtering candidate messages, by distilling them by means of a distance-preserving hash function, and by publishing hashes over a public blockchain through a trusted smart contract (thus avoiding denial of service attacks). Phishing detection exploits social information embedded into social network profiles to identify similar messages belonging to disjoint contexts. The main contribution of the paper is to introduce a new approach to contrasting the problem of social network phishing, which, despite its severity, received little attention by both research and industry.

Keywords: phishing, social networks, information sharing, blockchain

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33 Does Operating Cash Flow Really Matter in Value Relevance? A Recent Empirical Analysis on the Largest European Companies

Authors: Francesco Paolone

Abstract:

This paper investigates the role of Operating Cash Flow (OCF) and accruals in firm valuation analyzing financial statement information from the largest European companies and evaluating their relation to firm market value. Using a dataset of 500 largest European companies in 2018, the study investigates the relative value-relevance of equity, net income and operating cash flow (OCF). Findings show that the cash flow measure has the same explanatory power and intensity as equity and earnings to explain the market value. This study contributes to the debate on the value relevance of OCF incremental to book value and earnings. It also extends the literature, showing that OCF has information content (value relevance) superior to earnings and book value in the main European markets (Bepari et al., 2013). Finally, the study provides a support that accounting method choice may confuse investors, who have reduced confidence in accounting earnings and book value; in other words, nowadays European investors rely more on cash flows instead of accruals numbers.

Keywords: Cash Flow Statement, Value Relevance, Accounting, Financial Statement Analysis

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32 First Surveillance Results Bring No Evidence of SARS-CoV-2 Spillback in Bats of Central-Southern Italy

Authors: Hiba Dakroub, Danilo Russo, Luca Cistrone, Francesco Serra, Giovanna Fusco, Esterina De Carlo, Maria Grazia Amoroso

Abstract:

The question of the origin of SARS-CoV-2 and the cycle of transmission between humans and animals is still unanswered. One serious concern associated with the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic is that the virus might spill back from humans to wildlife, which would render some animal species reservoirs of the human virus. The aim of the present study is to monitor the potential risk of SARS-CoV-2 reverse infection from humans to bats, by performing bat surveillance from different sites in Central-Southern Italy. We collected 240 droppings or saliva from 129 bats and tested them using specific and general primers of SARS-COV-2 and coronaviruses respectively. All samples, including 127 nasal swabs and 113 fecal droppings resulted negative for SARS-COV-2, and these results were confirmed by testing the samples with the Droplet Digital PCR. Also, an end-point RT-PCR was performed and no sample showed specific bands. The absence of SARS-CoV-2 in the bats we surveyed is a first step towards a better understanding of reverse transmission to bats of this virus. We hope our first contribution will encourage the establishment of systematic surveillance of wildlife, and specifically bats, to help prevent reverse zoonotic episodes that would jeopardize human health as well as biodiversity conservation and management.

Keywords: coronaviruses, bats, zoonotic viruses, spillback, SARS-CoV-2

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31 Effect of Birks Constant and Defocusing Parameter on Triple-to-Double Coincidence Ratio Parameter in Monte Carlo Simulation-GEANT4

Authors: Farmesk Abubaker, Francesco Tortorici, Marco Capogni, Concetta Sutera, Vincenzo Bellini

Abstract:

This project concerns with the detection efficiency of the portable triple-to-double coincidence ratio (TDCR) at the National Institute of Metrology of Ionizing Radiation (INMRI-ENEA) which allows direct activity measurement and radionuclide standardization for pure-beta emitter or pure electron capture radionuclides. The dependency of the simulated detection efficiency of the TDCR, by using Monte Carlo simulation Geant4 code, on the Birks factor (kB) and defocusing parameter has been examined especially for low energy beta-emitter radionuclides such as 3H and 14C, for which this dependency is relevant. The results achieved in this analysis can be used for selecting the best kB factor and the defocusing parameter for computing theoretical TDCR parameter value. The theoretical results were compared with the available ones, measured by the ENEA TDCR portable detector, for some pure-beta emitter radionuclides. This analysis allowed to improve the knowledge of the characteristics of the ENEA TDCR detector that can be used as a traveling instrument for in-situ measurements with particular benefits in many applications in the field of nuclear medicine and in the nuclear energy industry.

Keywords: Birks constant, defocusing parameter, GEANT4 code, TDCR parameter

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30 Serum Levels of Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) Are Increased in Alzheimer’s Disease and MCI Patients and Correlate With Cognitive Deficits

Authors: Francesco Angelucci, Katerina Veverova, Alžbeta Katonová, Lydia Piendel, Martin Vyhnalek, Jakub Hort

Abstract:

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a central nervous system (CNS) disease characterized by loss of memory, cognitive functions and neurodegeneration. Plasmin is an enzyme degrading many plasma proteins. In the CNS, plasmin may reduce the accumulation of A, and have other actions relevant to AD pathophysiology. Brain plasmin synthesis is regulated by two enzymes: one activating, the tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), and the other inhibiting, the plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1). We investigated whether tPA and PAI-1 serum levels in AD and amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) patients are altered compared to cognitively healthy controls. Moreover, we examined the PAI-1/tPA ratio in these patient groups. 40 AD, 40 aMCI and 10 healthy controls were recruited. Venous blood was collected and PAI-1 and tPA serum concentrations were quantified by sandwich ELISAs. The results showed that PAI-1 levels increased in AD and aMCI patients. This increase negatively correlated with cognitive deficit measured by MMSE. Similarly, the ratio between tPA and PAI-1 gradually increases in aMCI and AD patients. This study demonstrates that AD and aMCI patients have altered PAI-1 serum levels and PAI-1/tPA ratio. Since these enzymes are CNS regulators of plasmin, PAI-1 serum levels could be a marker reflecting a cognitive decline in AD.

Keywords: Alzheimer disease, amnestic mild cognitive impairment, plasmin, tissue-type plasminogen activator

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29 Hysteresis Modeling in Iron-Dominated Magnets Based on a Deep Neural Network Approach

Authors: Maria Amodeo, Pasquale Arpaia, Marco Buzio, Vincenzo Di Capua, Francesco Donnarumma

Abstract:

Different deep neural network architectures have been compared and tested to predict magnetic hysteresis in the context of pulsed electromagnets for experimental physics applications. Modelling quasi-static or dynamic major and especially minor hysteresis loops is one of the most challenging topics for computational magnetism. Recent attempts at mathematical prediction in this context using Preisach models could not attain better than percent-level accuracy. Hence, this work explores neural network approaches and shows that the architecture that best fits the measured magnetic field behaviour, including the effects of hysteresis and eddy currents, is the nonlinear autoregressive exogenous neural network (NARX) model. This architecture aims to achieve a relative RMSE of the order of a few 100 ppm for complex magnetic field cycling, including arbitrary sequences of pseudo-random high field and low field cycles. The NARX-based architecture is compared with the state-of-the-art, showing better performance than the classical operator-based and differential models, and is tested on a reference quadrupole magnetic lens used for CERN particle beams, chosen as a case study. The training and test datasets are a representative example of real-world magnet operation; this makes the good result obtained very promising for future applications in this context.

Keywords: deep neural network, magnetic modelling, measurement and empirical software engineering, NARX

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28 A Generalised Propensity Score Analysis to Investigate the Influence of Agricultural Research Systems on Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Authors: Spada Alessia, Fiore Mariantonietta, Lamonaca Emilia, Contò Francesco

Abstract:

Bioeconomy can give the chance to face new global challenges and can move ahead the transition from a waste economy to an economy based on renewable resources and sustainable consumption. Air pollution is a grave issue in green challenges, mainly caused by anthropogenic factors. The agriculture sector is a great contributor to global greenhouse gases (GHGs) emissions due to lacking efficient management of the resources involved and research policies. In particular, livestock sector contributes to emissions of GHGs, deforestation, and nutrient imbalances. More effective agricultural research systems and technologies are crucial in order to improve farm productivity but also to reduce the GHGs emissions. Using data from FAOSTAT statistics and concern the EU countries; the aim of this research is to evaluate the impact of ASTI R&D (Agricultural Science and Technology Indicators) on GHGs emissions for countries EU in 2015 by generalized propensity score procedures, estimating a dose-response function, also considering a set of covariates. Expected results show the existence of the influence of ASTI R&D on GHGs across EU countries. Implications are crucial: reducing GHGs emissions by means of R&D based policies and correlatively reaching eco-friendly management of required resources by means of green available practices could have a crucial role for fair intra-generational implications.

Keywords: agricultural research systems, dose-response function, generalized propensity score, GHG emissions

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27 The Reenactment of Historic Memory and the Ways to Read past Traces through Contemporary Architecture in European Urban Contexts: The Case Study of the Medieval Walls of Naples

Authors: Francesco Scarpati

Abstract:

Because of their long history, ranging from ancient times to the present day, European cities feature many historical layers, whose single identities are represented by traces surviving in the urban design. However, urban transformations, in particular, the ones that have been produced by the property speculation phenomena of the 20th century, often compromised the readability of these traces, resulting in a loss of the historical identities of the single layers. The purpose of this research is, therefore, a reflection on the theme of the reenactment of the historical memory in the stratified European contexts and on how contemporary architecture can help to reveal past signs of the cities. The research work starts from an analysis of a series of emblematic examples that have already provided an original solution to the described problem, going from the architectural detail scale to the urban and landscape scale. The results of these analyses are then applied to the case study of the city of Naples, as an emblematic example of a stratified city, with an ancient Greek origin; a city where it is possible to read most of the traces of its transformations. Particular consideration is given to the trace of the medieval walls of the city, which a long time ago clearly divided the city itself from the outer fields, and that is no longer readable at the current time. Finally, solutions and methods of intervention are proposed to ensure that the trace of the walls, read as a boundary, can be revealed through the contemporary project.

Keywords: contemporary project, historic memory, historic urban contexts, medieval walls, naples, stratified cities, urban traces

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26 Aggregating Buyers and Sellers for E-Commerce: How Demand and Supply Meet in Fairs

Authors: Pierluigi Gallo, Francesco Randazzo, Ignazio Gallo

Abstract:

In recent years, many new and interesting models of successful online business have been developed. Many of these are based on the competition between users, such as online auctions, where the product price is not fixed and tends to rise. Other models, including group-buying, are based on cooperation between users, characterized by a dynamic price of the product that tends to go down. There is not yet a business model in which both sellers and buyers are grouped in order to negotiate on a specific product or service. The present study investigates a new extension of the group-buying model, called fair, which allows aggregation of demand and supply for price optimization, in a cooperative manner. Additionally, our system also aggregates products and destinations for shipping optimization. We introduced the following new relevant input parameters in order to implement a double-side aggregation: (a) price-quantity curves provided by the seller; (b) waiting time, that is, the longer buyers wait, the greater discount they get; (c) payment time, which determines if the buyer pays before, during or after receiving the product; (d) the distance between the place where products are available and the place of shipment, provided in advance by the buyer or dynamically suggested by the system. To analyze the proposed model we implemented a system prototype and a simulator that allows studying effects of changing some input parameters. We analyzed the dynamic price model in fairs having one single seller and a combination of selected sellers. The results are very encouraging and motivate further investigation on this topic.

Keywords: auction, aggregation, fair, group buying, social buying

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25 Low-Cost Monitoring System for Hydroponic Urban Vertical Farms

Authors: Francesco Ruscio, Paolo Paoletti, Jens Thomas, Paul Myers, Sebastiano Fichera

Abstract:

This paper presents the development of a low-cost monitoring system for a hydroponic urban vertical farm, enabling its automation and a quantitative assessment of the farm performance. Urban farming has seen increasing interest in the last decade thanks to the development of energy efficient and affordable LED lights; however, the optimal configuration of such systems (i.e. amount of nutrients, light-on time, ambient temperature etc.) is mostly based on the farmers’ experience and empirical guidelines. Moreover, even if simple, the maintenance of such systems is labor intensive as it requires water to be topped-up periodically, mixing of the nutrients etc. To unlock the full potential of urban farming, a quantitative understanding of the role that each variable plays in the growth of the plants is needed, together with a higher degree of automation. The low-cost monitoring system proposed in this paper is a step toward filling this knowledge and technological gap, as it enables collection of sensor data related to water and air temperature, water level, humidity, pressure, light intensity, pH and electric conductivity without requiring any human intervention. More sensors and actuators can also easily be added thanks to the modular design of the proposed platform. Data can be accessed remotely via a simple web interface. The proposed platform can be used both for quantitatively optimizing the setup of the farms and for automating some of the most labor-intensive maintenance activities. Moreover, such monitoring system can also potentially be used for high-level decision making, once enough data are collected.

Keywords: automation, hydroponics, internet of things, monitoring system, urban farming

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24 A Strategic Perspective on a Qualitative Model of Type II Workplace Aggression in Healthcare Sector

Authors: Francesco Ceresia

Abstract:

Workplace aggression is broadly recognized as a main work-related risk for healthcare organizations the world over. Scholars underlined that nonfatal workplace aggressions can be also produced by Type II workplace aggression, that occur when the aggressor has a legitimate relationship with the organization and commits an act of hostility while being served or cared for by members of the organization. Several reviews and meta-analysis highlighted the main antecedents and consequences of Type II verbal and physical workplace aggression in the healthcare sector, also focusing on its economic and psychosocial costs. However, some scholars emphasized the need for a systemic and multi-factorial approach to deeply understand and effectively respond to such kind of aggression. The main aim of the study is to propose a qualitative model of Type II workplace aggression in a health care organization in accordance with the system thinking and multi-factorial perspective. A case study research approach, conducted in an Italian non-hospital healthcare organization, is presented. Two main data collection methods have been adopted: individual and group interviews with a sample (N = 24) of physicians, nurses and clericals. A causal loop diagram (CLD) that describes the main causal relationships among the key-variables of the proposed model has been outlined. The main feedback loops and the causal link polarities have been also defined to fully describe the structure underlining the Type II workplace aggression phenomenon. The proposed qualitative model shows how the Type II workplace aggression is related with burnout, work performance, job satisfaction, turnover intentions, work motivation and emotional dissonance. Finally, strategies and policies to reduce the strength of workplace aggression’s drivers are suggested.

Keywords: healthcare, system thinking, work motivation, workplace aggression

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23 A Mixed Methods Research Design for the Development of the Xenia Higher Education Institutions' Inclusiveness Index

Authors: Achilles Kameas, Eleni Georgakakou, Anna Lisa Amodeo, Aideen Quilty, Aisling Malone, Roberta Albertazzi, Moises Carmona, Concetta Esposito, Ruben David Fernandez Carrasco, Carmela Ferrara, Francesco Garzillo, Mojca Pusnik, Maria Cristina Scarano

Abstract:

While researchers, especially in academia, study and research the phenomena of inclusion of sexual minority and gender marginalized groups, seldom the European Higher Education Institutions (HEI) act on lowering the cultural and educational barriers to their proactive inclusion. The challenge in European HEIs is that gender, and sexual orientation discrimination remains an issue not adequately addressed. Following a mixed methods research design of quantitative and qualitative research techniques and tools, which is applied in five (5) European countries (Italy, Greece, Ireland, Slovenia, and Spain) and that combines desk research, evaluation, and weighting processes for a Matrix-based on Objective indicators and Survey for students and staff of the HEI to gauge the perception of inclusiveness in the HEI context, XENIA HEI Inclusiveness Index is an instrument that will allow universities to gauge and assess their inclusiveness in the domain of discrimination and exclusion based on gender identity and sexual orientation. The index will allow capturing the depth and reach of policies, programmes, and initiatives of HEIs in tackling the phenomena and dynamics of exclusion of LGBT+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and other marginalized groups on the basis of gender and sexual identity) and cisgender women exposed to the risk of discrimination.

Keywords: gender identity, higher education, LGBT+ rights, XENIA inclusiveness index

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22 Beyond Baudrillard: A Critical Intersection between Semiotics and Materialism

Authors: Francesco Piluso

Abstract:

Nowadays, to restore the deconstructive power of semiotics implies a critical analysis of neoliberal ideology, and, even more critically, a confrontation with materialist perspective. The theoretical path of Jean Baudrillard is crucial to understand the ambivalence of this intersection. A semiotic critique of Baudrillard’s work, through tools of both structuralism and interpretative semiotics, has the aim to give materialism a new consistent semiotic approach and vice-versa. According to Baudrillard, the commodity form is characterized by the same abstract and systemic logic of the sign-form, in which the production of the signified (use-value) is a mere ideological mean for the reproduction of the signifiers-chain (exchange-value). Nevertheless, this parallelism is broken by the author himself: if the use-value is deconstructed in its relative logic, the signified and the referent, both as discrete and positive elements, are collapsed on the same plane at the shadows of the signified forms. These divergent considerations lead Baudrillard to the same crucial point: the dismissal of the material world, replaced by the hyperreality as reproduction of a semiotic (genetic) Code. The stress on the concept of form, as an epistemological and semiotic tool to analyse the construction of values in the consumer society, has led to the Code as its ontological drift. In other words, Baudrillard seems to enclose consumer society (and reality) in this immanent and self-fetishized world of signs–an ideological perspective that mystifies the gravity of the material relationships between Northern-Western World and Third World. The notion of Encyclopaedia by Umberto Eco is the key to overturn the relationship of immanence/transcendence between the Code and the economic political of the sign, by understanding the former as an ideological plane within the encyclopedia itself. Therefore, rather than building semiotic (hyper)realities, semiotics has to deal with materialism in terms of material relationships of power which are mystified and reproduced through such ideological ontologies of signs.

Keywords: Baudrillard, Code, Eco, Encyclopaedia, epistemology vs. ontology, semiotics vs. materialism

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