Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 7

Search results for: Gennaro Tartarisco

7 A Quality Index Optimization Method for Non-Invasive Fetal ECG Extraction

Authors: Lucia Billeci, Gennaro Tartarisco, Maurizio Varanini


Fetal cardiac monitoring by fetal electrocardiogram (fECG) can provide significant clinical information about the healthy condition of the fetus. Despite this potentiality till now the use of fECG in clinical practice has been quite limited due to the difficulties in its measuring. The recovery of fECG from the signals acquired non-invasively by using electrodes placed on the maternal abdomen is a challenging task because abdominal signals are a mixture of several components and the fetal one is very weak. This paper presents an approach for fECG extraction from abdominal maternal recordings, which exploits the characteristics of pseudo-periodicity of fetal ECG. It consists of devising a quality index (fQI) for fECG and of finding the linear combinations of preprocessed abdominal signals, which maximize these fQI (quality index optimization - QIO). It aims at improving the performances of the most commonly adopted methods for fECG extraction, usually based on maternal ECG (mECG) estimating and canceling. The procedure for the fECG extraction and fetal QRS (fQRS) detection is completely unsupervised and based on the following steps: signal pre-processing; maternal ECG (mECG) extraction and maternal QRS detection; mECG component approximation and canceling by weighted principal component analysis; fECG extraction by fQI maximization and fetal QRS detection. The proposed method was compared with our previously developed procedure, which obtained the highest at the Physionet/Computing in Cardiology Challenge 2013. That procedure was based on removing the mECG from abdominal signals estimated by a principal component analysis (PCA) and applying the Independent component Analysis (ICA) on the residual signals. Both methods were developed and tuned using 69, 1 min long, abdominal measurements with fetal QRS annotation of the dataset A provided by PhysioNet/Computing in Cardiology Challenge 2013. The QIO-based and the ICA-based methods were compared in analyzing two databases of abdominal maternal ECG available on the Physionet site. The first is the Abdominal and Direct Fetal Electrocardiogram Database (ADdb) which contains the fetal QRS annotations thus allowing a quantitative performance comparison, the second is the Non-Invasive Fetal Electrocardiogram Database (NIdb), which does not contain the fetal QRS annotations so that the comparison between the two methods can be only qualitative. In particular, the comparison on NIdb was performed defining an index of quality for the fetal RR series. On the annotated database ADdb the QIO method, provided the performance indexes Sens=0.9988, PPA=0.9991, F1=0.9989 overcoming the ICA-based one, which provided Sens=0.9966, PPA=0.9972, F1=0.9969. The comparison on NIdb was performed defining an index of quality for the fetal RR series. The index of quality resulted higher for the QIO-based method compared to the ICA-based one in 35 records out 55 cases of the NIdb. The QIO-based method gave very high performances with both the databases. The results of this study foresees the application of the algorithm in a fully unsupervised way for the implementation in wearable devices for self-monitoring of fetal health.

Keywords: fetal electrocardiography, fetal QRS detection, independent component analysis (ICA), optimization, wearable

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6 Scope of Public Policies in Promoting Resource-Recovery Sanitation Systems to Answer the Open Defecation Challenges of Indian Cities: Case of Ahmedabad

Authors: Isalyne Gennaro


The lack of access to basic sanitation services and improper water infrastructure pollute the environment and expose people to water-borne diseases. In 2014, to address these concerns, the central government of India launched five-years urban development and sanitation programs. The national vision seemed to encourage the use of technologies which recycle and reuse wastewater for achieving open defecation free cities. As we approach 2019, it is time to reflect on these objectives. This research critically looked at the actual scope and limitations of policies and regulations to promote resource-recovery sanitation systems. This study was based on the case of the fast-growing city of Ahmedabad, Gujarat. The analysis examined the actions and priorities, financial and institutional arrangements and technologies promoted at the national, sub-national and local levels. The research work concluded that a paradigm shift is required, from providing infrastructures in a supply-driven manner to creating inclusive planning framework which focuses on local challenges and generates a demand-responsiveness from the potential users targeted.

Keywords: India, public policy, resource-recovery, urban sanitation

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5 Resilience with Spontaneous Volunteers in Disasters-Coordination Using an It System

Authors: Leo Latasch, Mario Di Gennaro


Introduction: The goal of this project was to increase the resilience of the population as well as rescue organizations to make both quality and time-related improvements in handling crises. A helper network was created for this purpose. Methods: Social questions regarding the structure and purpose of helper networks were considered - specifically with regard to helper motivation, the level of commitment and collaboration between populations and agencies. The exchange of information, the coordinated use of volunteers, and the distribution of available resources will be ensured through defined communication and cooperation routines. Helper smartphones will also be used provide a picture of the situation on the ground. Results: The helper network was established and deployed based on the RESIBES information technology system. It consists of a service platform, a web portal and a smartphone app. The service platform is the central element for collaboration between the various rescue organizations, as well as for persons, associations, and companies from the population offering voluntary aid. The platform was used for: Registering helpers and resources and then requesting and assigning it in case of a disaster. These services allow the population's resources to be organized. The service platform also allows for a secure data exchange between services and external systems. Conclusions: The social and technical work priorities have allowed us to cover a full cycle of advance structural work, gaining an overview, damage management, evaluation, and feedback on experiences. This cycle allows experiences gained while handling the crisis to feed back into the cycle and improve preparations and management strategies.

Keywords: coordination, disaster, resilience, volunteers

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4 Application of Finite Volume Method for Numerical Simulation of Contaminant Transfer in a Two-Dimensional Reservoir

Authors: Atousa Ataieyan, Salvador A. Gomez-Lopera, Gennaro Sepede


Today, due to the growing urban population and consequently, the increasing water demand in cities, the amount of contaminants entering the water resources is increasing. This can impose harmful effects on the quality of the downstream water. Therefore, predicting the concentration of discharged pollutants at different times and distances of the interested area is of high importance in order to carry out preventative and controlling measures, as well as to avoid consuming the contaminated water. In this paper, the concentration distribution of an injected conservative pollutant in a square reservoir containing four symmetric blocks and three sources using Finite Volume Method (FVM) is simulated. For this purpose, after estimating the flow velocity, classical Advection-Diffusion Equation (ADE) has been discretized over the studying domain by Backward Time- Backward Space (BTBS) scheme. Then, the discretized equations for each node have been derived according to the initial condition, boundary conditions and point contaminant sources. Finally, taking into account the appropriate time step and space step, a computational code was set up in MATLAB. Contaminant concentration was then obtained at different times and distances. Simulation results show how using BTBS differentiating scheme and FVM as a numerical method for solving the partial differential equation of transport is an appropriate approach in the case of two-dimensional contaminant transfer in an advective-diffusive flow.

Keywords: BTBS differentiating scheme, contaminant concentration, finite volume, mass transfer, water pollution

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3 Bowing of a Pipeline from Longitudinal Compressive Stress Induced by Ground Movement

Authors: Gennaro Marino


This paper concerns a case of a 10.75 inch diameter buried gas transmission line which was exposed to mine subsidence ground movements. The pipeline was buried about 4ft. below the surface with maximum operating pressure of 1440 psi. The mine subsidence movement was the result of long walling ore at a depth of approximately 1600 ft. As ore extraction progressed, the stress in the monitored pipeline worsened and was approaching unacceptable levels. The excessive pipe compression resulted when it was exposed to the compression zone of subsidence basin created by mining. The pipe stress reached a significant compressive level due to the extensive length of the pipe exposed to frictional ground-pipe slip resistance. The backfill ground movement slip resistance depends on normal stress around the pipe, the rate of slip, and the backfill characteristics. Normal stress depends on the burial depth of the backfill density and the lateral subsidence induced stress. The backfill in this site has a soil dry density of approximately 90 PCF. A suite of direct shear tests was conducted a residual friction angle of 36 was determined for the ambient backfill. These tests showed that the residual shearing resistance was reached within a fraction of an inch. The pipe was coated with fusion-bonded epoxy, so friction reduce factory of 0.6 can be considered. To relieve ground movement induced compressive stress, the line was uncovered. As more of the pipeline was exposed, the pipe abruptly bowed in the excavation. An analysis of this pipe formation which was performed is provided in this paper. Also discussed in this paper are ways to mitigate this pipe deformation or upheaval buckling from occurring. Keywords: Pipe Upheaval, Pipe Buckling, Ground subsidence, Buried Pipeline, Pipe Stress Mitigation.

Keywords: pipe upheaval, pipe buckling, ground subsidence, buried pipeline, pipe stress mitigation

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2 Innovations and Challenges: Multimodal Learning in Cybersecurity

Authors: Tarek Saadawi, Rosario Gennaro, Jonathan Akeley


There is rapidly growing demand for professionals to fill positions in Cybersecurity. This is recognized as a national priority both by government agencies and the private sector. Cybersecurity is a very wide technical area which encompasses all measures that can be taken in an electronic system to prevent criminal or unauthorized use of data and resources. This requires defending computers, servers, networks, and their users from any kind of malicious attacks. The need to address this challenge has been recognized globally but is particularly acute in the New York metropolitan area, home to some of the largest financial institutions in the world, which are prime targets of cyberattacks. In New York State alone, there are currently around 57,000 jobs in the Cybersecurity industry, with more than 23,000 unfilled positions. The Cybersecurity Program at City College is a collaboration between the Departments of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering. In Fall 2020, The City College of New York matriculated its first students in theCybersecurity Master of Science program. The program was designed to fill gaps in the previous offerings and evolved out ofan established partnership with Facebook on Cybersecurity Education. City College has designed a program where courses, curricula, syllabi, materials, labs, etc., are developed in cooperation and coordination with industry whenever possible, ensuring that students graduating from the program will have the necessary background to seamlessly segue into industry jobs. The Cybersecurity Program has created multiple pathways for prospective students to obtain the necessary prerequisites to apply in order to build a more diverse student population. The program can also be pursued on a part-time basis which makes it available to working professionals. Since City College’s Cybersecurity M.S. program was established to equip students with the advanced technical skills needed to thrive in a high-demand, rapidly-evolving field, it incorporates a range of pedagogical formats. From its outset, the Cybersecurity program has sought to provide both the theoretical foundations necessary for meaningful work in the field along with labs and applied learning projects aligned with skillsets required by industry. The efforts have involved collaboration with outside organizations and with visiting professors designing new courses on topics such as Adversarial AI, Data Privacy, Secure Cloud Computing, and blockchain. Although the program was initially designed with a single asynchronous course in the curriculum with the rest of the classes designed to be offered in-person, the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic necessitated a move to fullyonline learning. The shift to online learning has provided lessons for future development by providing examples of some inherent advantages to the medium in addition to its drawbacks. This talk will address the structure of the newly-implemented Cybersecurity Master’s Program and discuss the innovations, challenges, and possible future directions.

Keywords: cybersecurity, new york, city college, graduate degree, master of science

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1 Plasma Levels of Collagen Triple Helix Repeat Containing 1 (CTHRC1) as a Potential Biomarker in Interstitial Lung Disease

Authors: Rijnbout-St.James Willem, Lindner Volkhard, Scholand Mary Beth, Ashton M. Tillett, Di Gennaro Michael Jude, Smith Silvia Enrica


Introduction: Fibrosing lung diseases are characterized by changes in the lung interstitium and are classified based on etiology: 1) environmental/exposure-related, 2) autoimmune-related, 3) sarcoidosis, 4) interstitial pneumonia, and 4) idiopathic. Among interstitial lung diseases (ILD) idiopathic forms, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is the most severe. Pathogenesis of IPF is characterized by an increased presence of proinflammatory mediators, resulting in alveolar injury, where injury to alveolar epithelium precipitates an increase in collagen deposition, subsequently thickening the alveolar septum and decreasing gas exchange. Identifying biomarkers implicated in the pathogenesis of lung fibrosis is key to developing new therapies and improving the efficacy of existing therapies. The transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-B1), a mediator of tissue repair associated with WNT5A signaling, is partially responsible for fibroblast proliferation in ILD and is the target of Pirfenidone, one of the antifibrotic therapies used for patients with IPF. Canonical TGF-B signaling is mediated by the proteins SMAD 2/3, which are, in turn, indirectly regulated by Collagen Triple Helix Repeat Containing 1 (CTHRC1). In this study, we tested the following hypotheses: 1) CTHRC1 is more elevated in the ILD cohort compared to unaffected controls, and 2) CTHRC1 is differently expressed among ILD types. Material and Methods: CTHRC1 levels were measured by ELISA in 171 plasma samples from the deidentified University of Utah ILD cohort. Data represent a cohort of 131 ILD-affected participants and 40 unaffected controls. CTHRC1 samples were categorized by a pulmonologist based on affectation status and disease subtypes: IPF (n = 45), sarcoidosis (4), nonspecific interstitial pneumonia (16), hypersensitivity pneumonitis (n = 7), interstitial pneumonia (n=13), autoimmune (n = 15), other ILD - a category that includes undifferentiated ILD diagnoses (n = 31), and unaffected controls (n = 40). We conducted a single-factor ANOVA of plasma CTHRC1 levels to test whether CTHRC1 variance among affected and non-affected participants is statistically significantly different. In-silico analysis was performed with Ingenuity Pathway Analysis® to characterize the role of CTHRC1 in the pathway of lung fibrosis. Results: Statistical analyses of CTHRC1 in plasma samples indicate that the average CTHRC1 level is significantly higher in ILD-affected participants than controls, with the autoimmune ILD being higher than other ILD types, thus supporting our hypotheses. In-silico analyses show that CTHRC1 indirectly activates and phosphorylates SMAD3, which in turn cross-regulates TGF-B1. CTHRC1 also may regulate the expression and transcription of TGFB-1 via WNT5A and its regulatory relationship with CTNNB1. Conclusion: In-silico pathway analyses demonstrate that CTHRC1 may be an important biomarker in ILD. Analysis of plasma samples indicates that CTHRC1 expression is positively associated with ILD affectation, with autoimmune ILD having the highest average CTHRC1 values. While characterizing CTHRC1 levels in plasma can help to differentiate among ILD types and predict response to Pirfenidone, the extent to which plasma CTHRC1 level is a function of ILD severity or chronicity is unknown.

Keywords: interstitial lung disease, CTHRC1, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, pathway analyses

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