Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 10

Search results for: Raffaele De Amicis

10 Heterogeneous-Resolution and Multi-Source Terrain Builder for CesiumJS WebGL Virtual Globe

Authors: Umberto Di Staso, Marco Soave, Alessio Giori, Federico Prandi, Raffaele De Amicis


The increasing availability of information about earth surface elevation (Digital Elevation Models DEM) generated from different sources (remote sensing, Aerial Images, Lidar) poses the question about how to integrate and make available to the most than possible audience this huge amount of data. In order to exploit the potential of 3D elevation representation the quality of data management plays a fundamental role. Due to the high acquisition costs and the huge amount of generated data, highresolution terrain surveys tend to be small or medium sized and available on limited portion of earth. Here comes the need to merge large-scale height maps that typically are made available for free at worldwide level, with very specific high resolute datasets. One the other hand, the third dimension increases the user experience and the data representation quality, unlocking new possibilities in data analysis for civil protection, real estate, urban planning, environment monitoring, etc. The open-source 3D virtual globes, which are trending topics in Geovisual Analytics, aim at improving the visualization of geographical data provided by standard web services or with proprietary formats. Typically, 3D Virtual globes like do not offer an open-source tool that allows the generation of a terrain elevation data structure starting from heterogeneous-resolution terrain datasets. This paper describes a technological solution aimed to set up a so-called “Terrain Builder”. This tool is able to merge heterogeneous-resolution datasets, and to provide a multi-resolution worldwide terrain services fully compatible with CesiumJS and therefore accessible via web using traditional browser without any additional plug-in.

Keywords: Terrain Builder, WebGL, Virtual Globe, CesiumJS, Tiled Map Service, TMS, Height-Map, Regular Grid, Geovisual Analytics, DTM

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

Authors: Francesco Marotti de Sciarra, Raffaele Barretta


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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8 Functional Variants Detection by RNAseq

Authors: Raffaele A. Calogero


RNAseq represents an attractive methodology for the detection of functional genomic variants. RNAseq results obtained from polyA+ RNA selection protocol (POLYA) and from exonic regions capturing protocol (ACCESS) indicate that ACCESS detects 10% more coding SNV/INDELs with respect to POLYA. ACCESS requires less reads for coding SNV detection with respect to POLYA. However, if the analysis aims at identifying SNV/INDELs also in the 5’ and 3’ UTRs, POLYA is definitively the preferred method. No particular advantage comes from ACCESS or POLYA in the detection of fusion transcripts.

Keywords: fusion transcripts, INDEL, RNA-seq, WES, SNV

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7 The Use of Social Networking Sites in eLearning

Authors: Clifford De Raffaele, Luana Bugeja, Serengul Smith


The adaptation of social networking sites within higher education has garnered significant interest in the recent years with numerous researches considering it as a possible shift from the traditional classroom based learning paradigm. Notwithstanding this increase in research and conducted studies however, the adaption of SNS based modules have failed to proliferate within Universities. This paper, commences its contribution by analyzing the various models and theories proposed in literature and amalgamates together various effective aspects for the inclusion of social technology within e-Learning. A three phased framework is further proposed which details the necessary considerations for the successful adaptation of SNS in enhancing the students learning experience. This proposal outlines the theoretical foundations which will be analyzed in practical implementation across international university campuses.

Keywords: eLearning, higher education, social network sites, student learning

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6 Linac Quality Controls Using An Electronic Portal Imaging Device

Authors: Domingo Planes Meseguer, Raffaele Danilo Esposito, Maria Del Pilar Dorado Rodriguez


Monthly quality control checks for a Radiation Therapy Linac may be performed is a simple and efficient way once they have been standardized and protocolized. On the other hand this checks, in spite of being imperatives, require a not negligible execution times in terms of machine time and operators time. Besides it must be taken into account the amount of disposable material which may be needed together with the use of commercial software for their performing. With the aim of optimizing and standardizing mechanical-geometric checks and multi leaves collimator checks, we decided to implement a protocol which makes use of the Electronic Portal Imaging Device (EPID) available on our Linacs. The user is step by step guided by the software during the whole procedure. Acquired images are automatically analyzed by our programs all of them written using only free software.

Keywords: quality control checks, linac, radiation oncology, medical physics, free software

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5 A Relational Data Base for Radiation Therapy

Authors: Raffaele Danilo Esposito, Domingo Planes Meseguer, Maria Del Pilar Dorado Rodriguez


As far as we know, it is still unavailable a commercial solution which would allow to manage, openly and configurable up to user needs, the huge amount of data generated in a modern Radiation Oncology Department. Currently, available information management systems are mainly focused on Record & Verify and clinical data, and only to a small extent on physical data. Thus, results in a partial and limited use of the actually available information. In the present work we describe the implementation at our department of a centralized information management system based on a web server. Our system manages both information generated during patient planning and treatment, and information of general interest for the whole department (i.e. treatment protocols, quality assurance protocols etc.). Our objective it to be able to analyze in a simple and efficient way all the available data and thus to obtain quantitative evaluations of our treatments. This would allow us to improve our work flow and protocols. To this end we have implemented a relational data base which would allow us to use in a practical and efficient way all the available information. As always we only use license free software.

Keywords: information management system, radiation oncology, medical physics, free software

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4 Gender Differences in Communication Styles: An Analysis of the Language of Earnings Conference Calls

Authors: Chiara De Amicis, Sonia Falconieri, Mesut Tastan


In this study, we analyze the language employed by Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) and Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) during earnings conference calls from a gender perspective. We find evidences that conference calls held by female CEOs and/or CFOs exhibit a higher level of optimism compared to conference calls held by male CEOs and/or CFOs. Moreover, female managers tend to present and discuss firm performances with less vagueness as compared to their male colleagues. We then observe the market reaction around each earnings conference call: while manager optimism is perceived as a good signal by investors, manager vagueness significantly dampens the market reaction around the call. Whether the gender of the CEO and/or the CFO delivering the conference call affects investors’ perceptions about the firm performance is still an open question. Some evidences show that the language employed by female managers conveys more valuable information for market participants as compared to the language employed by their male counterparts. This study contributes to a growing literature in finance and accounting that uses textual analysis to assess the informativeness of corporate disclosure. To our knowledge, this is the first paper that aims at answering the question whether the gender of firm’s top managers does matter when it comes to assess the informativeness of corporate spoken communication. We believe that our results will be of relevance for future research in the field. Moreover, our evidence may be used in support of the debate if a larger participation by women in the management of companies should be encouraged or not.

Keywords: conference calls, even study, gender, market reaction, textual analysis

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3 Design and Implementation of a Software Platform Based on Artificial Intelligence for Product Recommendation

Authors: Giuseppina Settanni, Antonio Panarese, Raffaele Vaira, Maurizio Galiano


Nowdays, artificial intelligence is used successfully in academia and industry for its ability to learn from a large amount of data. In particular, in recent years the use of machine learning algorithms in the field of e-commerce has spread worldwide. In this research study, a prototype software platform was designed and implemented in order to suggest to users the most suitable products for their needs. The platform includes a chatbot and a recommender system based on artificial intelligence algorithms that provide suggestions and decision support to the customer. The recommendation systems perform the important function of automatically filtering and personalizing information, thus allowing to manage with the IT overload to which the user is exposed on a daily basis. Recently, international research has experimented with the use of machine learning technologies with the aim to increase the potential of traditional recommendation systems. Specifically, support vector machine algorithms have been implemented combined with natural language processing techniques that allow the user to interact with the system, express their requests and receive suggestions. The interested user can access the web platform on the internet using a computer, tablet or mobile phone, register, provide the necessary information and view the products that the system deems them most appropriate. The platform also integrates a dashboard that allows the use of the various functions, which the platform is equipped with, in an intuitive and simple way. Artificial intelligence algorithms have been implemented and trained on historical data collected from user browsing. Finally, the testing phase allowed to validate the implemented model, which will be further tested by letting customers use it.

Keywords: machine learning, recommender system, software platform, support vector machine

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2 On the Monitoring of Structures and Soils by Tromograph

Authors: Magarò Floriana, Zinno Raffaele


Since 2009, with the coming into force of the January 14, 2008 Ministerial Decree "New technical standards for construction", and the explanatory ministerial circular N°.617 of February 2, 2009, the question of seismic hazard and the design of seismic-resistant structures in Italy has acquired increasing importance. One of the most discussed aspects in recent Italian and international scientific literature concerns the dynamic interaction between land and structure, and the effects which dynamic coupling may have on individual buildings. In effect, from systems dynamics, it is well known that resonance can have catastrophic effects on a stimulated system, leading to a response that is not compatible with the previsions in the design phase. The method used in this study to estimate the frequency of oscillation of the structure is as follows: the analysis of HVSR (Horizontal to Vertical Spectral Ratio) relations. This allows for evaluation of very simple oscillation frequencies for land and structures. The tool used for data acquisition is an experimental digital tromograph. This is an engineered development of the experimental Languamply RE 4500 tromograph, equipped with an engineered amplification circuit and improved electronically using extremely small electronic components (size of each individual amplifier 16 x 26 mm). This tromograph is a modular system, completely "free" and "open", designed to interface Windows, Linux, OSX and Android with the outside world. It an amplifier designed to carry out microtremor measurements, yet which will also be useful for seismological and seismic measurements in general. The development of single amplifiers of small dimension allows for a very clean signal since being able to position it a few centimetres from the geophone eliminates cable “antenna” phenomena, which is a necessary characteristic in seeking to have signals which are clean at the very low voltages to be measured.

Keywords: microtremor, HVSR, tromograph, structural engineering

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1 Effect of Spermidine on Physicochemical Properties of Protein Based Films

Authors: Mohammed Sabbah, Prospero Di Pierro, Raffaele Porta


Protein-based edible films and coatings have attracted an increasing interest in recent years since they might be used to protect pharmaceuticals or improve the shelf life of different food products. Among them, several plant proteins represent an abundant, inexpensive and renewable raw source. These natural biopolymers are used as film forming agents, being able to form intermolecular linkages by various interactions. However, without the addition of a plasticizing agent, many biomaterials are brittle and, consequently, very difficult to be manipulated. Plasticizers are generally small and non-volatile organic additives used to increase film extensibility and reduce its crystallinity, brittleness and water vapor permeability. Plasticizers normally act by decreasing the intermolecular forces along the polymer chains, thus reducing the relative number of polymer-polymer contacts, producing a decrease in cohesion and tensile strength and thereby increasing film flexibility allowing its deformation without rupture. The most commonly studied plasticizers are polyols, like glycerol (GLY) and some mono or oligosaccharides. In particular, GLY not only increases film extensibility but also migrates inside the film network often causing the loss of desirable mechanical properties of the material. Therefore, replacing GLY with a different plasticizer might help to improve film characteristics allowing potential industrial applications. To improve film properties, it seemed of interest to test as plasticizers some cationic small molecules like polyamines (PAs). Putrescine, spermidine (SPD), and spermine are PAs widely distributed in nature and of particular interest for their biological activities that may have some beneficial health effects. Since PAs contains amino instead of hydroxyl functional groups, they are able to trigger ionic interactions with negatively charged proteins. Bitter vetch (Vicia ervilia; BV) is an ancient grain legume crop, originated in the Mediterranean region, which can be found today in many countries around the world. This annual Vicia genus shows several favorable features, being their seeds a cheap and abundant protein source. The main objectives of this study were to investigate the effect of different concentrations of SPD on the mechanical and permeability properties of films prepared with native or heat denatured BV proteins in the presence of different concentrations of SPD and/or GLY. Therefore, a BV seed protein concentrate (BVPC), containing about 77% proteins, was used to prepare film forming solutions (FFSs), whereas GLY and SPD were added as film plasticizers, either singly or in combination, at various concentrations. Since a primary plasticizer is generally defined as a molecule that when added to a material makes it softer, more flexible and easier to be processed, our findings lead to consider SPD as a possible primary plasticizer of protein-based films. In fact, the addition of millimolar concentrations of SPD to BVPC FFS allowed obtaining handleable biomaterials with improved properties. Moreover, SPD can be also considered as a secondary plasticizer, namely an 'extender', because of its ability even to enhance the plasticizing performance of GLY. In conclusion, our studies indicate that innovative edible protein-based films and coatings can be obtained by using PAs as new plasticizers.

Keywords: edible films, glycerol, plasticizers, polyamines, spermidine

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