Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 8

Search results for: Tommaso Adamo

8 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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7 Flame Kernel Growth and Related Effects of Spark Plug Electrodes: Fluid Motion Interaction in an Optically Accessible DISI Engine

Authors: A. Schirru, A. Irimescu, S. Merola, A. d’Adamo, S. Fontanesi


One of the aspects that are usually neglected during the design phase of an engine is the effect of the spark plug on the flow field inside the combustion chamber. Because of the difficulties in the experimental investigation of the mutual interaction between flow alteration and early flame kernel convection effect inside the engine combustion chamber, CFD-3D simulation is usually exploited in such cases. Experimentally speaking, a particular type of engine has to be used in order to directly observe the flame propagation process. In this study, a double electrode spark plug was fitted into an optically accessible engine and a high-speed camera was used to capture the initial stages of the combustion process. Both the arc and the kernel phases were observed. Then, a morphologic analysis was carried out and the position of the center of mass of the flame, relative to the spark plug position, was calculated. The crossflow orientation was chosen for the spark plug and the kernel growth process was observed for different air-fuel ratios. It was observed that during a normal cycle the flow field between the electrodes tends to transport the arc deforming it. Because of that, the kernel growth phase takes place away from the electrodes and the flame propagates with a preferential direction dictated by the flow field.

Keywords: Combustion, Optically Accessible Engine, Spark-Ignition Engine, Sparl Orientation, Kernel Growth

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6 The Underestimate of the Annual Maximum Rainfall Depths Due to Coarse Time Resolution Data

Authors: Renato Morbidelli, Carla Saltalippi, Alessia Flammini, Tommaso Picciafuoco, Corrado Corradini


A considerable part of rainfall data to be used in the hydrological practice is available in aggregated form within constant time intervals. This can produce undesirable effects, like the underestimate of the annual maximum rainfall depth, Hd, associated with a given duration, d, that is the basic quantity in the development of rainfall depth-duration-frequency relationships and in determining if climate change is producing effects on extreme event intensities and frequencies. The errors in the evaluation of Hd from data characterized by a coarse temporal aggregation, ta, and a procedure to reduce the non-homogeneity of the Hd series are here investigated. Our results indicate that: 1) in the worst conditions, for d=ta, the estimation of a single Hd value can be affected by an underestimation error up to 50%, while the average underestimation error for a series with at least 15-20 Hd values, is less than or equal to 16.7%; 2) the underestimation error values follow an exponential probability density function; 3) each very long time series of Hd contains many underestimated values; 4) relationships between the non-dimensional ratio ta/d and the average underestimate of Hd, derived from continuous rainfall data observed in many stations of Central Italy, may overcome this issue; 5) these equations should allow to improve the Hd estimates and the associated depth-duration-frequency curves at least in areas with similar climatic conditions.

Keywords: central Italy, extreme events, rainfall data, underestimation errors

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5 Cyber-Social Networks in Preventing Terrorism: Topological Scope

Authors: Alessandra Rossodivita, Alexei Tikhomirov, Andrey Trufanov, Nikolay Kinash, Olga Berestneva, Svetlana Nikitina, Fabio Casati, Alessandro Visconti, Tommaso Saporito


It is well known that world and national societies are exposed to diverse threats: anthropogenic, technological, and natural. Anthropogenic ones are of greater risks and, thus, attract special interest to researchers within wide spectrum of disciplines in efforts to lower the pertinent risks. Some researchers showed by means of multilayered, complex network models how media promotes the prevention of disease spread. To go further, not only are mass-media sources included in scope the paper suggests but also personificated social bots (socbots) linked according to reflexive theory. The novel scope considers information spread over conscious and unconscious agents while counteracting both natural and man-made threats, i.e., infections and terrorist hazards. Contrary to numerous publications on misinformation disseminated by ‘bad’ bots within social networks, this study focuses on ‘good’ bots, which should be mobilized to counter the former ones. These social bots deployed mixture with real social actors that are engaged in concerted actions at spreading, receiving and analyzing information. All the contemporary complex network platforms (multiplexes, interdependent networks, combined stem networks et al.) are comprised to describe and test socbots activities within competing information sharing tools, namely mass-media hubs, social networks, messengers, and e-mail at all phases of disasters. The scope and concomitant techniques present evidence that embedding such socbots into information sharing process crucially change the network topology of actor interactions. The change might improve or impair robustness of social network environment: it depends on who and how controls the socbots. It is demonstrated that the topological approach elucidates techno-social processes within the field and outline the roadmap to a safer world.

Keywords: complex network platform, counterterrorism, information sharing topology, social bots

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4 Impact of Culture Conditions on Cyanophora paradoxa Composition and Antiproliferative Activity in Human Cancer Cell Lines

Authors: Helen Herbert, Rachel Parkes, Maria Elena Barone, Sabrina Picciotto, Giorgia Adamo, Angela Paterna, Antonella Bongiovanni, Eva Campion, Nicolas Touzet


Microalgae are promising candidates for biotechnological applications in the pharmaceutical, nutraceutical and cosmetic sectors. These organisms are capable of accumulating high-value metabolites under specific conditions. Indeed, recent studies have demonstrated that microalgal compounds such as phycobiliproteins, pigments or lipids can exhibit a range of biological activities, including the inhibition of cancer cell proliferation. This study investigated the biological activity of extracts from the glaucophyte Cyanophora paradoxa grown under various cultivation conditions in human breast and lung cancer cell lines (MCF-7 and A549). Analysis of the C. paradoxa biomass revealed a broad spectrum of bioactive compounds to be present such as pigments (chlorophylls, xanthophylls and carotenes), phycobiliproteins and fatty acids (e.g., EPA). Modification of the cultivation environment using blue light, nitrogen starvation and the addition of sodium chloride demonstrated no positive enhancement of such bioactive compounds. In fact, blue light negatively impacted the production of biomass, zeaxanthin, EPA and phycocyanin. Biomass processing by cold maceration using solvents of increasing polarity returned extracts for each of the conditions mentioned above, which were then used in the treatment of human cancer cells, A549 and MCF-7. Some weak cytotoxic activity was observed in vitro for diethyl ether and methanol extracts at 100 µg/ml concentration after a 72-hour incubation. In particular, methanol extracts from the biomass cultivated under a saline-rich environment led to an inhibition in viability in A549 of just 22% while Et20 extracts from the same biomass had no effect in this cell line. In contrast to the A549 cell line, Et2O extracts appeared to impact the viability of the MCF-7 cell line to a greater extent than the methanol extracts. However, the overall reduction in viability using Et20 extracts remained less than 30%, with no effect on viability observed using the methanol extracts. Moreover, no genotoxicity was observed for any of the C. paradoxa extracts, as determined by acridine orange staining. Overall, this work confirms C. paradoxa as a promising candidate for the refinery of natural bioactive compounds.

Keywords: Cyanophora, bioactivity, microalgae, stress conditions

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3 Design of Nano-Reinforced Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic Wheel for Lightweight Vehicles with Integrated Electrical Hub Motor

Authors: Davide Cocchi, Andrea Zucchelli, Luca Raimondi, Maria Brugo Tommaso


The increasing attention is given to the issues of environmental pollution and climate change is exponentially stimulating the development of electrically propelled vehicles powered by renewable energy, in particular, the solar one. Given the small amount of solar energy that can be stored and subsequently transformed into propulsive energy, it is necessary to develop vehicles with high mechanical, electrical and aerodynamic efficiencies along with reduced masses. The reduction of the masses is of fundamental relevance especially for the unsprung masses, that is the assembly of those elements that do not undergo a variation of their distance from the ground (wheel, suspension system, hub, upright, braking system). Therefore, the reduction of unsprung masses is fundamental in decreasing the rolling inertia and improving the drivability, comfort, and performance of the vehicle. This principle applies even more in solar propelled vehicles, equipped with an electric motor that is connected directly to the wheel hub. In this solution, the electric motor is integrated inside the wheel. Since the electric motor is part of the unsprung masses, the development of compact and lightweight solutions is of fundamental importance. The purpose of this research is the design development and optimization of a CFRP 16 wheel hub motor for solar propulsion vehicles that can carry up to four people. In addition to trying to maximize aspects of primary importance such as mass, strength, and stiffness, other innovative constructive aspects were explored. One of the main objectives has been to achieve a high geometric packing in order to ensure a reduced lateral dimension, without reducing the power exerted by the electric motor. In the final solution, it was possible to realize a wheel hub motor assembly completely comprised inside the rim width, for a total lateral overall dimension of less than 100 mm. This result was achieved by developing an innovative connection system between the wheel and the rotor with a double purpose: centering and transmission of the driving torque. This solution with appropriate interlocking noses allows the transfer of high torques and at the same time guarantees both the centering and the necessary stiffness of the transmission system. Moreover, to avoid delamination in critical areas, evaluated by means of FEM analysis using 3D Hashin damage criteria, electrospun nanofibrous mats have been interleaved between CFRP critical layers. In order to reduce rolling resistance, the rim has been designed to withstand high inflation pressure. Laboratory tests have been performed on the rim using the Digital Image Correlation technique (DIC). The wheel has been tested for fatigue bending according to E/ECE/324 R124e.

Keywords: composite laminate, delamination, DIC, lightweight vehicle, motor hub wheel, nanofiber

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2 Fashion Utopias: The Role of Fashion Exhibitions and Fashion Archives to Defining (and Stimulating) Possible Future Fashion Landscapes

Authors: Vittorio Linfante


Utopìa is a term that, since its first appearance in 1516, in Tommaso Moro’s work, has taken on different meanings and forms in various fields: social studies, politics, art, creativity, and design. The utopias, although of short duration and in their apparent impossibility, have been able to give a shape to the future, laying the foundations for our present and the future of the next generations. The Twentieth century was the historical period crossed by many changes, and it saw the most significant number of utopias not only social, political, and scientific but also artistic, architectural, in design, communication, and, last but not least, in fashion. Over the years, fashion has been able to interpret various utopistic impulses giving form to the most futuristic visions. From the Manifesto del Vestito by Giacomo Balla, through the functional experiments that led to the Tuta by Thayath and the Varst by Aleksandr Rodčenko and Varvara Stepanova, through the Space Age visions of Rudi Gernreich, Paco Rabanne and Pierre Cardin, and the Archizoom’s political actions and their fashion project Vestirsi è facile. Experiments that have continued to the present days through the (sometimes) excessive visions of Hussein Chalayan, Alexander McQueen, and Gareth Pugh or those that are more anchored to the market (but no fewer innovative and visionaries) by Prada, Chanel, and Raf Simmons. If, as Bauman states, it is true that we have entered in a phase of Retrotopia characterized by the inability to think about new forms of the future; it is necessary, more than ever, to redefine the role of history, of its narration and its mise en scène, within the contemporary creative process. A process that increasingly requires an in-depth knowledge of the past for the definition of a renewed discourse about design processes. A discourse in which words like archive, exhibition, curating, revival, vintage, and costume take on new meanings. The paper aims to investigate–through case studies, research, and professional projects–the renewed role of curating and preserving fashion artefacts. A renewed role that–in an era of Retrotopia–museums, exhibitions, and archives can (and must) assume, to contribute to the definition of new design paradigms, capable of overcoming the traditional categories of revival or costume in favour of a more contemporary “mash-up” approach. Mash-up in which past and present, craftsmanship and new technologies, revival and experimentation merge seamlessly. In this perspective, dresses (as well as fashion accessories) should be considered not only as finished products but as artefacts capable of talking about the past and of producing unpublished new stories at the same time. Archives, exhibitions (academic and not), and museums thus become powerful sources of inspiration for fashion: places and projects capable of generating innovation, becoming active protagonists of the contemporary fashion design processes.

Keywords: heritage, history, costume and fashion interface, performance, language, design research

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1 Inclusion Advances of Disabled People in Higher Education: Possible Alignment with the Brazilian Statute of the Person with Disabilities

Authors: Maria Cristina Tommaso, Maria Das Graças L. Silva, Carlos Jose Pacheco


Have the advances of the Brazilian legislation reflected or have been consonant with the inclusion of PwD in higher education? In 1990 the World Declaration on Education for All, a document organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), stated that the basic learning needs of people with disabilities, as they were called, required special attention. Since then, legislation in signatory countries such as Brazil has made considerable progress in guaranteeing, in a gradual and increasing manner, the rights of persons with disabilities to education. Principles, policies, and practices of special educational needs were created and guided action at the regional, national and international levels on the structure of action in Special Education such as administration, recruitment of educators and community involvement. Brazilian Education Law No. 3.284 of 2003 ensures inclusion of people with disabilities in Brazilian higher education institutions and also in 2015 the Law 13,146/2015 - Brazilian Law on the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities (Statute of the Person with Disabilities) regulates the inclusion of PwD by the guarantee of their rights. This study analyses data related to people with disability inclusion in High Education in the south region of Rio de Janeiro State - Brazil during the period between 2008 and 2018, based in its correlation with the changes in the Brazilian legislation in the last ten years that were subjected by PwD inclusion processes in the Brazilian High Education Systems. The region studied is composed by sixteen cities and this research refers to the largest one, Volta Redonda that represents 25 percent of the total regional population. The PwD reception process had the dicing data at the Volta Redonda University Center with 35 percent of high education students in this territorial area. The research methodology analyzed the changes occurring in the legislation about the inclusion of people with disability in High Education in the last ten years and its impacts on the samples of this study during the period between 2008 and 2018. It was verified an expressive increasing of the number of PwD students, from two in 2008 to 190 PwD students in 2018. The data conclusions are presented in quantitative terms and the aim of this study was to verify the effectiveness of the PwD inclusion in High Education, allowing visibility of this social group. This study verified that the fundamental human rights guarantees have a strong relation to the advances of legislation and the State as a guarantor instance of the rights of the people with disability and must be considered a mean of consolidation of their education opportunities isonomy. The recognition of full rights and the inclusion of people with disabilities requires the efforts of those who have decision-making power. This study aimed to demonstrate that legislative evolution is an effective instrument in the social integration of people with disabilities. The study confirms the fundamental role of the state in guaranteeing human rights and demonstrates that legislation not only protects the interests of vulnerable social groups, but can also, and this is perhaps its main mission, to change behavior patterns and provoke the social transformation necessary to the reduction of inequality of opportunity.

Keywords: high education, inclusion, legislation, people with disability

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