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

Search results for: Umberto Di Staso

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 Early Detection of Major Earthquakes Using Broadband Accelerometers

Authors: Umberto Cerasani, Luca Cerasani


Methods for earthquakes forecasting have been intensively investigated in the last decades, but there is still no universal solution agreed by seismologists. Rock failure is most often preceded by a tiny elastic movement in the failure area and by the appearance of micro-cracks. These micro-cracks could be detected at the soil surface and represent useful earth-quakes precursors. The aim of this study was to verify whether tiny raw acceleration signals (in the 10⁻¹ to 10⁻⁴ cm/s² range) prior to the arrival of main primary-waves could be exploitable and related to earthquakes magnitude. Mathematical tools such as Fast Fourier Transform (FFT), moving average and wavelets have been applied on raw acceleration data available on the ITACA web site, and the study focused on one of the most unpredictable earth-quakes, i.e., the August 24th, 2016 at 01H36 one that occurred in the central Italy area. It appeared that these tiny acceleration signals preceding main P-waves have different patterns both on frequency and time domains for high magnitude earthquakes compared to lower ones.

Keywords: earthquake, accelerometer, earthquake forecasting, seism

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8 Life Cycle Assessment: Drinking Glass Systems

Authors: Devina Jain


The choice between single-use drinking glasses and reusable glasses is of major concern to our lifestyles, and hence, the environment. This study is aimed at comparing three systems - a disposable paper cup, a disposable cup and a reusable stainless steel cup or glass - with respect to their effect on the environment to find out which one is more advantageous for reducing the impact on the environment. Life Cycle Assessment was conducted using modeling software, Umberto NXT Universal (Version 7.1). For the purpose of this study, the cradle to grave approach was considered. Results showed that cleaning is of a very strong influence on the environmental burden by these drinking systems, with a contribution of up to 90 to 100%. Thus, the burden is determined by the way in which the utensils are washed, and how much water is consumed. It maybe seems like a small, insignificant daily practice. In the short term, it would seem that paper and plastic cups are a better idea, since they are easy to acquire and do not need to be stored, but in the long run, we can say that steel cups will have less of an environmental impact. However, if the frequency of use and the number of glasses employed per use are of significance to decide the appropriateness of the usage, it is better to use disposable cups and glasses.

Keywords: disposable glass, life cycle assessment, paper, plastic, reusable glass, stainless steel

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7 How Polarization and Ideological Divisiveness Increase the Likelihood of Executive Action: Evidence from the Italian Case

Authors: Umberto Platini


This paper analyses the role of government fragmentation as predictor of the use of emergency decrees in parliamentary democracies. In particular, it focuses on the relationship between ideological divisiveness within cabinets and the choice by executives to issue emergency decrees rather initiating ordinary legislative procedures. A Bayesian multilevel analysis conducted on the population of government-initiated legislation in Italy between 1996 and 2018 finds significant evidence that those legislative proposals which are further away from the ideological centre of gravity of the executive are around three times more likely to be issued as emergency decrees. Likewise, legislative projects regulating more contentious policy areas are significantly more likely to be issued by decree. However, for more contentious issues the importance of ideological distance as a predictor diminishes. This evidence suggests that cabinets prefer decrees to ordinary legislative procedures when they expect that the bargaining environment in Parliament is more hostile. These results persist regardless of the fluctuations of the political-economic cycle. Their robustness is also tested against a battery of controls and against fixed effects both at the government level and at the legislature level.

Keywords: Bayesian multilevel logit models, executive action, executive decrees, ideology, legislative studies, polarization

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6 Weighted-Distance Sliding Windows and Cooccurrence Graphs for Supporting Entity-Relationship Discovery in Unstructured Text

Authors: Paolo Fantozzi, Luigi Laura, Umberto Nanni


The problem of Entity relation discovery in structured data, a well covered topic in literature, consists in searching within unstructured sources (typically, text) in order to find connections among entities. These can be a whole dictionary, or a specific collection of named items. In many cases machine learning and/or text mining techniques are used for this goal. These approaches might be unfeasible in computationally challenging problems, such as processing massive data streams. A faster approach consists in collecting the cooccurrences of any two words (entities) in order to create a graph of relations - a cooccurrence graph. Indeed each cooccurrence highlights some grade of semantic correlation between the words because it is more common to have related words close each other than having them in the opposite sides of the text. Some authors have used sliding windows for such problem: they count all the occurrences within a sliding windows running over the whole text. In this paper we generalise such technique, coming up to a Weighted-Distance Sliding Window, where each occurrence of two named items within the window is accounted with a weight depending on the distance between items: a closer distance implies a stronger evidence of a relationship. We develop an experiment in order to support this intuition, by applying this technique to a data set consisting in the text of the Bible, split into verses.

Keywords: cooccurrence graph, entity relation graph, unstructured text, weighted distance

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5 Beyond Baudrillard: A Critical Intersection between Semiotics and Materialism

Authors: Francesco Piluso


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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4 Posterior Thigh Compartment Syndrome Associated with Hamstring Avulsion and Antiplatelet Therapy

Authors: Andrea Gatti, Federica Coppotelli, Ma Primavera, Laura Palmieri, Umberto Tarantino


Aim of study: Scientific literature is scarce of studies and reviews valuing the pros and cons of the paratricipital approach for the treatment of humeral shaft fractures; the lateral paratricipital approach is a valid alternative to the classical posterior approach to the humeral shaft as it preserves both the triceps muscle and the elbow extensor mechanisms; based on our experience, this retrospective analysis aims at analyzing outcome, risks and benefits of the lateral paratricipital approach for humeral shaft fractures. Methods: Our study includes 14 patients treated between 2018 and 2019 for unilateral humeral shaft fractures: 13 with a B1 or B2 and a patient with a C fracture type (according to the AO/ATO Classification); 6 of our patients identified as male while 8 as female; age average was 57.8 years old (range 21-73 years old). A lateral paratricipital approach was performed on all 14 patients, sparing the triceps muscle by avoiding the olecranon osteotomy and by assessing the integrity and the preservation of the radial nerve; the humeral shaft fracture osteosynthesis was performed by means of plates and screws. After surgery all patients have started elbow functional rehabilitation with acceptable pain management. Post-operative follow-up has been carried out by assessing radiographs, MEPS (Mayo Elbow Performance Score) and DASH (Disability of Arm Shoulder and Hand) functional assessment and ROM of the affected joint. Results: All 14 patients had an optimal post-operative follow-up with an adequate osteosynthesis and functional rehabilitations by entirely preserving the operated elbow joint; the mean elbow ROM was 0-118.6 degree (range of 0-130) while the average MEPS score was 86 (range75-100) and 79.9 for the DASH (range 21.7-86.1). Just 2 patients suffered of temporary radial nerve apraxia, healed in the subsequent follow-ups. CONCLUSION: The lateral paratricipital approach preserve both the integrity of the triceps muscle and the elbow biomechanism but we do strongly recommend additional studies to be carried out to highlight differences between it and the classical posterior approach in treating humeral shaft fractures.

Keywords: paratricepital approach, humerus shaft fracture, posterior approach humeral shaft, paratricipital postero-lateral approach

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3 Managing of Cobalt and Chromium Ions by Patients with Metal-on-Metal Hip Prosthesis

Authors: Alina Beraudi, Simona Catalani, Dalila De Pasquale, Eva Bianconi, Umberto Santoro, Susanna Stea, Pietro Apostoli


Recently the European Community, in line with the international scientific community such as with the Consensus Statement, has determined to stop the use of metal-on-metal big head stemmed hip prosthesis. Among the factors accounted as responsible for the high failure rates of these hip implants are the release and accumulation of metal ions. Many studies have correlated the presence of these ions, besides other factors, with the induction of oxidative stress response. In our study on 12 subjects, we observed the patient specific capability to eliminate metal ions after revision surgery. While for cobalt all the patients were able to completely excrete cobalt ions within 5-7 months after metal-on-metal bearing removal, for chromium ions it didn’t happen. If on the one hand the toxicokinetic differences between the two types of ions are confirmed by toxicological and occupational studies, on the other hand, this peculiar way of exposition represents a novel and important point of view. Thus, two different approaches were performed to better understand the subject specific capability to transport metal ions (albumin study) and to manage the response to them (heme-oxygenase-1 study): - a mutational screening of ALBUMIN gene was conducted in 30 MoM prosthetic patients resulting in the absence of nucleotidic changes compared with the ALB reference sequence. To this study was also added the analysis of expression of modified albumin protein; - a gene and protein expression study on 44 patients of heme-oxygenase-1, that is one of the most important antioxidant enzyme induced by metallic ions, was performed. This study resulted in no statistically significant differences in the expression of the gene and protein heme-oxygenase-1 between prosthetic and non-prosthetic patients, as well as between patients with high and low ions levels. Our results show that the protein studied (albumin and heme-oxygenase-1) seem to be not involved in determining chromium and cobalt ions level. On the other hand, achromium and cobalt elimination rates are different, but similar in all patients analyzed, suggesting that this process could be not patient-related. We support the importance of researching more about ions transport within the organism once released by hip prosthesis, about the chemical species involved, the districts where they are contained and the mechanisms of elimination, not excluding the existence of a subjective susceptibility to these metals ions.

Keywords: chromium, cobalt, hip prosthesis, individual susceptibility

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2 Life Cycle Assessment of a Parabolic Solar Cooker

Authors: Bastien Sanglard, Lou Magnat, Ligia Barna, Julian Carrey, Sébastien Lachaize


Cooking is a primary need for humans, several techniques being used around the globe based on different sources of energy: electricity, solid fuel (wood, coal...), fuel or liquefied petroleum gas. However, all of them leads to direct or indirect greenhouse gas emissions and sometimes health damage in household. Therefore, the solar concentrated power represent a great option to lower the damages because of a cleaner using phase. Nevertheless, the construction phase of the solar cooker still requires primary energy and materials, which leads to environmental impacts. The aims of this work is to analyse the ecological impacts of a commercialaluminium parabola and to compare it with other means of cooking, taking the boiling of 2 litres of water three times a day during 40 years as the functional unit. Life cycle assessment was performed using the software Umberto and the EcoInvent database. Calculations were realized over more than 13 criteria using two methods: the international panel on climate change method and the ReCiPe method. For the reflector itself, different aluminium provenances were compared, as well as the use of recycled aluminium. For the structure, aluminium was compared to iron (primary and recycled) and wood. Results show that climate impacts of the studied parabola was 0.0353 kgCO2eq/kWh when built with Chinese aluminium and can be reduced by 4 using aluminium from Canada. Assessment also showed that using 32% of recycled aluminium would reduce the impact by 1.33 and 1.43 compared to the use of primary Canadian aluminium and primary Chinese aluminium, respectively. The exclusive use of recycled aluminium lower the impact by 17. Besides, the use of iron (recycled or primary) or wood for the structure supporting the reflector significantly lowers the impact. The impact categories of the ReCiPe method show that the parabola made from Chinese aluminium has the heaviest impact - except for metal resource depletion - compared to aluminium from Canada, recycled aluminium or iron. Impact of solar cooking was then compared to gas stove and induction. The gas stove model was a cast iron tripod that supports the cooking pot, and the induction plate was as well a single spot plate. Results show the parabolic solar cooker has the lowest ecological impact over the 13 criteria of the ReCiPe method and over the global warming potential compared to the two other technologies. The climate impact of gas cooking is 0.628kgCO2/kWh when used with natural gas and 0.723 kgCO2/kWh when used with a bottle of gas. In each case, the main part of emissions came from gas burning. Induction cooking has a global warming potential of 0.12 kgCO2eq/kWh with the electricity mix of France, 96.3% of the impact being due to electricity production. Therefore, the electricity mix is a key factor for this impact: for instance, with the electricity mix of Germany and Poland, impacts are 0.81kgCO2eq/kWh and 1.39 kgCO2eq/kWh, respectively. Therefore, the parabolic solar cooker has a real ecological advantages compared to both gas stove and induction plate.

Keywords: life cycle assessement, solar concentration, cooking, sustainability

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1 Monitoring Air Pollution Effects on Children for Supporting Public Health Policy: Preliminary Results of MAPEC_LIFE Project

Authors: Elisabetta Ceretti, Silvia Bonizzoni, Alberto Bonetti, Milena Villarini, Marco Verani, Maria Antonella De Donno, Sara Bonetta, Umberto Gelatti


Introduction: Air pollution is a global problem. In 2013, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified air pollution and particulate matter as carcinogenic to human. The study of the health effects of air pollution in children is very important because they are a high-risk group in terms of the health effects of air pollution and early exposure during childhood can increase the risk of developing chronic diseases in adulthood. The MAPEC_LIFE (Monitoring Air Pollution Effects on Children for supporting public health policy) is a project founded by EU Life+ Programme which intends to evaluate the associations between air pollution and early biological effects in children and to propose a model for estimating the global risk of early biological effects due to air pollutants and other factors in children. Methods: The study was carried out on 6-8-year-old children living in five Italian towns in two different seasons. Two biomarkers of early biological effects, primary DNA damage detected with the comet assay and frequency of micronuclei, were investigated in buccal cells of children. Details of children diseases, socio-economic status, exposures to other pollutants and life-style were collected using a questionnaire administered to children’s parents. Child exposure to urban air pollution was assessed by analysing PM0.5 samples collected in the school areas for PAHs and nitro-PAHs concentration, lung toxicity and in vitro genotoxicity on bacterial and human cells. Data on the chemical features of the urban air during the study period were obtained from the Regional Agency for Environmental Protection. The project created also the opportunity to approach the issue of air pollution with the children, trying to raise their awareness on air quality, its health effects and some healthy behaviors by means of an educational intervention in the schools. Results: 1315 children were recruited for the study and participate in the first sampling campaign in the five towns. The second campaign, on the same children, is still ongoing. The preliminary results of the tests on buccal mucosa cells of children will be presented during the conference as well as the preliminary data about the chemical composition and the toxicity and genotoxicity features of PM0.5 samples. The educational package was tested on 250 children of the primary school and showed to be very useful, improving children knowledge about air pollution and its effects and stimulating their interest. Conclusions: The associations between levels of air pollutants, air mutagenicity and biomarkers of early effects will be investigated. A tentative model to calculate the global absolute risk of having early biological effects for air pollution and other variables together will be proposed and may be useful to support policy-making and community interventions to protect children from possible health effects of air pollutants.

Keywords: air pollution exposure, biomarkers of early effects, children, public health policy

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