Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 30

Search results for: Alessandro Longheu

30 Vr-GIS and Ar-GIS In Education: A Case Study

Authors: Ilario Gabriele Gerloni, Vincenza Carchiolo, Alessandro Longheu, Ugo Becciani, Eva Sciacca, Fabio Vitello

Abstract:

ICT tools and platforms endorse more and more educational process. Many models and techniques for people to be educated and trained about specific topics and skills do exist, as classroom lectures with textbooks, computers, handheld devices and others. The choice to what extent ICT is applied within learning contexts is related to personal access to technologies as well as to the infrastructure surrounding environment. Among recent techniques, the adoption of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) provides significant impulse in fully engaging users senses. In this paper, an application of AR/VR within Geographic Information Systems (GIS) context is presented. It aims to provide immersive environment experiences for educational and training purposes (e.g. for civil protection personnel), useful especially for situations where real scenarios are not easily accessible by humans. First acknowledgments are promising for building an effective tool that helps civil protection personnel training with risk reduction.

Keywords: Education, virtual reality, augmented reality, civil protection.

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29 On-line Image Mosaicing of Live Stem Cells

Authors: Alessandro Bevilacqua, Alessandro Gherardi, Filippo Piccinini

Abstract:

Image mosaicing is a technique that permits to enlarge the field of view of a camera. For instance, it is employed to achieve panoramas with common cameras or even in scientific applications, to achieve the image of a whole culture in microscopical imaging. Usually, a mosaic of cell cultures is achieved through using automated microscopes. However, this is often performed in batch, through CPU intensive minimization algorithms. In addition, live stem cells are studied in phase contrast, showing a low contrast that cannot be improved further. We present a method to study the flat field from live stem cells images even in case of 100% confluence, this permitting to build accurate mosaics on-line using high performance algorithms.

Keywords: Microscopy, image mosaicing, stem cells.

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28 Quantitative Quality Assessment of Microscopic Image Mosaicing

Authors: Alessandro Bevilacqua, Alessandro Gherardi, Filippo Piccinini

Abstract:

The mosaicing technique has been employed in more and more application fields, from entertainment to scientific ones. In the latter case, often the final evaluation is still left to human beings, that assess visually the quality of the mosaic. Many times, a lack of objective measurements in microscopic mosaicing may prevent the mosaic from being used as a starting image for further analysis. In this work we analyze three different metrics and indexes, in the domain of signal analysis, image analysis and visual quality, to measure the quality of different aspects of the mosaicing procedure, such as registration errors and visual quality. As the case study we consider the mosaicing algorithm we developed. The experiments have been carried out by considering mosaics with very different features: histological samples, that are made of detailed and contrasted images, and live stem cells, that show a very low contrast and low detail levels.

Keywords: Mosaicing, quality assessment, microscopy, stem cells.

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27 Multichannel Image Mosaicing of Stem Cells

Authors: Alessandro Bevilacqua, Alessandro Gherardi, Filippo Piccinini

Abstract:

Image mosaicing techniques are usually employed to offer researchers a wider field of view of microscopic image of biological samples. a mosaic is commonly achieved using automated microscopes and often with one “color" channel, whether it refers to natural or fluorescent analysis. In this work we present a method to achieve three subsequent mosaics of the same part of a stem cell culture analyzed in phase contrast and in fluorescence, with a common non-automated inverted microscope. The mosaics obtained are then merged together to mark, in the original contrast phase images, nuclei and cytoplasm of the cells referring to a mosaic of the culture, rather than to single images. The experiments carried out prove the effectiveness of our approach with cultures of cells stained with calcein (green/cytoplasm and nuclei) and hoechst (blue/nuclei) probes.

Keywords: Microscopy, image mosaicing, fluorescence, stem cells.

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26 Semi-automatic Background Detection in Microscopic Images

Authors: Alessandro Bevilacqua, Alessandro Gherardi, Ludovico Carozza, Filippo Piccinini

Abstract:

The last years have seen an increasing use of image analysis techniques in the field of biomedical imaging, in particular in microscopic imaging. The basic step for most of the image analysis techniques relies on a background image free of objects of interest, whether they are cells or histological samples, to perform further analysis, such as segmentation or mosaicing. Commonly, this image consists of an empty field acquired in advance. However, many times achieving an empty field could not be feasible. Or else, this could be different from the background region of the sample really being studied, because of the interaction with the organic matter. At last, it could be expensive, for instance in case of live cell analyses. We propose a non parametric and general purpose approach where the background is built automatically stemming from a sequence of images containing even objects of interest. The amount of area, in each image, free of objects just affects the overall speed to obtain the background. Experiments with different kinds of microscopic images prove the effectiveness of our approach.

Keywords: Microscopy, flat field correction, background estimation, image segmentation.

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25 The Game of Col on Complete K-ary Trees

Authors: Alessandro Cincotti, Timothee Bossart

Abstract:

Col is a classic combinatorial game played on graphs and to solve a general instance is a PSPACE-complete problem. However, winning strategies can be found for some specific graph instances. In this paper, the solution of Col on complete k-ary trees is presented.

Keywords: Combinatorial game, Complete k-ary tree, Mapcoloring game.

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24 Three-player Domineering

Authors: Alessandro Cincotti

Abstract:

Domineering is a classic two-player combinatorial game usually played on a rectangular board. Three-player Domineering is the three-player version of Domineering played on a three dimensional board. Experimental results are presented for x×y ×z boards with x + y + z < 10 and x, y, z ≥ 2. Also, some theoretical results are shown for 2 × 2 × n board with n even and n ≥ 4.

Keywords: Combinatorial games, Domineering, three-playergames.

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23 The Economic Way of Thinking and the Training of Economists

Authors: Alessandro Lanteri, Salvatore Rizzello

Abstract:

The choice of studying economics instead of another subject should be motivated by the fact that economics training equips students with skills and knowledge that other disciplines do not provide. Which are these skills and knowledge, however, is not always very clear. This article clarifies such issue by first exploring the philosophical foundations and the defining features of the discipline, and then by investigating in which ways these are transferred to the students. In other words, we study what is meant by the 'economic way of thinking' that is passed on to the students.

Keywords: Economists, Expertise, Politics, Surveys.

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22 The Game of Synchronized Quadromineering

Authors: Alessandro Cincotti

Abstract:

In synchronized games players make their moves simultaneously rather than alternately. Synchronized Quadromineering is the synchronized version of Quadromineering, a variants of a classical two-player combinatorial game called Domineering. Experimental results for small m × n boards (with m + n < 15) and some theoretical results for general k × n boards (with k = 4, 5, 6) are presented. Moreover, some Synchronized Quadromineering variants are also investigated.

Keywords: Combinatorial games, Synchronized games, Quadromineering.

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21 The Game of Maundy Block

Authors: Alessandro Cincotti

Abstract:

The game of Maundy Block is the three-player variant of Maundy Cake, a classical combinatorial game. Even though to determine the solution of Maundy Cake is trivial, solving Maundy Block is challenging because of the identification of queer games, i.e., games where no player has a winning strategy.

Keywords: Combinatorial game, Maundy Cake, Three-player partizan games.

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20 The Game of Synchronized Triomineering and Synchronized Tridomineering

Authors: Alessandro Cincotti, Shigetaka Komori, Hiroyuki Iida

Abstract:

In synchronized games players make their moves simultaneously rather than alternately. Synchronized Triomineering and Synchronized Tridomineering are respectively the synchronized versions of Triomineering and Tridomineering, two variants of a classic two-player combinatorial game called Domineering. Experimental results for small m × n boards (with m + n ≤ 12 for Synchronized Triomineering and m + n ≤ 10 for Synchronized Tridomineering) and some theoretical results for general k×n boards (with k = 3, 4, 5 for Synchronized Triomineering and k = 3 for Synchronized Tridomineering) are presented. Future research is indicated.

Keywords: Combinatorial games, Synchronized games, Triomineering, Tridomineering.

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19 A Comparative Study on Different Approaches to Evaluate Ship Equilibrium Point

Authors: Alessandro A. Zizzari, Francesca Calabrese, Giovanni Indiveri, Andrea Coraddu, Diego Villa

Abstract:

The aim of this paper is to present a comparative study on two different methods for the evaluation of the equilibrium point of a ship, core issue for designing an On Board Stability System (OBSS) module that, starting from geometry information of a ship hull, described by a discrete model in a standard format, and the distribution of all weights onboard calculates the ship floating conditions (in draught, heel and trim).

Keywords: Algorithms, Computer applications, Equilibrium, Marine applications, Stability System.

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18 Comparing Interval Estimators for Reliability in a Dependent Set-up

Authors: Alessandro Barbiero

Abstract:

In this paper some procedures for building confidence intervals for the reliability in stress-strength models are discussed and empirically compared. The particular case of a bivariate normal setup is considered. The confidence intervals suggested are obtained employing approximations or asymptotic properties of maximum likelihood estimators. The coverage and the precision of these intervals are empirically checked through a simulation study. An application to real paired data is also provided.

Keywords: Approximate estimators, asymptotic theory, confidence interval, Monte Carlo simulations, stress-strength, variance estimation.

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17 An Approach to Physical Performance Analysis for Judo

Authors: Stefano Frassinelli, Alessandro Niccolai, Riccardo E. Zich

Abstract:

Sport performance analysis is a technique that is becoming every year more important for athletes of every level. Many techniques have been developed to measure and analyse efficiently the performance of athletes in some sports, but in combat sports these techniques found in many times their limits, due to the high interaction between the two opponents during the competition. In this paper the problem will be framed. Moreover the physical performance measurement problem will be analysed and three different techniques to manage it will be presented. All the techniques have been used to analyse the performance of 22 high level Judo athletes.

Keywords: Sport performance, physical performance, judo, performance coefficients.

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16 A Discretizing Method for Reliability Computation in Complex Stress-strength Models

Authors: Alessandro Barbiero

Abstract:

This paper proposes, implements and evaluates an original discretization method for continuous random variables, in order to estimate the reliability of systems for which stress and strength are defined as complex functions, and whose reliability is not derivable through analytic techniques. This method is compared to other two discretizing approaches appeared in literature, also through a comparative study involving four engineering applications. The results show that the proposal is very efficient in terms of closeness of the estimates to the true (simulated) reliability. In the study we analyzed both a normal and a non-normal distribution for the random variables: this method is theoretically suitable for each parametric family.

Keywords: Approximation, asymmetry, experimental design, interference theory, Monte Carlo simulations.

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15 Synchronization of Oestrus in Goats with Progestogen Sponges and Short Term Combined FGA, PGF2α Protocols

Authors: G. Martemucci, D. Casamassima, A. G. D'Alessandro

Abstract:

The study aimed to evaluated the reproductive performance response to short term oestrus synchronization during the transition period. One hundred and sixty-five indigenous multiparous non-lactating goats were subdivided into the following six treatment groups for oestrus synchronization: NT control Group (N= 30), Fe-21d, FGA vaginal sponge for 21days+eCG at 19thd; FPe- 11d, FGA 11d + PGF2α and eCG at 9th d; FPe-10d, FGA 10d+ PGF2α and eCG at 8th d; FPe-9d, FGA 9d +PGF2α and eCG at 7thd; PFe-5d, PGF2α at d0 + FGA 5d + eCG at 5thd. The goats were natural mated (1 male/6 females). Fecundity rates (n. births /n. females treated x 100) were statistically higher (P < 0.05) in short term FPe-9d (157.9%), FPe- 11d (115.4%), FPe-10d (111.1%) and PFe-5d (107.7%) groups compared to the NT control Group (66.7%).

Keywords: Goats, oestrus synchronization, short-term protocols.

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14 A Strategy for a Robust Design of Cracked Stiffened Panels

Authors: Francesco Caputo, Giuseppe Lamanna, Alessandro Soprano

Abstract:

This work is focused on the numerical prediction of the fracture resistance of a flat stiffened panel made of the aluminium alloy 2024 T3 under a monotonic traction condition. The performed numerical simulations have been based on the micromechanical Gurson-Tvergaard (GT) model for ductile damage. The applicability of the GT model to this kind of structural problems has been studied and assessed by comparing numerical results, obtained by using the WARP 3D finite element code, with experimental data available in literature. In the sequel a home-made procedure is presented, which aims to increase the residual strength of a cracked stiffened aluminum panel and which is based on the stochastic design improvement (SDI) technique; a whole application example is then given to illustrate the said technique.

Keywords: Residual strength, R-Curve, Gurson model, SDI.

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13 Meta Random Forests

Authors: Praveen Boinee, Alessandro De Angelis, Gian Luca Foresti

Abstract:

Leo Breimans Random Forests (RF) is a recent development in tree based classifiers and quickly proven to be one of the most important algorithms in the machine learning literature. It has shown robust and improved results of classifications on standard data sets. Ensemble learning algorithms such as AdaBoost and Bagging have been in active research and shown improvements in classification results for several benchmarking data sets with mainly decision trees as their base classifiers. In this paper we experiment to apply these Meta learning techniques to the random forests. We experiment the working of the ensembles of random forests on the standard data sets available in UCI data sets. We compare the original random forest algorithm with their ensemble counterparts and discuss the results.

Keywords: Random Forests [RF], ensembles, UCI.

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12 Development of a Numerical Model to Predict Wear in Grouted Connections for Offshore Wind Turbine Generators

Authors: Paul Dallyn, Ashraf El-Hamalawi, Alessandro Palmeri, Bob Knight

Abstract:

In order to better understand the long term implications of the grout wear failure mode in large-diameter plainsided grouted connections, a numerical model has been developed and calibrated that can take advantage of existing operational plant data to predict the wear accumulation for the actual load conditions experienced over a given period, thus limiting the requirement for expensive monitoring systems. This model has been derived and calibrated based on site structural condition monitoring (SCM) data and supervisory control and data acquisition systems (SCADA) data for two operational wind turbine generator substructures afflicted with this challenge, along with experimentally derived wear rates.

Keywords: Grouted Connection, Numerical Model, Offshore Structure, Wear, Wind Energy.

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11 Ensembling Classifiers – An Application toImage Data Classification from Cherenkov Telescope Experiment

Authors: Praveen Boinee, Alessandro De Angelis, Gian Luca Foresti

Abstract:

Ensemble learning algorithms such as AdaBoost and Bagging have been in active research and shown improvements in classification results for several benchmarking data sets with mainly decision trees as their base classifiers. In this paper we experiment to apply these Meta learning techniques with classifiers such as random forests, neural networks and support vector machines. The data sets are from MAGIC, a Cherenkov telescope experiment. The task is to classify gamma signals from overwhelmingly hadron and muon signals representing a rare class classification problem. We compare the individual classifiers with their ensemble counterparts and discuss the results. WEKA a wonderful tool for machine learning has been used for making the experiments.

Keywords: Ensembles, WEKA, Neural networks [NN], SupportVector Machines [SVM], Random Forests [RF].

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10 An Approach to Concerns and Aspects Mining for Web Applications

Authors: Carlo Bellettini, Alessandro Marchetto, Andrea Trentini

Abstract:

Web applications have become very complex and crucial, especially when combined with areas such as CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and BPR (Business Process Reengineering), the scientific community has focused attention to Web applications design, development, analysis, and testing, by studying and proposing methodologies and tools. This paper proposes an approach to automatic multi-dimensional concern mining for Web Applications, based on concepts analysis, impact analysis, and token-based concern identification. This approach lets the user to analyse and traverse Web software relevant to a particular concern (concept, goal, purpose, etc.) via multi-dimensional separation of concerns, to document, understand and test Web applications. This technique was developed in the context of WAAT (Web Applications Analysis and Testing) project. A semi-automatic tool to support this technique is currently under development.

Keywords: Aspect Mining, Concepts Analysis, Concerns Mining, Multi-Dimensional Separation of Concerns, Impact Analysis.

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9 Multi-Dimensional Concerns Mining for Web Applications via Concept-Analysis

Authors: Carlo Bellettini, Alessandro Marchetto, Andrea Trentini

Abstract:

Web applications have become very complex and crucial, especially when combined with areas such as CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and BPR (Business Process Reengineering), the scientific community has focused attention to Web applications design, development, analysis, and testing, by studying and proposing methodologies and tools. This paper proposes an approach to automatic multi-dimensional concern mining for Web Applications, based on concepts analysis, impact analysis, and token-based concern identification. This approach lets the user to analyse and traverse Web software relevant to a particular concern (concept, goal, purpose, etc.) via multi-dimensional separation of concerns, to document, understand and test Web applications. This technique was developed in the context of WAAT (Web Applications Analysis and Testing) project. A semi-automatic tool to support this technique is currently under development.

Keywords: Concepts Analysis, Concerns Mining, Multi-Dimensional Separation of Concerns, Impact Analysis.

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8 Combinatorial Optimisation of Worm Propagationon an Unknown Network

Authors: Eric Filiol, Edouard Franc, Alessandro Gubbioli, Benoit Moquet, Guillaume Roblot

Abstract:

Worm propagation profiles have significantly changed since 2003-2004: sudden world outbreaks like Blaster or Slammer have progressively disappeared and slower but stealthier worms appeared since, most of them for botnets dissemination. Decreased worm virulence results in more difficult detection. In this paper, we describe a stealth worm propagation model which has been extensively simulated and analysed on a huge virtual network. The main features of this model is its ability to infect any Internet-like network in a few seconds, whatever may be its size while greatly limiting the reinfection attempt overhead of already infected hosts. The main simulation results shows that the combinatorial topology of routing may have a huge impact on the worm propagation and thus some servers play a more essential and significant role than others. The real-time capability to identify them may be essential to greatly hinder worm propagation.

Keywords: Combinatorial worm, worm spreading, worm virulence, stealth worm, spreading simulation, vertex cover, networktopology, WAST simulator, SuWAST simulator.

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7 Validation of Reverse Engineered Web Application Models

Authors: Carlo Bellettini, Alessandro Marchetto, Andrea Trentini

Abstract:

Web applications have become complex and crucial for many firms, especially when combined with areas such as CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and BPR (Business Process Reengineering). The scientific community has focused attention to Web application design, development, analysis, testing, by studying and proposing methodologies and tools. Static and dynamic techniques may be used to analyze existing Web applications. The use of traditional static source code analysis may be very difficult, for the presence of dynamically generated code, and for the multi-language nature of the Web. Dynamic analysis may be useful, but it has an intrinsic limitation, the low number of program executions used to extract information. Our reverse engineering analysis, used into our WAAT (Web Applications Analysis and Testing) project, applies mutational techniques in order to exploit server side execution engines to accomplish part of the dynamic analysis. This paper studies the effects of mutation source code analysis applied to Web software to build application models. Mutation-based generated models may contain more information then necessary, so we need a pruning mechanism.

Keywords: Validation, Dynamic Analysis, MutationAnalysis, Reverse Engineering, Web Applications

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6 Object-Centric Process Mining Using Process Cubes

Authors: Anahita Farhang Ghahfarokhi, Alessandro Berti, Wil M.P. van der Aalst

Abstract:

Process mining provides ways to analyze business processes. Common process mining techniques consider the process as a whole. However, in real-life business processes, different behaviors exist that make the overall process too complex to interpret. Process comparison is a branch of process mining that isolates different behaviors of the process from each other by using process cubes. Process cubes organize event data using different dimensions. Each cell contains a set of events that can be used as an input to apply process mining techniques. Existing work on process cubes assume single case notions. However, in real processes, several case notions (e.g., order, item, package, etc.) are intertwined. Object-centric process mining is a new branch of process mining addressing multiple case notions in a process. To make a bridge between object-centric process mining and process comparison, we propose a process cube framework, which supports process cube operations such as slice and dice on object-centric event logs. To facilitate the comparison, the framework is integrated with several object-centric process discovery approaches.

Keywords: Process mining, multidimensional process mining, multi-perspective business processes, OLAP, process cubes, process discovery.

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5 Inferring Hierarchical Pronunciation Rules from a Phonetic Dictionary

Authors: Erika Pigliapoco, Valerio Freschi, Alessandro Bogliolo

Abstract:

This work presents a new phonetic transcription system based on a tree of hierarchical pronunciation rules expressed as context-specific grapheme-phoneme correspondences. The tree is automatically inferred from a phonetic dictionary by incrementally analyzing deeper context levels, eventually representing a minimum set of exhaustive rules that pronounce without errors all the words in the training dictionary and that can be applied to out-of-vocabulary words. The proposed approach improves upon existing rule-tree-based techniques in that it makes use of graphemes, rather than letters, as elementary orthographic units. A new linear algorithm for the segmentation of a word in graphemes is introduced to enable outof- vocabulary grapheme-based phonetic transcription. Exhaustive rule trees provide a canonical representation of the pronunciation rules of a language that can be used not only to pronounce out-of-vocabulary words, but also to analyze and compare the pronunciation rules inferred from different dictionaries. The proposed approach has been implemented in C and tested on Oxford British English and Basic English. Experimental results show that grapheme-based rule trees represent phonetically sound rules and provide better performance than letter-based rule trees.

Keywords: Automatic phonetic transcription, pronunciation rules, hierarchical tree inference.

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4 LIDAR Obstacle Warning and Avoidance System for Unmanned Aircraft

Authors: Roberto Sabatini, Alessandro Gardi, Mark A. Richardson

Abstract:

The availability of powerful eye-safe laser sources and the recent advancements in electro-optical and mechanical beam-steering components have allowed laser-based Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) to become a promising technology for obstacle warning and avoidance in a variety of manned and unmanned aircraft applications. LIDAR outstanding angular resolution and accuracy characteristics are coupled to its good detection performance in a wide range of incidence angles and weather conditions, providing an ideal obstacle avoidance solution, which is especially attractive in low-level flying platforms such as helicopters and small-to-medium size Unmanned Aircraft (UA). The Laser Obstacle Avoidance Marconi (LOAM) system is one of such systems, which was jointly developed and tested by SELEX-ES and the Italian Air Force Research and Flight Test Centre. The system was originally conceived for military rotorcraft platforms and, in this paper, we briefly review the previous work and discuss in more details some of the key development activities required for integration of LOAM on UA platforms. The main hardware and software design features of this LOAM variant are presented, including a brief description of the system interfaces and sensor characteristics, together with the system performance models and data processing algorithms for obstacle detection, classification and avoidance. In particular, the paper focuses on the algorithm proposed for optimal avoidance trajectory generation in UA applications.

Keywords: LIDAR, Low-Level Flight, Nap-of-the-Earth Flight, Near Infra-Red, Obstacle Avoidance, Obstacle Detection, Obstacle Warning System, Sense and Avoid, Trajectory Optimisation, Unmanned Aircraft.

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3 Faster Pedestrian Recognition Using Deformable Part Models

Authors: Alessandro Preziosi, Antonio Prioletti, Luca Castangia

Abstract:

Deformable part models achieve high precision in pedestrian recognition, but all publicly available implementations are too slow for real-time applications. We implemented a deformable part model algorithm fast enough for real-time use by exploiting information about the camera position and orientation. This implementation is both faster and more precise than alternative DPM implementations. These results are obtained by computing convolutions in the frequency domain and using lookup tables to speed up feature computation. This approach is almost an order of magnitude faster than the reference DPM implementation, with no loss in precision. Knowing the position of the camera with respect to horizon it is also possible prune many hypotheses based on their size and location. The range of acceptable sizes and positions is set by looking at the statistical distribution of bounding boxes in labelled images. With this approach it is not needed to compute the entire feature pyramid: for example higher resolution features are only needed near the horizon. This results in an increase in mean average precision of 5% and an increase in speed by a factor of two. Furthermore, to reduce misdetections involving small pedestrians near the horizon, input images are supersampled near the horizon. Supersampling the image at 1.5 times the original scale, results in an increase in precision of about 4%. The implementation was tested against the public KITTI dataset, obtaining an 8% improvement in mean average precision over the best performing DPM-based method. By allowing for a small loss in precision computational time can be easily brought down to our target of 100ms per image, reaching a solution that is faster and still more precise than all publicly available DPM implementations.

Keywords: Autonomous vehicles, deformable part model, dpm, pedestrian recognition.

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2 Joint Training Offer Selection and Course Timetabling Problems: Models and Algorithms

Authors: Gianpaolo Ghiani, Emanuela Guerriero, Emanuele Manni, Alessandro Romano

Abstract:

In this article, we deal with a variant of the classical course timetabling problem that has a practical application in many areas of education. In particular, in this paper we are interested in high schools remedial courses. The purpose of such courses is to provide under-prepared students with the skills necessary to succeed in their studies. In particular, a student might be under prepared in an entire course, or only in a part of it. The limited availability of funds, as well as the limited amount of time and teachers at disposal, often requires schools to choose which courses and/or which teaching units to activate. Thus, schools need to model the training offer and the related timetabling, with the goal of ensuring the highest possible teaching quality, by meeting the above-mentioned financial, time and resources constraints. Moreover, there are some prerequisites between the teaching units that must be satisfied. We first present a Mixed-Integer Programming (MIP) model to solve this problem to optimality. However, the presence of many peculiar constraints contributes inevitably in increasing the complexity of the mathematical model. Thus, solving it through a general-purpose solver may be performed for small instances only, while solving real-life-sized instances of such model requires specific techniques or heuristic approaches. For this purpose, we also propose a heuristic approach, in which we make use of a fast constructive procedure to obtain a feasible solution. To assess our exact and heuristic approaches we perform extensive computational results on both real-life instances (obtained from a high school in Lecce, Italy) and randomly generated instances. Our tests show that the MIP model is never solved to optimality, with an average optimality gap of 57%. On the other hand, the heuristic algorithm is much faster (in about the 50% of the considered instances it converges in approximately half of the time limit) and in many cases allows achieving an improvement on the objective function value obtained by the MIP model. Such an improvement ranges between 18% and 66%.

Keywords: Heuristic, MIP model, Remedial course, School, Timetabling.

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1 Self-Sensing Concrete Nanocomposites for Smart Structures

Authors: A. D'Alessandro, F. Ubertini, A. L. Materazzi

Abstract:

In the field of civil engineering, Structural Health Monitoring is a topic of growing interest. Effective monitoring instruments permit the control of the working conditions of structures and infrastructures, through the identification of behavioral anomalies due to incipient damages, especially in areas of high environmental hazards as earthquakes. While traditional sensors can be applied only in a limited number of points, providing a partial information for a structural diagnosis, novel transducers may allow a diffuse sensing. Thanks to the new tools and materials provided by nanotechnology, new types of multifunctional sensors are developing in the scientific panorama. In particular, cement-matrix composite materials capable of diagnosing their own state of strain and tension, could be originated by the addition of specific conductive nanofillers. Because of the nature of the material they are made of, these new cementitious nano-modified transducers can be inserted within the concrete elements, transforming the same structures in sets of widespread sensors. This paper is aimed at presenting the results of a research about a new self-sensing nanocomposite and about the implementation of smart sensors for Structural Health Monitoring. The developed nanocomposite has been obtained by inserting multi walled carbon nanotubes within a cementitious matrix. The insertion of such conductive carbon nanofillers provides the base material with piezoresistive characteristics and peculiar sensitivity to mechanical modifications. The self-sensing ability is achieved by correlating the variation of the external stress or strain with the variation of some electrical properties, such as the electrical resistance or conductivity. Through the measurement of such electrical characteristics, the performance and the working conditions of an element or a structure can be monitored. Among conductive carbon nanofillers, carbon nanotubes seem to be particularly promising for the realization of self-sensing cement-matrix materials. Some issues related to the nanofiller dispersion or to the influence of the nano-inclusions amount in the cement matrix need to be carefully investigated: the strain sensitivity of the resulting sensors is influenced by such factors. This work analyzes the dispersion of the carbon nanofillers, the physical properties of the fresh dough, the electrical properties of the hardened composites and the sensing properties of the realized sensors. The experimental campaign focuses specifically on their dynamic characterization and their applicability to the monitoring of full-scale elements. The results of the electromechanical tests with both slow varying and dynamic loads show that the developed nanocomposite sensors can be effectively used for the health monitoring of structures.

Keywords: Carbon nanotubes, self-sensing nanocomposites, smart cement-matrix sensors, structural health monitoring.

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